Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Like Repairing the Holes in Swiss Cheese

     It's official -  my husband can now say that he missed work due to bleeding from his eyeballs. No, really, he can. He had another hemorrhage in his eye, the same eye as two weeks ago. This one was a bit different, though. Last time, it was apparently just a weak(er) spot in the eye and he overexerted himself in some fashion, thus causing a bloody, bulging spot.That was unpleasant all on its own, but now he's hemorrhaging in multiple places within the eye. Sigh.

     Four years ago, he had some work done to repair weak spots in both eyes. This was done independently of the whole lens-replacement extravaganza that took place almost a decade ago. Basically, a laser was used to try and shore up the weak spots that aren't there in a normal person's eyes. That's been fine and dandy up til now, when he's all of a sudden sprung a leak. According to the eye doctor, he's bleeding from the patched areas and they're not quite sure why. (And Lord, do I get sick of that phrase, "We're not quite sure why...").

     For now, the solution is to simply let it ride. My husband will go back to the doctor next week so they can continue to monitor the situation and make a determination as to what, if anything, will be done to correct the problem. The wait-and-see approach is exasperating, no doubt, but it's the path that we've been told we have to take, unfortunately. It's not that I think the doctors could be doing something differently or that they're withholding information or anything like that, it's just the nature of the Marfan's beast.

     So often with disorders like his, there's just not enough information to draw from to make a definitive move in either direction. It's not like cancer, where there are set levels of severity and you do A, B, or C to treat it, depending on what stage in the game you're at. Marfan's affects each person differently and there is no timeline to follow. We don't know how fast his body is going to fail him or to what degree. Hell, for all we know, it could be as bad now as it's ever going to get. Or he could be wheelchair-bound by Christmas. There's no way to tell.

     This latest adventure got me thinking about treatments and how useful they actually are. In the case of my husband's eyeballs, I couldn't help but wonder if maybe the laser patching that was done four years ago was really just an exercise in futility. Think about it - a laser was used to patch up the weakest spots in  already-weak membranes. So even though the weak spots were essentially replaced with a strong patch, what was that patch attached to? Membranes that weren't quite as weak as the bad spots, but would eventually deteriorate into the same condition, thus causing a hole around the patch. Um, what?

     Do you see what I'm getting at? In my weakest times, I can't help but think that it's all just an exercise in futility, because no matter what the doctors do, they're simply patching the weak spots. Nothing will ever be truly fixed, because the foundation upon which they're trying to build is no good. It makes me think of someone trying to build a house upon the sand; it's never going to last, because there's nothing solid and good underneath. Some would say I'm being fatalistic and unnecessarily negative by looking at the situation in such a light, but I say I'm being realistic. I think it's important to understand and accept what is, instead of wishing or hoping for what can't be.

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