16 Years Old: Floppy Iris Syndrome & Another Surgery

I went to my local optometrist for a post operative check up and to voice my concerns about my new vision problem. He said that I had what he called “Floppy Iris Syndrome” (sounds made up, I know). Again he reminded us he could only offer speculation but he said it appeared that because my implant was placed further back this time to prevent it catching on my pupil and rubbing my iris that there was nothing to support my iris and so it was “flopping”. This made perfect sense. Back we went to Vancouver to consult with my ophthamologist. He decided that this time he would implant a new lens. My eye was still red and not yet fully healed so the thought of them cutting into it again so soon didn’t seem right to me. But he assured us it was best to do this right away as opposed to months or years later. So again -a month and a half later- surgery was booked for the following morning. I felt doomed this time for some reason. I felt that something would go wrong again and that I would not be able to see as well. Not long after I woke up from surgery my mom informed me that yet again at the last minute my surgeon had decided not to implant a new lens and to instead reposition the old one. I was really irritated and a bit disheartened, but reminded myself that he was the surgeon and he knows best. This time my pain level was a lot higher it had ever been with my other surgeries. Not unmanageable but higher.

The day after the surgery though, would end up being one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. I woke up in a tremendous amount of pain. It hurt to look anywhere, but if one eye moves so does the other. When we got to the eye doctors for my checkup (with a surgeon’s helper, not my actual surgeon) I was very aggitated. I had done this 5 times before, I knew the drill. They were going to take off my patch and hold open my eyelid, shine a light in it, put drops in it. Usually I wouldn’t flinch but this time I was in so much pain that the thought made my stomach turn -and for good reason. The pain I felt just from the weight of that tiny drop hitting my eye was enough to make me tear up and cry out. Of course the doc thought I was just being a baby he didn’t know me or my history, until my mom promptly explained to him that even at four years old I had not complained once during all of this. This was not the same, something was wrong. I have a very high pain tolerance. After all I’d been living in pain literally everyday for the past 2 and a half years. And so she knew the amount of pain I must’ve been in. But things were about to get much, much worse.

To find out what was wrong I would need an ultrasound on my eye. At first I was certain they must have a different way of doing this one eyes. There was no way they were going to hold that thing down on my eye and move it around. My eye was still mushy and flat, there were stitches sticking out everywhere and fresh wounds, not to mention a drop hitting my eye was really painful and this thing would be much heavier. There was no way. But yes, that’s exactly what they were going to do. I almost swallowed my heart as they explained the procedure. The 20 minutes it took seemed to drag on for hours. My fingers hurt from clenching the chair arms so hard. I could hear my mom sniffling in the corner. I was silent, -I was afraid to unlock my jaw and unclench my teeth- but she could tell by how I was holding my body how much pain I was in. Like I said, I have a high pain tolerance, and this was the most painful thing I’ve ever had to endure. It was like someone was splitting my skull with a sledgehammer and electricuting me at the same time. But, it needed to be done. The ultrasound revealed that my eye had hemorrhaged and was severly inflamed which was the cause of so much pain. This could be very damaging to the eye if left untreated. I was immediately put on a high dose of steroid drops four times a day (more pain!) along with steroid tablets to help the healing and zantac to protect my stomach from the steroids. I was also on a few other drops that I always take after surgery starting four times a day everyday. I was a bit traumatized the rest of the day, but proud that I had handled it -not that I had much of a choice. I was surprised to know how much pain we are capable of dealing with when left with no options though.

My eye (because of the complications) was taking a much longer time to heal than it had after the previous surgeries. I was edgy and wanted to know if my vision would be back to the way it used to be before the floppy iris. After all of the pain and worry, the drops, the traveling, the money, this surgery turned out worse than the last one. I didn’t have the floppy iris now, but I had severe double vision. Along with that my vision itself had decreased considerably compared to before. I could no longer read nearly as well as I had been able to (my left eye is my nearsighted eye). I double vision I’m told is a hazzard of the type of lenses I have, along with the size of the lens. It is rare but sometimes people do end up with these visual aberrations. The name of the aberration that closest fits mine is Coma aberration.

Above is a photographic example of the coma aberration. On the far left is how a normal image would appear (in my case). The middle is how a slightly distorted image in my field of vision would look, and the far right is how bright things like lights, street signs, televisions etc, always look. This has and will prevent me from ever driving in the dark, though I suppose I’m lucky I can drive at all. Still I’m sure that not being able to get myself around after dark will prove to be an obstacle time and time again in the future.
 {I am not a doctor and the medical definitions and descriptions featured in this blog post do not and should not replace those of a medical professional.  They are merely there to help give an idea of my situation and experiences.}

One thought on “16 Years Old: Floppy Iris Syndrome & Another Surgery

  1. Pingback: Marfact 17&18 – My lens journey « Connective Tissue Disorders: My Journey

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