Sunday, March 09, 2008

Recurrent Corneal Erosion (Updated)

Few of you may not know but for the second half of last week, I once again injured my cornea and was once again without my eyesight for a few days.

Fortunately for me I had already drafted out my previous entry on Mudah and all I had to do was ask someone to publish it for me so many of you probably didn't know I was gone.

Well.... so it happened .. AGAIN.

This is the 3rd time I scratched my cornea in 8 months and each time I do it, I go through a lot of pain and lose my eyesight for a few days which is really great for catching up on loss sleep but really frustrating if you have plenty of work to do.

Clearly.. the helmet I wear to sleep really ain't helping.So I went back to my eye specialist.

The minute I took my first step into his room he said
"AHH..... Mr Tiah... nice to see you again."

I replied
"Yes Doc... this is becoming a habit. Do you happen to have one of those Coffee Bean kind of loyalty cards where I come for 12 treatments and get the 13th one for FREE?"The Doc laughed it away and got down to looking at my injury.

After 5 minutes of examining my eye, he said
"I think you suffer from this thing called a Recurring Corneal Erosion".

Naturally my reply was
"Doc... English... please!"

and he went on to explain that my injury was really nothing to do with me scratching my eyes but more like a disorder where the outer layer of my cornea fails to attach properly to the underlying layer hence causing some kind of friction.

Anyway I wikipedia'ed "Recurrent Corneal Erosion" later on and found out.
Recurrent corneal erosion is a disorder of the eyes characterized by the failure of the cornea's outermost layer of epithelial cells to attach to the underlying basement membrane (Bowman's layer). The condition is frequently painful because the loss of these cells results in the exposure of sensitive corneal nerves.

Painful eh??? YOU DON'T SAY!!!

Anyway as always I'm always a guy about solutions. Not about what happened before but what we can do to stop it from happening again so I asked the Doc
"Doc... so how ah? How to make sure I dun kena like this again?"

And you know what the Doc said?

He replied
"Oh you can't.. it's going to happen like that pretty often for the rest of your life."

I let out a courtesy laugh after that... you know.. the Doctor just told a joke and when the doctor tells a joke.. YOU LAUGH. Simple as that right?

You know there was once a case where someone went for a Kidney transplant and the Doctor operating on him mistakenly removed the wrong kidney?

He removed the kidney that was working instead of the kidney that wasn't.
Do you know why? It's not because the Doctor is an idiot. Doctors are all smart.

It's because the patient didn't laugh at the Doctor's jokes when he was telling it.

So when in surgery the Doctor decided to take matters in his own hands and when the shit hits the fan, all he has to say is
"Whooops... wrong kidney... sorry ah! They both look the same to me."

Anyway back to my Doctor. My Doc replied
"Hey I'm not joking you know. I'm serious".

What was I supposed to say to that?

If this happens say even 3-4 times a year, that means I'll be out of action for say 16 days each year with certainty. Hell if I were working somewhere, I wouldn't even have enough sick leave for me to take because of this!

And think of what my clients like Desmond here would think if I were MIA for so many days in a year.

Probably something along the lines of
"Mahaii... this Timothy always pretend that his cornea kena scratch to escape work. I bet now he's not at the hospital but instead at some Strip Club enjoying himself."

So I sat up from my seat and asked the Doc again
"WHAT?! So there is NOTHING I can do about this?!"

The Doc said
"Nope. Well we could do a surgery where we use a needle to poke your cornea or even scrape off your entire cornea and wait for it to grow a new one back... but even then it still might not solve the problem".
I edged closer to the Doctor, looked him in eye and said
"So you're saying... I can go through a surgery where I have you or someone poke my eye with a needle many many times to remove the entire outer layer, which sounds painful as hell to me... but even then it may not solve the problem?"

Tomorrow morning I am flying to Singapore... to see another Doctor there... for a second opinion.

Hey after seeing the first few comments of this entry I think it's drawing a bit of a somber mood. I am touched that you guys are concerned about me but at the same time this is not too big a deal okay everyone so don't worry about me.

There are no long term effects of this, what this means is just that every now and then my eye will hurt and I won't be able to open both my eyes for a few days while undergoing treatment. After that... like now it'll just heal back again.
Like now.. see? I just took this picture a few minutes ago.

All healthy and all.. so don't so somber okay.. cheer up a little bit...


electronicfly said...

poor boss... hopefully there's another option! get well soon!

chanraymond said...

Hopefully the docs in Spore will have a better answer to that..

Christine said...

Get Well Soon.. May you have a better solution after consulting another doctor.. Hope there is a way to solve this problem of urs.. Take care

~YM~ said...

Boss, sure u not OK, but get enough rest la.

Just checked the Wiki-Wiki that u surfed. It can't be totally cured but you can reduce the frequency it happens. Just a summary here from Mr Wiki, just in case if you find it 'unenglish':

1) Avoid smoke that irritates your eye (cigarrette smoke, eg)
2) Drink more water, less alcohol
3) Don't sleep too late (this one very hard for boss)
4) Sleep on 1 side of body and not on the back
5) Avoid sleeping in air-cond cos it'll dry your eyes.
6) Wake up with eyes closed, so that either you put ointment or rub your closed eyelids in circular motion to "unstick the eyelids (so that enough tears are produce to lubricate the eyes) before trying to open them.

So as long as your eyes are not dried, you'll be able to prevent the weakly attaching outer cornea from being teared off by easily.

Boss Stewie said...

fei: yeah i hear there are some options but so far no full proof ones. oh well. we're all not perfect and we have our own faults.. i guess this is mine

little: hope so too

christine: :P thank u christine

ym: drink less alcohol?? WHAT?!?!

David Cheong said...

Yes boss, less alchohol! So this saturday don't let us catch you with alcohol in hand ok!

Hope you get well soon and rest more! Don't stare at the monitor and blog whole day hahaa!

Super Gentleman said...

boss... take desmonds idea on d "donation to stewie" fund... den get a cornea transplant... go find out which animal has d best eyesight, den upgrade urs from it mahh... LoL...

XiangMei said...

Don't worry tim!
You will not feel the pain when the doc. poke your eyes cause u already faint bcoz of chloroform worry man,everything gonna be fine!

ZB said...

hahaha.. boss why so swei wan ?

Debs said...

All the best, Tim. Hopefully the doc in Sg will give a better diagnosis.

Erin said...

go to NUH... its better

Jason Lioh said...

Does that mean we get to make fun of your eyes when it happens the next time? :P

Man, I am so mean. Haha!

des said...

Stewie, now guilty of making fun of you.. i was just havin some fun wif ya boss.. ive done some research on your prob and i think you could buy some artificial tears before you get professional help in SG

coz according to this article

Artificial tears are recommended to keep the cornea moist

ladybird said...
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ladybird said...

I recommend you go Mt Elizabeth or Gleneagles and look for Dr Heng Lee Kwang.He is good....

Here's the link,check it out.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you are ok!

Anonymous said...

tie your hands up next time when you sleep..=P

Linora 'Aronil' Low said...

boss you know i really dunno whether to laugh anymore at this, i mena as much as you tell it in joking manner. Quite the painful to hear you have to put up with that for the rest of your life. Hope you won't have as many bad eye days for the rest of the year... or life for that matter.

Unknown said...

er... at least you know you're not unconsciously scratching your eyes everyday and deliberately harming your eyes.. :D

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Nicole said...

hey.. seriously, you got me worried that day.

i hope you are fine now.

Unknown said...

Hey Tim, long time i didnt see your blog. Hope this problem doesnt recur too often. It sucks being in that state especially when it happens out of the blue. Glad you are better!


McGarmott said...

Heh, we can suffer together. I have gout before I'm supposed to, I get it like 3-4 times a year and lose a week each time. (Imagine all the lectures I get to miss back in uni days, woohoo!)

peggy said...

since you are alright now, guess you dont need a get well soon.... :p but really, i still dont get how someone can actually accidentally scratch their own eyes while sleeping... will an eye patch help?

pinksterz said...

boss, just take it as a period cycle but 3-4 times a year only :P

or maybe it is a sign that you look too long at the computer!!! xD

Simon Seow said...

Just pray that your eyes will be ok this coming Saturday.

Anonymous said...

boss take care ya... hope for miracles to happen

meow said...

take care, mr.tim!

tomato said...

Hope s'pore Dr will give u a better treatment option and do take care!

Boss Stewie said...

David: haihhh… kenot lah.. kenot larr!!!

Super: hahahaha eagle.. no dowan.. I like the eyesight I have right now… I’m happy with it

Xiangmei: uhmm no.. doc say I msut be awake.. maybe they’ll give me anesthetic but still I’ll have to watch him poke my eye

Esther: HAIHH!!! SNIFF

Debs: yeah hopefully

Erin: eh I going to the national eye center

Jason: haha go ahead and make fun.. sniff

Des: yeah dude… I’m already using them artificial tears.

Ladybird: but I already booked with national eye center in Singapore wor

Wind: yeah thanks dude

Joy: hahaha it’s nothing to do with my hands!!!!

Aronil: haih.. okok thanks linora.. u’re so nice

Em: yah.. whew.. for a minute there I thought I must be some kind of idiot

Nico: thanks Nicole

Edward: yeah thanks dude.. will get better I hope

Mcgarmott: ohh poor uuuuu

Peggy: yeah it will I think.. eye patch that is

Pink: yeah… i spend too much time on the computer

Simon: haha I will I will

Cbb: thanks dude

Serena; thanks serena

immi said...

hey i hope u find a cure soon. take care alright?

.kitty said...

get well soon,
take care ^^

amorosanoj said...

I have suffered from this condition for a couple of years. I did not like the options so I learned on my own..between the ointment (Muro 128)? and trying to remember to rub my eye lids gently before opening my eyes, I have less episodes..and if it does happen..if I immediately keep my eyes closed for about 10-15's better..hope this helps

Anonymous said...


I don't do this too often...and hopefully you don't think this weird...but I have the same problem - a recurrent corneal abrasion and was 'google-ing' to find out more info about it. Hence I landed on your page...

I would re-tear my cornea about 2 times a month and finally opted for the PTK laser surgery after a year of the agony (I also did stromal puncture surgery)! Since I have had done this...I haven't had any issues.

Re-tearing your cornea is very painful so I figured I would pass this on to you because there is something your doc can do about it.

Good luck,