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Long Day

About 10:30 this morning, my aunt called to say that she was in the Emergency Room. She had twisted her ankle and fallen while taking the dogs for their morning walk, hitting her head on the pavement. Fortunately, she was able to crawl to the edge of the street and call for help; some neighborhood teenagers heard her and helped her to her house. She called her neighbors across the street and they took her to the ED.

By the time we arrived in Winston a little after noon, she was already in anesthesia prep, awaiting surgery to try and save her right eye. I didn't get to see her before the OR got started (about 1:30), but I spoke with the surgeons after the procedure and they were cautious, at best. The force of the impact had ruptured the eyeball, primarily due to structural weakening from her RK procedure years ago. A large portion of the eye was avulsed, including a significant portion of the vitreous fluid, the lens, and part of the iris, which were lost. The cornea was significantly damaged and retinal detachment sounds like it may still be a possibility. The best news that the surgeons had to offer was that she could see a little bit of light prior to the surgery; of which, of course, there was no continuing guarantee after such extensive reconstructive efforts. They seemed both moderately surprised and pleased at their suturing efforts and their ability to retain the globe structure, considering the extent of the avulsion--that translates as "we were lucky to maintain the structural integrity of the eye itself and not have to remove it entirely". It's pretty clear that even with the best possible outcome, she will have severely impaired vision (very possibly no vision at all) after a series of additional surgeries, such as corneal transplant, lens replacement, etc.

The biggest indicator of whether or not she might regain any vision whatsoever will be whether she can see light or anything at all when the bandages come off in the morning. And even that, we were told, could regress as the healing continued. For her sake, and so that she can remain optimistic in spirit, I hope she will be able to at least sense light.

After leaving the hospital late this evening, stopping for a doughnut and to make the requisite phone calls, and going by her house to pick up personal items, I'm at home doing laundry so that she will have clean clothes to wear during the coming week. Once this load is out of the dryer, I'm heading to bed. I want to get to the hospital early in the morning so she'll have someone there with her when she hears the prognosis first-hand.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
pinkroo
May. 5th, 2007 07:11 am (UTC)
oh my gosh! How awful.

neebs
May. 5th, 2007 01:21 pm (UTC)
GAH. She's in my prayers.
yesimthegirl
May. 5th, 2007 03:11 pm (UTC)
Oh my! I never would have thought hitting your head could do that!
I'll keep her in my thoughts and prayers.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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