My 20 year old son just had his 4th vitrectomy to repair detached retina in right eye. He is very nearsighted and this has caused he detach. We understand it can take multiple surgeries and office procedures for success. The recurrent detach has been caused from scar tissue "pushing up" under the retina-other reasons doctors are unsure. We just keep trying. At one point the detachement involved the macula. His surgery dates are as follow: April 29, July 2, Aug 1, and Aug 12. Two of these surgeries air bubble was used. The last surgery was the second time silicone oil was used. Recovery with the air bubble is VERY challenging, and my son did as he was told. With the oil there are no positioning requirements, which is nice. However, it seems the doctor gave us different post op instructions this time. My son says the doctor told him he can go places and do things. He told me in the recovery waiting room that he needs to pretend he is on vacation and sit in front of the T.V. My son lives alone, but only a few blocks from me. He was driving 2 days after this last surgery. I had a fit!! I told him he needs to be at home relaxing, doing nothing and not taking any chances with his obviously fragile retina. Atleast for 2 weeks-as this is the most critical time. This has caused conflict between us. I know it is difficult for a person his age to face something of this nature, and I have been extremely supportive of him and mindful of this fact. I would like to hear from others going through this or who have gone through this. I would also like to know of any special diet recommendations while the retina heals. Thank you in advance for the info/advice. For those of you going through this-take care and best of luck.
Update to my previous post... My son had a follow up visit today with the retina specialist. He said the retina looks GREAT and is still attached. This is a major victory for us!! This is still a critical time and the retina is still healing, but it feels like we are out of the woods for now. The Dr did say that he has a small cataract developing on the eye. We learned this is common, due to the surgeries he has had.
I would still like to hear from others out there who can gone through these surgeries....if not yourself, maybe family member, etc.
I asked my son when his next follow up apt is with the retina surgeon and he said OCT. something. I cant remember the day, but I am concerned that it is so far out, since he has had sooo many problems with this eye. Biggest problem being the retina begins detaching again. Maybe this wont happen again, but what if. It will be difficult for him to be able to tell if it starts to detach because he has the silicone oil in there now and cant really see through it. So the vision is still compromised. Any thoughts would be nice.....I hate to worry so much, but with all he has been through I would think the doctor would want to follow my sons care a little closer!!!
Please update as to your son's condition. I am very frustrated at this point with the progress (or lack of) on my friends third detached retina. 1 - his Dr. is aware he lives in an extremely stressful environment. 2- My friend was not told (or did not understand the importance of) positioning and remaining still after his RD. I too caught him driving!! 3- After his second detachment I would have thought his Dr. should have had more frequent visits with him. V is 41 years of age and has restricted vision in his "good" eye. From everything I have read about RD his Dr. was not providing accurate advice. When he had the buckle on he had to wait for an extended period of time to have it removed because the Dr. had situations he deemed as more of an emergency than V's.
I am also interested in knowing what country you live in. I am in Canada where our health care system is supposed to be amazing. I cannot help but thinking the delay in removing the buckle harmed his chances of recovery.
We live in Missouri. My son has his next follow up this Thursday. I am soooo anxious for a progress report. He can't really see right now due to the silicone oil in front of the retina. My son also has restricted vision in the other eye. You are right to be concerned with stress-it does affect healing. My son's girlfriend of almost 2 years broke up with him on the eve of his 3rd surgery!! Talk about stress!! LOL! I am sure there were other reasons, but I just dont think she wanted to hang around anymore while he went through all of this. I was so worried that it would affect his healing. I am still not sure. He was so depressed over the surgeries-and then that! It was a terrible time.
I am not sure about special positioning with the buckel treatment and I am not sure if it is cause for worry that it wasnt removed sooner than expected. This may have allowed the retina more time to heal while being held in place. Has it been removed? If removed, how is his vision? How did his detachment occur?
I too have felt very frustrated through this whole experience. I will update his progress this week after his dr visit. Please let me know about V.
How did his last appointment go?
V has had oil put in this time and goes back every other day for laser. Honestly Gee - they should have been this attentive from the first day this has happened! So far he has been good in terms of taking it easy but he is getting really depressed for many reasons.
Please let me know how your son is coming along!
My son's retina is still attached!!! However the doctor informed him that a cataract has formed (which is a typical "side effect" from the vitrectomy surgery). He has advised him to get that removed from a different eye specialist. He still has the oil in and at this point I am not sure when they will schedule to remove it. Most likely some time after the cataract is removed. That way the doctor can see the retina clearly. I am impressed with the extreme care they are taking with V's eye at this time. I wish my son could have had that. We live almost 2 hours from the specialist...not that that would have made a difference-we would have gone if requested or scheduled.
I understand the depression V is feeling. I am sure he is relieved to have the oil instead of the air bubble. I know my son went through some depression and may still be. To be honest with you, after the 4th surgery our relationship changed. It is almost as if he is mad at me. I am not sure why and I havent really brought it up to him. I just dont want to "stir up" anything at this point. He doesnt volunteer any information about his eye-doesnt bring it up-and gives me short quick replies when I ask. Before he was very different than this. It has been a rough road for him, and I try to remember this and continue to support him anyway I can. He has gone back to work and by all accounts has resumed most all of the activities as before.
I just hope and pray his eye continues to heal and becomes useful again.
Best of luck to V. I am sure with the daily follow ups he will get along great!!!
I will continue to update you about my son and I hope you will do the same about V.
Take Care! Gee
Between brining big bird (it is Thanksgiving weekend in Canada) dropping my daughter off at her friends and attending to my oh-so-adorable at tomes hound dog I had written a response to your e-mail. I am not certain it made it because I think the site logged out before I could finish. Just in case it did I saved the text and apologize if this is a duplication.
So happy your son is on the mend! The cataract surgery is minor compared to retina surgery. LOL - I work at a research house so have spent much time researching all of this.
Your relationship - I am sure it has not changed. Your son is 20 years old and I can imagine he is not angry with you but at the situation. Perhaps he does not want to share this with you because he may feel you have worried enough about his health. He must be very frustrated that he not only is he going through this but you are too!! I think you are wise to not bring it up at this point. Sounds as though you have a close relationship with your son and I am sure he will eventually begin to confide in him. If I may offer a suggestion try open ended questions? His girlfriend leaving has also been a blow to his self esteem. He must also be sitting on pins and needles wondering if this surgery will work.
Your son has several advantages - his youth to help with physical healing, lack of stress and a supportive mother. This may sound really corny - REMAIN POSITIVE!! I have gone through much in my life and I have learned that the more I feel positive the more others around me do as well.
V - he had to have additional surgery and unfortunately until he is allowed to make a call I will not know how he is doing. If I was able to meet you face to face I may be able to explain it. I will try to sum it up. His wife only allows him to communicate with her family or her friends. She works minimal hours because she is - well - lazy. When she is home he is not able to call his family or friends because she goes off on him which is really not good for him at this point. V helped me get out of an extremely abusive relationship which went outside of whom he is allowed to communicate with, although she was very close with this abusive man. As I said long story. Bottom line although we are within blocks of each other I will not know how he is until he is able to contact his father or myself. Thank God he is back in touch with his family!
I have to tell you...your message has brought tears to my eyes. I appreciate your kind words and insight. I know you are right about my son. I am sooo sure he is mad at his situation. I know I would be too. Being 20 years and suddenly dealing with something like this-WOW. It would be hard for anyone. You are also very right about being positive-it has a contagious way of affecting others!
Sorry you are not able to communicate with your friend more. I do hope the best for him. That is an unfortunate situation he is in. I hope you hear some news soon.
Enjoy your weekend and your Thanksgiving. Hope your dinner is yummy. Take care. Hope to "talk" to you again.
Please always remember your relationship with your son will never change only strengthen through this difficult time. As a mother of a 19 and 17 year old I know how it hurts to see a child in pain and I know how it hurts the children to see their mother go through the pain with them. You have obviously given your son a wonderful gift of love and empathy!
I must admit I clicked on your profile and you are about 1 year younger then I am - I was born in 1967.
The news with V was not so good today. He was able to call very briefly and as I said before I suspect he is struggling with depression. There is this really odd connection between us and I can always tell when he is hurting. Well, last Dr. appointment they the told him the next step is a prosthetic eye. Gina, when he called me this morning it broke my heart to hear the sadness in his voice. I feel horrible because all I could say was " I will always be here for you". He finally admitted he is in a great deal of pain and I suspect it is the pain of going through so much surgery, hopefulness and then disappointment that his heart is breaking. Again I will explain more later.
Something I would encourage you and your son to get involved in is the Checkered Eye http://www.checkeredeye.com/where.htm. This is an awareness program for those suffering from low vision. I have volunteered for CNIB and therefore not able to participate in this. Spreading awareness for a cause may also help your son to turn his negative experience into something positive.
Gina, I am so happy I talked to you and absolutely delighted your son's surgery has been sucessfull. Please continue to keep me posted. You and your son are in my thoughts and prayers!!
ps - We had a lovely Thanksgiving. I had way too much turkey and cheescake and need to turn in!
I will admit to you that I looked at your profile as well!! LOL!
Glad to hear your Thanksgiving was good...cheesecake-yum! Thanks for the web information too.
I talked to my son on Saturday night....he called and we had a really great talk. The best we have had in some time. He is away on his job and due to return on Wed. night. I am looking sooo forward to seeing him.
Cataract removal is scheduled the first part of November-why does everything have to be hurry up and wait??? My son confessed that he doesnt think the surgery worked. I am not sure how he would be able to tell with the oil still in there and then the catarct??? We will wait and see. You know at this point all I really want is for him to be happy. Before, all I could think of was the vision. Dont get me wrong...I still want that for him. Above all though, I just want him to be happy. I appreciate your compliment about my son. You know...you try to do the best for your children and you hope it turns out right. He really is a wonderful young man.
Sorry to hear about V's news. I am sure it brings him great comfort just hearing the kind words from you. Especially since his home life is so bleak! He is lucky to have a true friend like you. I hope it all works out for him and he can accept the final outcome about his vision. V will be in my prayers for a good outcome and for him to start having better days.
I will add your email to my computer and email my e address to you! Then we wont be "airing" all our thoughts for the world to read. LOL !!
Hi, hope all goes well for your son, I'm 36 and have had problems myself, I fell off a bike as a child and damaged my eye, ever since have had very limited vision, about a year ago a had a full detachment I just never noticed it as my eye sight was so poor,I had surgery, cataract removed then eye re attached, silicon oil was used, about six months ago I went into hospital again to have the oil removed, a few days later the eye Ditached again! Gutted! This time they re attached and used the gas bubble, that was about three weeks ago and a can still see the gas in my eye although the vision is getting better, if it stays attached I'll be in again to have a lens fitted to try improve my eye as I'm blind as a bat! So keep your chin all will work out,