Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to leave such encouraging, funny and remarkably thoughtful comments about my recent condition. They have made getting through this all the more hopeful and possible.
I also want to apologize for staying mum so long on the subject. I didn’t want to talk about it until I had a better idea of what was happening and–for personal morale sakes–had some indication that things would improve. While I have no intention of going into any graphic detail, I more than anyone know what a particularly squeamish topic the eye can be and so you are more than welcome to skip the following recap.
Last weekend my right eye started to water. Eventually it started to produce what one would consider more than its fair share of pus. At the same time my vision started to dim, not so much darken but cloud over. Initially I thought I was dealing with pink eye, since pus and foggy eyesight are indeed symptoms of such. But by Sunday night the eye was blood red and I could no longer see anything out of it except an impenetrable fog. Monday I went to the ophthalmologist and learned what I mistook for conjunctivitis was in fact a virulent infection that was robbing me of sight and had resulted in a “corneal ulcer.” Now, corneal ulcer’s are actually quite common and almost always the result of improper contact lens care. (Medium Large Public Service Announcement: If you wear contact lenses, ONLY use daily wear! I cannot stress this enough. Do not reuse lenses, do not sleep with lenses and do not swim with lenses–the latter two which I did not do.) However, my ulcer was a half-centimeter long and went directly over my pupil, meaning that even should the infection be contained the ultimate scarring could block all vision.
That said, I would not be writing this if things had taken a turn for the better recently. (After all, this is a supposed humor site, not a place for self-pity.) Thanks to a powerful cocktail of antibiotics administered every half-hour around the clock (and yes, I have gone mad from lack of sleep), I can now make out shapes and color and even some definition. Over the past half week that has steadily improved. The ulcer has also shrunk much more rapidly than initially presumed, to now only 1 mm. While recovery will be a long, slow process and my vision in my eye right will be foggy for quite some time, I can say that I am guardedly optimistic about the eventual results, even if full vision does not return. Of course, this is all made possible by dear friends (and one person in particular), your great encouragement and my being under the direct care of the Head of Ophthalmology for Columbia University, which also resulted in me passing time in a waiting room with Regis Philbin. (Though we did not talk and he certainly did not wait long.)
Once again, thank you very much for all your well wishes! I don’t think I could ever possibly express just how much they have meant to me and how they have made my outlook all the brighter! THANK YOU.