How New Yorker, Christine spent her 2017 World KC Day.
by Ashley Ima, NKCF Intern
Spending time with family, educating others, going about a daily routine: these are the types of activities many individuals did on World Keratoconus Day. On the other hand, Christine Daggett, a 56-year-old New Yorker, spent the day recovering from her corneal transplant surgery.
Christine began noticing symptoms of KC 15 years ago, experiencing worsening vision in her “better” eye and not getting adequate correction with soft contacts or glasses. To adjust for her symptoms, Christine tried to plan her activities during daylight, and would cancel if it was snowing or raining heavily. There were times coming home from work where she felt unsafe on the road, as she could not see any details, or sometimes, even the lane demarcations. Reading computer screens and reports became difficult, and she had to rely on her right eye.
Doctors in her rural area blamed it on an astigmatism, and she was not diagnosed with KC until a decade later. Unfortunately, at this stage, her KC was too progressed for cross linking, and attempts at various contacts caused hydrops/adema.
It was no longer safe for Christine to make her long commute after dusk, in snow, or in rain. Because of this, she made the decision to retire from Programs in the NYS prison system last year, one year earlier than planned.
On November 7th, Christine underwent a corneal transplant by Dr. Weisenthal in Syracuse. After recovering locally for a couple of days and driving back for follow up appointments, Christine is pleased to report that her recovery is progressing as expected. Three weeks post-surgery, her eye is still a little light sensitive, irritated, and gets strained quickly. She is using steroid drops, artificial tears for dryness and cover at night.
Presently, she does not feel safe driving yet, and is relying on her family for transport. Already, however, her vision is a little less cloudy. Christine’s next appointment may involve removing a stitch or two if needed to be sure the cornea stays round.
Reflecting on her KC, Christine feels grateful for her family’s support and Dr. Weistenthal. On World KC Day, in addition to recovering, Christine visited her eye doctor, posted her activity on Facebook, and sent a shout out of thanks to her cornea donor. She is especially thankful for donors on the whole, noting that without them, those with KC may not have a chance at functional vision.
Thanks for sharing your KC story, Christine!