Wednesday Melanie visited Dr. Lloyd at the Utah Valley Eye Center. We were concerned about her filmy eye, blurry vision and uneven pupil dilation. Thankfully, the exam determined that her overall eye health/vision is still very good and that the optic nerve does not appear to have been compromised by previous radiation treatments. However, there has been nerve damage on the right side of her face which affects muscle movement and sensation. As a result, her right eye lid is not closing completely (which Melanie is unaware of because she can’t feel it) and her eye has become overly dry and irritated. We are relieved that it is not more serious and can be taken care of with some gel drops to lubricate and relieve dryness. The uneven pupil dilation is also a nerve issue, but it does not affect her vision. The right side of her face is numb and a little droopy (eye and mouth), but we are told that nerves paths can grow back over time.
On Friday, Melanie visited Dr. Ross at the Utah Valley Pulmonary Clinic. He was very kind to squeeze her into his busy schedule on short notice. Melanie has been experiencing shortness of breath, chest congestion and coughing, which often triggers a gag reflex, which in turn leads to her throwing up. We all get a little nervous when she starts coughing and have had to place plastic bins strategically around the house for quick retrieval. When she eats or drinks everything seems to go down the wrong pipe. Swallowing pills (of which there are about 28 @ day) is a trial because it can trigger a coughing fit. At night when she reclines, her breathing can also become raspy.
For these reasons, her oncologist Dr. Rich recommended she visit with Dr. Ross to see if there was fluid or any other difficulties in the lungs. Thankfully, her lungs are clear and oxygen levels good. As a precaution, Dr. Ross ordered an EKG test to see how her heart was doing and confirm that fluid was not building up around the heart. The results have not been reported to us, but we remain optimistic and hopeful that Melanie is making a slow but steady recovery.
Friends and neighbors have continued to be wonderful with their kind visits and service. We appreciate all the thoughtful gestures and encouraging support.