ADDENDUM & UPDATE:
Hello to all of Bubbie’s loving family and friends!! Although with nothing but good intention, there were a few inaccurate details in the initial post about Bubbie’s exact diagnosis. He does not have a detached retina, which is a dangerous medical emergency and very different than Bubbie’s diagnosis. For that, we are extremely thankful, however his rare degenerative eye disease called KERATOCONUS is also very serious. We his family and friends have come together and feel that it is of utmost importance to clarify these details in order to keep everyone accurately informed on his progress, and also to clarify Bubbie’s appropriate needs regarding your love, prayer, and support. We ask that you please take the time to read, understand, and educate yourself about this disease and to what extent it is affecting our phenomenal, constantly positive, joy-giving, people- and God-loving Bubbie Gonzales!! Please know that Bubbie’s children and family are doing everything they can to assist him throughout this extensive process. If anyone still has questions after reading the info below, please do not hesitate to send them in a private message.
We ask that if you are able, please remit donations to “Bubbie Gonzales Medical Emergency Fund, Inc.”
Mail donations to:
P.O. Box 98036
Baton Rouge, LA, 70898
Wendy LeBlanc (225) 769-8841
**Rest assured that Bubbie has been completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support from all of us for our many thoughts and prayers. He feels truly blessed and is so grateful for his present condition today, because he realizes that what has happened to his left eye in most cases would have happened to both eyes simultaneously – just as it did in 2010 when both retinas partially tore. So again, for that he is truly grateful, because he knows without a shadow of a doubt that he could currently be blind in both eyes. He continues to proclaim that GOD IS GOOD!!**
**Bubbie’s official diagnosis is known as KERATOCONUS. Previously his astigmatism, extremely thinned and partially torn retinas, and laser treatments, in addition to extreme hearing difficulties and migraines are all factors that have heavily burdened him for quite some time. Many patients like Bubbie are initially unaware they have this disease and see their eye doctor due to worsening symptoms. Keratoconus can end or progress at any time and there is no way to predict how fast or if it will progress at all. Keratoconus may initially occur in one eye only, but like Bubbie it most commonly affects both eyes, one being more severely affected than the other. In Bubbie’s case, it has progressed to the extreme degree – left eye blindness. As a result, Bubbie is in need of a cornea transplant in his left eye, but also due to inevitable deterioration, he will need a cornea transplant in the right eye as well. Bubbie must wear a patch over his left eye, covering an associated ulcer to prevent infection and preserve/prepare for transplant. In the meantime, pending receiving insurance assistance as well as the extensive process of actually obtaining corneas for transplant, Bubbie’s doctors are focused on conserving the health of his right eye.**
The cornea is the window of the eye. Light travels through the cornea past the lens to the retina, and then to the brain to form a visual image. The normal corneal surface is smooth and round in the center, flattening towards its outer edges. Light rays passing through it move in an undistorted manner to the retina to project a clear image to the brain. In patients with Keratoconus the cornea is not only cone shaped, but the surface is also irregular resulting in a distorted image being projected onto the brain. Patients with Keratoconus but specifically Bubbie see best with rigid, gas permeable contact lenses since these provide a clear surface in front of the cornea, allowing the light rays to be projected clearly to the retina. Glasses do not adequately correct the vision since they cannot conform to the shape of the eye. Some people with Keratoconus cannot tolerate the rigid contact lenses, or like Bubbie they reach the point where contact lenses and other therapies no longer provide acceptable vision. The last remedy is a cornea transplant, also known as penetrating keratoplasty (PK or PKP). Even after transplant, he will likely need contact lenses for clear vision.
Bubbie’s signs and symptoms include progressive nearsightedness, irregular astigmatism, distorted and blurred vision, glare, frequent changes in lens prescription, vision that cannot be corrected with glasses, difficulty driving at night, a halo around lights, eye strain, dry eye, headaches, general eye pain, eye irritation, and excessive eye rubbing. The cornea steepens and rubs against the lens causing an abrasion and light sensitivity; for this reason many patients like Bubbie find their contact lenses to be uncomfortable and can only tolerate them for a short period of time. As everyone can imagine, even the simplest activities of daily living become exponentially difficult with this rare condition.
Doctors do not truly know the cause of this disease. They do know, however that genetics (familial factor) play a role in its development, and understanding this role may one day lead to a permanent cure. Although not yet proven, doctors think that environment (eye rubbing, poorly fit contact lenses, allergies, oxidative stress) and the endocrine system (hormones) are also possible causal factors.
For more information, we encourage you to research the following links:
Bubbie Gonzales is in need of our help. He is facing some serious medical issues with his eyesight.