Long story short, when i was 13 I had karataconus and was given the option to have a corneal transplant. I took that option and here we are over 10 years later. I am currently recovering from my 3rd corneal transplant and I have had multiple other surgeries on both eyes, including 3 glaucoma valves, 2 cataract surgeries and some laser treatments.

Like I said, I'm recovering from my 3rd corneal transplant right now, so I'm sitting at home bored and figured some people may have questions for me. Be it about my previous surgeries, my current one, recovery, or just life in general.

I'm pretty much willing to tell all, so go ahead and ask away!

My Proof: Here's a picture of my most recent surgery.http://i.imgur.com/JF7Y2mx.jpg If more proof is needed, I'm sure I can provide some

Comments: 86 • Responses: 35  • Date: 

indeeds17 karma

So you've got your sight again.......I see.....

JipJopJones23 karma

I do too!

ThisBadUsername12 karma

Have you seen your first pair of tits

JipJopJones20 karma

Haha, yes. Both in person and on the inter-webs.

pearrun57 karma

were you surprised when you were able to see at what the world looked like? what did things look like in your head when you were blind

JipJopJones15 karma

I suppose the title was a little misleading. When I was young, I was able to see. Quite well actually, up until I was about 10 years old. Then my vision started to decline. When I was 13 I had my first corneal transplant which brought my vision in my left eye back up to usable levels.

I didn't actually go fully blind until I was about 19, when my corneal transplant in my left eye rejected and because I had no work done on the right eye up to that point it was also blind.

I was blind for about a year. During that time I could make out colours and vague shapes with my right eye, but I could only see whiteness out of my left.

When I had my second transplant (on my right eye) to give me some vision back, it was very strange. I had honestly, on only about a year, forgotten what it was like to see. Especially face recognition. I found (and to a degree still find) that to be the most difficult part. The other odd thing was because I had only seen out of my left eye for the past 6 years, and now I was seeing out of my right eye, I had a tendency to walk into things for the first few months because of the change of perspective.

Hope that answers your question... there's kind of a lot of backstory to be told, so I'm I'll try my best to answer the questions without writing out a novel in the progress.... haha

Pollyannarchist3 karma

First of all, I am going to think of all you've gone through when I get my next eye injection in a couple weeks. (Wet macular degeneration - I'm an oldster.) It's so great that you've gotten vision back. I'm curious about what kind of assistive technology you used when you were blind for about a year, and if it effected you emotionally during that time. And if that's too personal of a question, just ignore that.

JipJopJones3 karma

My grandfather had macular degeration. It's a risk for me as I get older and I really hope that I can avoid it. Good luck to you sir! Thanks for the thoughts

During the time I was blind, I got kinda depressed. There was a chance that my vision would return and I kinda held onto that hope for too long. I look back on that time and I just think of all the time I wasted in denial. Live and learn though I suppose.

I didn't really use many assistive technologies. I did used books on tape, and I still have my special library card for the extended collection. Part of it was because I was in denial that I was actually going to stay blind and I didn't want to accept the help available to me.

I did eventually get a few devices (not sure what they are called) to help magnify books and such so that I could read, but I didn't use them often. I preferred the "hold the book 2 inches from my face" method.

stealingyourpixels1 karma

My dad has it :(

JipJopJones1 karma

Best of luck to your dad :)

BaluePeach6 karma

I have no questions, just an "I feel ya" .Because I could have written your statement..... I got a fish hook slung in my eye.... 3 surgeries and 3 lasers and one implant later was legally blind..... And wearing coke bottle bottom glasses.... Gave up my glasses and made my eyes work... Increased vision from 20/400 to 20/80.... Just by not being lazy with glasses.....

JipJopJones7 karma

I'm sorry to hear that. I feel like I've been through so much, it's changed me as a person.

I'm lucky in that I can see almost 20/20 out of my right eye with glasses, but what it took to get there I would not wish on my worst enemy. - It's been 10 years in the making.

Bagrationi3 karma

what was it like seeing colour for the first time?

JipJopJones2 karma

As I said to someone else. I suppose I made the title slightly misleading by accident. I could see, then I went blind, but now I can see again.

However, that all being said, being able to see again is excellent! Now I just hope that I can get both eyes working!

Tyrannosaurus_Bollox2 karma

As someone who has been through the mill when it comes to eye problems too, congratulations! It's so amazing when your sight gets back to some semblance of normality.

JipJopJones1 karma

Thanks! Really appreciate it! Mind if I ask what it is you've had done/been through?

Tyrannosaurus_Bollox2 karma

Glaucoma surgery - Ahmed valve installed multiple steroid injections to fight infections in the rear of the eyes, three cataracts removed (one reoccurred), ocular lenses replaced with silicon lenses, air bubbles removed.

no surgeries for 10 years now though! Just constant monitoring of eye pressures.

JipJopJones1 karma

Sorry to hear that. My story is pretty similar actually. My first transplant caused my glaucoma, which caused cataracts. I've had a barvelt (sp?) valve and an ahmed valve put in my left eye. An ahmed valve in my right and cataract surgeries on both, including multiple laser treatments to clear up the artificial lens from fogging up. When my Dr. did the latest surgery he actually took the artificial lens out and cleaned it up along with removing the membrane that had formed in behind it. (this all on top of the transplant)

Good luck with your pressures! And here's to another 10 years and beyond! Cheers!

Tyrannosaurus_Bollox2 karma

You're not in Ireland, are you?

JipJopJones1 karma

Nope. BC, Canada.

Tyrannosaurus_Bollox2 karma

Ah, cool. There's one surgeon on the planet who's the avant-garde in eye surgery, so just checking. He does get around a bit though. Did you ever have the air bubble problem? Worst fucking pain I ever felt. Glad to hear you're doing well though! Enjoy your newfound eyesight.

JipJopJones2 karma

Never had that issue. I do have a rather large bubble on the lower part of my left eye where the valve drains into... but air doesn't get in there. That does sound painful.

Tyrannosaurus_Bollox2 karma

It wasn't as good as a slap on the belly with a wet fish, that's for sure.

JipJopJones3 karma

haha, I don't know about you, but at one point (before I had the second valve put in my left eye) I had my pressure spike up to about 40 and that was the most pain I've ever been in my entire life.

Eye pain in general is pretty terrible.

jenniferelaine2 karma

1) Why is your eye blue outside of the iris?

2) Were you knocked out for the operations? If you were awake, what was it like? (I want to get Lasik, but am freaked out about the thought of being awake, Valium or no!)

3) Do you need any corrective lenses (contacts, glasses)? Edit: Saw you wear glasses. What is your vision w/o glasses?

JipJopJones1 karma

1) I'm actually not sure. I've been asked this before and I don't know the reason. I think it has something to do with my cataracts and the lens replacement I have had in that eye.

2) When I was younger I was put under for the surgeries, but for my more recent ones I have been awake. It's a very odd feeling. They give you a local anesthetic so you don't really feel much, though you can make out the occasional sensation/pressure. They still drug you up pretty good though, so your sense of what is actually going on is a bit warped. It's like being really really high.

The worst thing I've ever had to do was get a six inch needle put in my eye while in the Dr's office. Which meant no happy drugs, fully awake, and only very basic local anesthetics.

3) Ya, I wear progressive lenses for my right eye, and assuming all goes well with this surgery I will eventually need a prescription lens for my left eye too. I can't wear contacts due to the high risk nature of my eyes.

jenniferelaine2 karma

It looks really cool, whatever it is!

OMG. I've got the willies just reading that. The one thing I can't watch on medical shows is the giant needle through the eye.

JipJopJones2 karma

It still gives me the willies seeing stuff like that... but it tends to effect other people more, so I like to pull out the "Hey! I've done that!" haha

Jaksuhn2 karma

Is that your natural colour eye ? It looks awesome. (Green or blue ? Colourblind here, I do not know which one it is)

How has being able to see better affected your life, and how was not being able to see affecting your life ?

JipJopJones2 karma

My natural eye colour is green. However (in my understanding) due to cataracts and the subsequent surgery I have a blue ring around the outside of my iris.

Honestly, my vision or lack there of hasn't really been the main issue. Over the years it's been the instability of my vision that caused the most grief.

In highschool it wasn't so bad, if I needed something done I could just take a few weeks off and make it up pretty easy. But since graduating I've had to quit multiple jobs and drop out of school 3 times because my vision had become unstable.

That all being said, my current employer has been really supportive and I'm super happy that I was able to take time off for this rather than having to just up and quit.

emptyitis2 karma

A close relative of mine was diagnosed some years ago with karataconus although he has not required a transplant. I was under the impression that once a transplant is done, the persons vision returns to normal etc. - is that not the case?

JipJopJones1 karma

Normally yes. But I just have really shitty eyes and my Dr didn't know this at the time.

Due to complications, including developing cataracts and glaucoma, I have had to have multiple other surgeries.

The surgeries done in my right eye, after all the trials that took place in my left eye when I was young, have all been very successful and I hope they will stay that way.

HekticLobster2 karma

i know this is a broad question but i will try. 1) how long was the time gap before you realized that you had lost a bit of vision when you were 13-19. e.g would you wake up and see lees shades of light. 2) during school, were you looked down upon or bullied because of your condition?

JipJopJones1 karma

1) It was very gradual. I would start to notice my glasses not working quite so well. Then I would go to the Dr. He would confirm. Something would be done to fix it. That being said, when I actually went fully blind when I was 19 it was quite sudden. It happened over the course of a weekend. I woke up friday, tried to drive to work, decided I couldn't because my vision wasn't great. Saturday it was gone. Sunday was the same. The unfortunate part was I should have called the Dr immediately on Friday, but I had an appointment for monday, so I just left it.

2) No not really. I had to give up a lot of the sports I did as a kid because of my vision and the risks involved with eye trauma. However I had a pretty tight knit group of friends and they have always been very supportive. The one thing I would say, is I was, and still am a bit self conscious about the way my eyes look and my ability to recognize people, so I'm a bit of an introvert.

astronautsaurus2 karma

Did they remove your lens, and if so can you use this super power to see ultraviolet light?

JipJopJones1 karma

They did remove my lens. Alas they gave me an artificial one, so I cannot see UV light.

Does that even work?

astronautsaurus2 karma

There was a popular TIL thread today on it. Linked to this article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aphakia

JipJopJones1 karma

Hmmm, interesting.

Myhouseisamess2 karma

What does legally blind even mean? I'm serious I never understood this, blind is ... darkness.... legally blind is????

JipJopJones1 karma

Being "legally blind" I believe is defined by having less than 80/20 vision. I'm not 100% sure on that though. As for myself, at the height of my blindness I could only make out slight colours and movements. No words, no shapes, mostly just white

EternalTeaTime2 karma

Which movie, or movies are on your to watch list now that you can see again?

JipJopJones2 karma

I've been pretty lucky with my movie watching abilities. I haven't really not been able to watch TV at any point. During the time I was fully blind for a year I couldn't, but that was a while ago, so I'm pretty caught up.

I'm just stoked for the next episode of Marvel's: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.

meattsauce1 karma

How can you say you're bored after being blind for so long?

JipJopJones1 karma

I was blind for a year, about 4 years ago. So I've had an active, non-blind lifestyle for quite a while.

Now I'm not allowed to physically exert myself, I'm not allowed to work, or drive. I pretty much have to sit at home all day. It's pretty boring.


What was it like? Was it like pitch black?

JipJopJones1 karma

No. Light was still able to pass through my cornea, but because it was totally swollen and essentially scar tissue, I could only see whiteness.

95regenrator1 karma

How much did it cost for all the surgeries?

JipJopJones6 karma

Luckily, being Canadian, it's mostly all covered. When I had my lens replaced I (my parents) did pay $500 to have a more high quality lens put in.

stefanocorona121 karma

What do you see when you're blind? Black, White, immagination, etc?

JipJopJones1 karma

Because my blindness was caused by a corneal rejection (basically my cornea swelled up and it could no longer refract light properly) I could see whiteness, with the occasional globular movement or colour.

ineffablePMR1 karma

Does it suck not getting to park SUPER close to everything now?

edit: To avoid confusion I am, of course, assuming someone drove you places previously.

JipJopJones2 karma

Haha, unfortunately I never got a disabled parking pass. I could however drive even with the sight out of my one eye.

DeMoCo811 karma

Can you see ultraviolet now?

JipJopJones1 karma

Alas, no.

papasmurf8261 karma

As an aspiring ophthalmologist, cases like this get my nipples hard. What was the reasoning by having multiple corneal transplants? Was the new tissue just not taking or is this common given the disorder? What was your recovery time/how long after your surgeries were you able to see well for the first time? Thanks, and glad to hear you have the gift of sight back!

JipJopJones2 karma

It took six years for the first transplant to reject. During which time I developed glaucoma, cataracts, and had surgeries to help correct both. I then had surgery on my right eye. I can see almost 20/20 out of my right eye with glasses.

As for the length of time after surgery before I could see. I don't remember how long it took the first time. But I think it was a few weeks. The second transplant (on my right eye) I could see after only a couple days... however the transplant I am currently recovering from (the second transplant on the left eye) It's been almost 3 weeks and I still can't see very well. The Dr says it is getting better. It's just taking it's damn time. haha.

Hope that answered your questions. If not, feel free to ask more!

whfsdude1 karma

1) How fast did you initially progress? For me it was a matter of months from being able to see perfectly (no prescription) to RGP with a steep cone.

2) At what point did you decide that a corneal transplant was needed? (Eg. scarring, lenses would pop out, couldn't correct vision good enough)?

Keratoconus in both eyes here. I was getting close to the point there RGPs wouldn't work.

I had corneal collagen cross-linking (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corneal_collagen_cross-linking) done two years ago and can now see pretty well without RGPs. Although I do wear RGPs for 20/20.

Edit: Most importantly the cross-linking stopped the progression.

JipJopJones2 karma

1) It took about a year to get really bad. However I started to notice a decline in vision when I was in grade 5, but it took my optometrist at the time two visits to notice anything wrong. After that we played around with hard contacts for about a year until it got way to bad and they were no longer a viable option. I had surgery in April of grade 7. So all in all it was about a 2 or 2.5 year process from noticing my vision drop, to getting my first surgery.

2) We tried the hard contact solution, but they started to just pop out of my eyes because my corneas were so steep they couldn't fit properly. At that point transplant was the only real option left.

That seems like a really interesting procedure. I had never heard of it before. Seems like it's a little late for me now though, being that I have had transplants in both my eyes... haha.

Good to hear that it managed to work for you! I'm just waiting for minority report style eye transplants. Those seemed to hold up pretty good considering he got them done in some shady back alley.

Mohaan1 karma

Not a question, just a comment. Given that you've been blind for over 10 years, do not see Norbit. Do see Avatar.

Cheers and congrats.

JipJopJones1 karma

I never did see avatar, when it came out I could see with one eye. But because all the screenings were in 3D I never bothered.

I'll probably watch it eventually.

Mohaan1 karma

Not to be an Avatar fanboi (which I'm not), the story is a bit weak but the visuals are breathtaking. If you get the chance to see it at a cinema do, but failing that, a really big TV with good quality sound and image. It'll be a pleasure for your new eyes.

JipJopJones1 karma

It's definitely something on the list. I'll check it out!

myweedun1 karma

How many fingers am I holding up?

JipJopJones2 karma

Damn... I can't see them.

pumpkinrum1 karma

Are people treating you differently now that you can see?

JipJopJones1 karma

Well, I haven't been out much since the operation...I'm still in recovery. The part I'm most interested in will be when my eye straightens out (it currently points off to the side without my control)

exploiting1 karma

1) When you are blind do you see a colour? Is it just black? 2) How incredibly happy were you to see again? 3) Why did you have 3 transplants? do they just deteriorate over time? 4) what was the one face you were happiest to see again? and who would it be now if it happened again?

JipJopJones1 karma

Some Colour. I mostly just see white. I could see the occational colour or movement, but I couldn't really make out what I was looking at, even if it was right up close.

I'll be was very happy. It meant I could get back to life and living. When I was blind I spent a lot of time depressed. Once my vision returns in both eyes, I'll be even happier! Soon hopefully, just have to keep positive that this operation is going to work out.

I had 3 transplants because I had one on my left eye when I was 13. Which then rejected due to complications when I was 19 (Insert a period of 1 year being blind) then I had another transplant on my right eye, which was very successful and I can see almost 20/20 out of. And the 3rd was the current one, which I am just now recovering from, which was done on my left eye to correct the original transplant which rejected..

Hmmm, that's an interesting question. I'm not sure. Probably my close friends and family were all pretty equal. Their faces kind of become blurry caricatures of themselves after not being able to see them for a year.

Totoplay1 karma

After this experience, do you think that the sense of sight is the most important? Or the one that you enjoy the most?

JipJopJones1 karma

I think in the world we live in, sight is certainly the most used sense. We've built our entire society around the fact that we can see. I highly recommend reading the book "Blindness". I forget the authors name, but it's essentially about everyone in the world going blind all at the same time. Very interesting.

That being said, to lose any of the five senses would be a detriment. Sight and Hearing are probably the two most important IMO.