The life of an ordinary woman, who'd been given an extraordinary gift. The Gift of Sight. This is my story and my life.

WOW! Technology has come a very, very long way, indeed!

Read the article (link below). And also watch the video of the man driving the vehicle. (within said article).

BLIND MAN DRIVES TO TACO BELL!

What do you think about this impending possibility?

I say it is a WONDERFUL tool to give to the visually impaired. More independence. More freedom. More “normalcy” like their sighted counterparts.

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To mark the upcoming date of two years and five months post-transplant, I decided it was time (and very long overdue) to give a few pictures of how my eye (and overall skin problem) is doing.

Thankfully, at this time (as of posting) my eye is looking good and my skin has actually cleared up a bit more since the shots below were taken (a week or so ago, but no more than 2 weeks ago).

All of my stitches are gone. And I will always have a “mark” near the top of the area of where my hazel color is. It also runs in to the sclera a bit (white part of the eye). The blood vessels are less now then they were at the time of taking the photos, also.

 

I don’t care what type of transplant you need. Be it a heart, lungs, liver or even a cornea or tendon. Or any other type of transplant that requires “parts” from another person, living or deceased. We as Recipients have an obligation. To our Donor, their family, and to our fellow man.

To pay it forward.

But, because some people have passed along misguided information, and have made ill assumptions regarding the process of Procurement (“harvesting”, which is no longer a term used within the Transplant Community, of a person’s organs, tissues and eyes), and have instilled fear in those that have not one shred of understanding or experience with the processes of Transplantation, articles, like the one that I will provide a link for down below make getting Donor Registration to increase almost impossible.

It’s best to get it from the horse’s mouth, than from some jerk that has not one ideal notion of what Organ/Tissue/Eye Donation is truly all about, and what all is involved. From procurement to actual transplantation.

A friend of mine that I sometimes converse with, Olan B. (last name omitted to protect his privacy) had posted a link to an article from all places, Wall Street Journal. And what I had read within the piece made me angry, hurt and even a tad bit ill. Why? Because the article was wrought with lies, misconceptions and half-truths regarding Donation and what happens (according to it’s author, DICK TERESI).

Here is the link to the article in question… Please read it for yourself, and then feel free to chime in within my blog post’s COMMENTS section. What You Lose When You Sign That Donor Card

Are you angry? Upset? Do you have your blood pressure shooting up? Mine did too, and I was pretty livid myself.

And it’s because of people like Mr. Teresi, that those awaiting a solid organ, tissue or for a cornea, that people are dying, losing their entire eye or their sight (permanently), lose the ability to walk, or not have a good skin graft to help recover from burns, see such a harsh number of Donor Registry/Registration shortages. Because of the fear and the misconceptions about being a Donor.

Thanks to this man, within the comments, I have noted that there are some who have been registered to be a Donor for several years, only to retract and have their Donor heart removed from their state’s ID or Driver’s License because someone “finally had given them the ‘real’ facts of what happens to us if we donate”. Which in turn, brings the Registered Donor rate down. Then that in turn KILLS more people DAILY that are awaiting a new solid organ, or makes someone lose their SIGHT for good.

If that’s how people feel, then I say that the rules to become a RECIPIENT must change. Here’s MY idea…

I for one do NOT believe in forced registration across the board in regards to “Opt-Out” systems. In other words, you are automatically a registered Donor, who must go in to the DMV or online and check the box to OPT-OUT of being a Donor.

But, I feel that if you can TAKE from another person, no matter what it is that is donated to you, then you sure as hell can GIVE BACK! In other words, if you are NOT a donor, then if the time comes for the need of an organ or tissue, then you MUST sign up to become a Donor yourself, as part of your becoming a Recipient.

If you are ALREADY registered to be a Donor when your time comes to need a solid organ or a tissue, then you have NOTHING to worry about. But you will HAVE TO REMAIN A DONOR.

To get the REAL facts regarding Organ/Tissue/Eye Transplantation, please visit Donate Life America, or visit LifeNet. They have the real information. As does the Eye Bank Association of America.

Because of misconceptions and mis-education, stories like the following would NOT be possible…

Cornea transplant rejection has been reversed. NO needle injection to place medication in to the eye (thank God!). Down to four times a day on my steroid drops. Adding another drop once a day, starting next week.

I won’t go for another recheck for another four weeks.

Also, I was told that I am now on my Doxycycline pills for the rest of my life…. But the BIGGEST news of the whole day?

I can NOW WEAR MAKEUP again, after almost three YEARS of not being allowed to do so by the doctor’s orders. And that eye, even with a cataract and a small, partial flat area of cornea, is now seeing 20/20… He said that it is RARE for those like me that have had such a tight and flattened cornea sewn in that way, and especially with all the problems it has had in the past.

Now to teach my oldest child, my daughter, who is twelve (going on 25, haha!!), “Makeup Facts 101” where Mom is concerned. Which means NO SHARING of *anything*. As in NO TAKING MAKEUP FROM MOM. Ever. Or the application brushes/sponges.

With my condition(s), I cannot afford, nor do I want to chance cross-contamination. It can hurt the cornea graft. If not even make it so infected, it rejects.

Plus, I will have to get the tad-bit “pricier” makeups. Especially eyeshadow. Allergen-free (Almay) and in the Mineral Makeup type (light weight, less ‘crap’ ingredients).

NO eyeliner or mascara. Fine by me. At least I can have some color on my lids now.

It’s really funny how the tiniest of things can seemingly add up to be the biggest thing in your life. Especially when it was taken for granted, and you were banished from it for so long, wishing you could have it back.

Over the last two and a half years, I have gone out so many times on “dates” with my husband, and SO badly just wanted to “pretty up” and hide the red splotches when my Rosacea flares up (and zits that come with it at times). I don’t wear it a lot. Only during special occasions and “date” outings.

It has been my LAST goal to reach to get back to “normal” since my transplant. And now, it FINALLY has arrived and I can say that it’s ALL over (for the most part) and my life can be completely as it once was, only with a few minor tweaks and adjustments.

Normal Life, it’s nice to have you back and nice to know that we can once again live in harmony. Because, Normal Life, you have been away for WAY too long.

And thank you to my Donor, for they are my PERFECT match. We have been through a lot together. In a “spiritual” way of course. But physically as well. Because without them and their gift, this day of COMPLETE “normalcy” would never have been possible.

…more than just about Saint Patrick’s Day, wearing your green shirt and a Leprechaun hat. It means SO much more to MILLIONS of us, world-wide. Because, March is National Eye Donor Month in the United State. It is a time to let our donors, known or (in my case) unknown to shine. And to bring […]

This gallery contains 6 photos.

I was considered a “fast healer” . For having such damage and low chance of the graft taking, let alone surviving was deemed by all the medical professionals within my case as a “miracle”. And it indeed WAS a miracle. I could be writing this and only able to see it through one eyeball. Because […]

Mixed Feelings

Let me say right out the chute that I can NOWHERE imagine what it’s like, nor do I honestly want to EVER know what one feels and even maybe thinks from time to time when their life is LITERALLY in another’s hands to live themselves. Because they need a solid organ transplant, and at times, it means that another human being must die and be willing to give of themselves.

I belong to several groups over on FaceBook. Including a few regarding Organ/Eye/Tissue Donation Recipients. And I for the most part enjoy being a part of each and every one of them.

But a situation for one member came up where they maybe were able to FINALLY get the organ that they have tried to receive multiple times. Sadly once again, the person was turned down. But not because there was a fellow recipient in waiting, but because of the potential donor and their status not making the organ viable.

I know that we all have within us the fight or flight. And we have this ultimate need, if not even a “requirement” to survive and defeat death.

But to HOPE that once your potential donor is “just right” after having the plug pulled so that they can give you their organ that you (while I understand, desperately) need, then to be “bummed” and outright say that the heart “waited too long” to expire is pretty damn SICK.

It’s disheartening to me *personally* to know that while (like I keep repeating) that YOU as one needing a solid organ to give you that second chance at living to your fullest potential, that one takes an almost seemingly “joy” in another’s expiration of life.

I’m ALL for wanting to live (or to see, as was my case) again the way you had used to, or at least as close to your normal as you can get. But to pretty much WISH someone dead? Or at least make light of another’s suffering? No wonder there are SO many people in the world who view us RECIPIENTS as vultures.

It’s because of people like the person I’d described up above.

Those that have died and willed their organs, eyes and tissues have given us all a GIFT. It’s not a right or even a “privilege”. They were willing to give us new life, new sight and a better quality of life.

While I know all too well the JOY in knowing that your life or your sight is being saved when you get “the call”, it SHOULD also be a time to give thanks to your donor. And to think of THEIR FAMILY and their suffering.

And if it doesn’t pan out for you with that potential match? Then I say have a little decorum, heart, compassion, and yes, even some COMMON SENSE, as well as decency. As in don’t post about how “bummed” you are about the person not dying quick enough for you to grab their parts.

To be that way, to me PERSONALLY, is morbid, insensitive to the one that died and their family, disgusting (to a point) and just plain disrespectful.

Am I wrong in my thoughts and/or my feelings? Maybe. Maybe not. Again, I have never needed a solid organ. But across the board, no matter the type of transplant we have had, or will need, along with it, comes responsibility in the means of SELF CONTROL, empathy and sympathy.

Because our gifts came at a GREAT price. The price of another’s life.