At the end of 2018, I had surgery to remove my thyroid as a final resolution to Graves Disease. The symptoms from Graves Disease are all gone, but I will forever be on Synthroid thyroid medication.
The Graves Eyes Disease (GED) has, however, worsened. I am seeing some of the best ocular specialists at Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia. To reduce the swelling and pressure in my eyes, we have started a treatment of high dose steroids and twelve days of radiation treatment at the Bodine Center For Radiation Therapy. The doctors are concerned that pressure could crush the optic nerves and lead to blindness. We will re-evaluate once this course of treatments is complete. This disease has been a new challenge for me since last year when I was dealing with Graves Disease. I have limited my drive time, and I’m commuting to Iselin for work, using the New Jersey Transit North East Corridor line between Princeton Junction and Metro Park. Bhavna has been helping out by doing all the driving to Philadelphia for my appointments.
However, my Graves Eye Disease worsened to the point where my eye specialist at Wills Eye in Philadelphia strongly advised doing an intense treatment. After six weeks of radiation therapy and high dose steroids, my eyes “look” better than two months ago. The radiation and high dose steroid reduced the pressure and lower the risk of blindness. However, I don’t feel much better. I still have proptosis (bulging eyes) and my eyelids don’t close properly. I wake up with dry eyes and spend most of the day using lubricating eye drops or gel. Dust and dirt get on my cornea so my eyes often feel gritty. This is especially frustrating when using a computer and at work where attention to detail and concentration is necessary.
In July (2019), I had an appointment to see an orbital reconstruction surgeon. He has determined that orbital decompression surgery will help reduce symptoms in the short term, then at a later date, I can do orbital reconstruction surgery to fix the appearance of the eyes. My orbital decompression surgery is in September.
SI had eye surgery on September 9th. The surgery was successful and I am home recovery. After a few days, the swelling is down and most of the bloody eye look is gone. My face no longer looks like a rough night of fight club. I have some double vision which the surgeons say will either correct itself or require additional surgery. Because of the vision, I have not been able to drive to work. Currently, I use a ride-sharing service to get to Princeton Junction Station, take the train to MetroPark station, and then another ride-sharing car to the Iselin office. I am not comfortable taking public transportation to Wall Street (car to train to another train to the ferry).
Shaan is in the third year of college at Rutgers University and has switched majors from psychology to social work. I hope we are not in for a 5-year degree. Fortunately, Shaan's Honors College scholarship applies regardless of major.
Kiran has been accepted into the Classics program at Oberlin College, one of her first-choice schools. She has also been awarded a four-year academic scholarship. Kiran is super excited, and we are very proud of her accomplishments. She started her freshman year at Oberlin in August.
Kiran had been accepted into Drew University with a full four-year academic scholarship, the Baldwin Honors Scholarship, through Drew’s Baldwin Honours Program. She also qualified for the Francis Asbury Scholarship: Annual Scholarship. We are so very proud of her accomplishment. However, Kiran later decided to accept the offer from Oberlin College.
My father passed away around 5 AM EST on Sunday, 7th April 2019. Because I have started the course of treatment for swelling caused by Graves Eye Disease, I was not able to attend Dad's funeral in St. Vincent. I choose to write a parting post to my Dad that I hope to honour his memory.
I no longer consult as a security architect for the New Jersey Courts. My work on the architecture for the credit card processing systems to meet PCI DSS requirements is complete. I am now consulting for CLS Bank in New York. I joined the information security team at CLS Bank as an information security architect in June 2018. I work out of their Wall Street office near Pier 11, and Metro Park (Iselin) office a few days a week with two days working remotely.
It’s an open-plan office with zero quiet rooms. The kind that Harvard business studies and psychologist think are a terrible idea for people who require intense focus to work. I am making it work. Headphones.
Bhavna and I took one item off our bucket list last year. We booked a hot air balloon ride over Letchworth, and we spent a weekend at Seneca Lake, hiking along the trails lining some beautiful waterfalls; we had so much fun on that trip. Our only regret is that we did not do these types of excursions with our kids when they were younger.
For 2019, we are planning a few more trips to visit family in Florida and North Carolina.
I purchased an iPhone and started a 365-day photography project. I will be posting one photograph a day.