Tuesday, April 08, 2014

an eye for an eye

This is the last photograph of Lupe with her old prosthetic eye.

It is not particularly flattering.  That is the fault of the photographer.  But it is an historic shot.

I wish I could show you a photograph with her new eye.  But that will have to wait for about a week or so.

As is so often the case in these situations, there is good news and there is bad news.  Let's get the bad news out of the way first -- because it was not unanticipated.

I told you in the eye of the beholder that Marie, one of the residents of the hotel where Lupe works, noticed that Lupe's eye did not fit well.  In Marie's experience, that meant that the eye socket had changed -- making the prosthetic a bad fit.

The dcotor who examined Lupe concurred.  Like any hole in the body surrounded by bone, the bone will begin to close in on the space that was once filled.  You have probably experienced the same sensation following a tooth extraction.  Eventually the bone heals, and there is no hole.

That is what has happened to Lupe's eye.  The bone at the top of the socket has tried to close the hole.  In effect, her prosthetic was ready to be pushed out.

That is the extent of the bad news.  If it were truly bad, the doctor would have simply told us that the socket could not accept a prosthetic.  And poor Lupe would be left looking like the Hathaway shirt man.

But the news is not totally bad.  In fact, there are two options.  The first -- and easiest -- was to fit Lupe with a much smaller prosthetic.  She would have an eye that fit in the socket.  But it would not quite fit with the rest of her face.

The other option is a week of treatment and exercises to allow a larger prosthetic to be installed.  That means regular out-of-the office exercises for Lupe and about two hours each day of what amounts to occupational therapy to attain as much flexibility as possible.

The doctor was quite frank in her assessment.  Each patient brings enough individual factors into the office that she cannot guarantee this course will be successful.  If it isn't, the smaller prosthetic is always an option.

After considering her choices, Lupe chose what I thought was the correct option.  To, at least, try to loosen up the socket enough for a larger prosthetic.  Her first course of treatments began today.

The doctor also noted that the interior of the socket has suffered some wear damage.  She will also work on that this week.

Lupe now has a bandage over the eye where her prosthetic once reigned.  When we went to lunch today, she donned a pair of large sunglasses.  We teased her that she looked like a telenovela star.

As for me, I walked a portion of the length of Reforma back to my hotel.  I needed something other than another taxi ride.

But I will keep that tale for another day.  This week is for Lupe.

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