Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cataracts - For the Win!!

I've begun measuring things in days:
8 days = moving to a retirement community (this is real)
60 days = Christmas
23 days = Utah v. Arizona at RES with Max and Andrew
28 days = Thanksgiving
388 days = "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"
 224 = days since my transplant, days since my last surgery, days since I started taking prednisone, and days since I've had a dialysis treatment
2 = days since Dr. Winward told me I'm not legally blind, I just have cataracts in both my eyes

 Yep. It's taken a mere 32 weeks, 224  days, for prednisone to form cataracts in my eyes. This is a common condition for someone taking transplant medications, or daily doses of a steroid like prednisone, to develop. I don't think it usually happens this fast though, and it wasn't something I was expecting.

I went to see Dr. Winward, my retina specialist, for the singular reason of having him fill out accommodations paperwork for the LSAT, lest I need to take it again in December. I knew before I went into the test I'd have to guess on a few questions in most of the sections. With the permanent damage in my right retina (here's some advice: don't develop a hole in your retina. It is not fun.) but I was not prepared for the fact that I had to guess on some questions in all the sections to finish on time. I left the test feeling dejected and decided that if I was going to retake it, I'd take it with accommodations for my vision. The vision in my right eye was not "legally blind" status, and my left eye is 20/25, so I didn't apply for accommodations the first time.

The visual acuity test was horrendous. I couldn't see any letters with my right eye. The left eye was better, but not as good as it had been. I was calm on the surface when the tech - who asked if health law is what you do if you want to "sue doctors and stuff" - told me legal blindness is considered at 20/200 and greater, and my right eye was testing at 20/800, but I was completely freaking out on the inside. How am I supposed to make it through law school if I'm legally blind in one eye?? I wanted to be Legally Blonde, not legally blind. I even had to go get my iPhone and listen to the new T. Swift album so I didn't go completely insane waiting for Dr. Winward and pupil dilation.

The doc came in, did the slit lamp exam, and told me verbatim, "You're retinas look great, but you have cataracts in both your eyes." My first thought was Cataracts for the win! because that is an easily fixable problem. If it was something with the retina, that's not as easy, and at this point, there's not much more that can be done. Annnndddd that's when it hit me: I took the October LSAT with a bad case of cataracts in my left eye and legal blindness in the other. I took the LSAT while legally blind in one eye.

Yep. That happened.

I went to see my ophthalmologist this morning so he could check out the problem and schedule me for surgery. I mean, it's been 7 1/2 months so it's probably time for me to go under the knife again anyway. He said the cataract in my left eye is pretty bad, and he's surprised I'm seeing at 20/40 with it, and the clouding behind the lens in my right eye (because I had cataract surgery on that eye in 2005) is the worst he's ever seen. Hence the poor visual acuity. Both doctors agreed I should be fine to take the LSAT in December without accommodations once the cataracts are gone.

So that means I've got some new dates to add to my list:

4 days = left cataract surgery
5 days = post-op appointment
7 days = laser treatment for right eye

That all means one thing: 8 days till I can go back to being Legally Blonde instead of legally blind.


  1. I'm going to start the screenplay for our new movie today: "Legally Blind: The Story of one Woman, Two Eyes, and Three Cataracts." What do you think? I'll send a prototype ASAP.

    1. I'd see that. At midnight, opening night.