I was diagnosed with aplastic anemia when I was 8 years old, which is basically a blood and bone marrow disease that has a high likelihood of turning into leukemia. Fortunately, mine has never become cancer, but I did have an incident when I was about 20 where I had to have eye surgery due to it. What happened was that my platelet counts dropped considerably and my left eye started to bleed.
For a person who has always had trouble with their vision and comes from a family who does as well, I didn’t pick up that anything was wrong at first. Since the blood was inside my eye, it showed as black spots in my vision, which I just thought were bad floaters. However, the spots got bigger and bigger until I couldn’t see anything at all. I called my doctor (who was mad at me for not talking to her sooner, given my medical history) and went in to see an ophthalmologist.
The eye doctor told me what was going on, relieving my primary physician who thought it was something else, something more serious, but now I can’t remember what. They scheduled surgery to have the blood removed, obviously after I had a platelet transfusion. When they went in however, the blood had dried to the lens so they had to completely remove it and implant a synthetic one. And that is why when the light hits just right, my eye does this:
There’s more to the story, though. The surgeon pinpointed the problem with the bleeding to come not only from my disease, but to the fact that the blood vessels in my eyes were longer than they should have been. This is what allowed the blood to reach my vision so easily; the vessels burst. Therefore, it was decided they should be lasered shut to avoid future problems like this.
Now, I’ve already mentioned my sight was terrible to begin with. My prescription at the time was -4.25 in both eyes, in addition to astigmatism. Having this false lens should have improved my vision drastically, and it would have…had it not been for the need for laser surgery. Unfortunately, the lasers caused irreparable damage to that eye and now I’m considered legally blind in it. I can see colors and lights and that’s about it.
Here is a scan of my eyes. The one on the right is my left; the yellow dots are every spot where the laser hit. You can see that there is some minor damage to the right eye as well.
As it stands, my right eye prescription is now -5.75, and I have astigmatism and delayed retinal response in both eyes. Since my optometrist has to recommend that I wear protective eye gear 24/7, I am required to sign a waiver for her to prescribe contacts. This is because if I sustain damage to my ‘good’ eye, then I will be fully (legally) blind and not be able to do things such as drive or retain a driver’s license.
I managed to catch the lens on camera:
I have another story regarding this ordeal that I will share later, since it is actually a schizo story, so follow to get that update when I post 🙂
~Sahreth ‘Baphy’ Bowden