Sunday, September 21, 2014

Nathan's Laser Eye Procedure Part I

On Friday August 29th, I headed to the junior high to check Nathan out of school.  I had a bag with a black morphsuit, which had been last year's Halloween costume.  Unfortunately, Nate hadn't been able to put his hands on the mask--a casualty of Halloween being some 10 months ago.  So my bag-o-tricks also included Wendell's wide-brimmed trek hat.

I picked Nate up, a bit anxious about how long it took to get him down from class, and we headed to the eye doctor's office.  This appointment had been more than 6 months in coming.  In January we had received the news that the oral meds that were working on the girls really, truly weren't working on Nathan. 

In March, we did an injection in Nate's right eye, but it was as unsuccessful as Emma's had been. And so began an uncomfortable waiting game.  Fortunately, the retinal specialist's office was dogged about getting the PDT approved and one day in early August I got the letter that said that Nathan had been approved for the expensive medication necessary to make the PDT laser work.

Now the day had arrived.  We'd covered our basement windows in black plastic, pulled all the drapes, lowered all the blinds.  See, this medication--I think it's called Visodine--would make Nathan incredibly light sensitive.  Administered by IV, this medication would allow the cold laser--something that you can't feel--to zap and kill offending cells at the back of Nate's eye.  Hopefully, this would drive fluid out of his eye and restore vision.  But you have to use the medication very quickly.  We would have a mere 20 minutes from when the meds were in Nate's system until the laser procedure would have to be complete.

However, the side effect of the medication is that it makes the body incredibly light sensitive and can cause the skin to blister if you're out in the sun in the next 72 hours.  Thus the morphsuit, the hat, the black plastic and drawn drapes.

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