The Man Behind The Curtain: The Wizard of Wills

For a rock star of retinas, Regillo, was not all that imposing. I finally got to see the man after multiple tests by multiple technicians. Towards the end of the gauntlet, I asked the girl if everyone went through so many tests. She confided in me that many people do not get as far as I got. That was certainly encouraging. My inner voice had been telling me I was on the right track. The stars seem to be aligned. However, this was the first outside confirmation that I had chosen a good path.

I had chosen a good path. The stars seem to be aligned.

When the good doctor came into the room, I was studying the scans of my left eye–not quite sure why, but he appeared to be amused. Perhaps this was highly unusual behavior in a patient with Age-Related Macular Degeneration.

Regillo proceeded to challenge me to tell him what I saw. So I told him. The lower area was Bruch’s membrane. This membrane is the connection to the proverbial greater world. It brings nutrients to the RPEs and takes away the garbage. The level above that contained the RPEs. It also contained yellowish piles of eye poop more appropriately known as drusen. Level above that were the photoreceptors. The divot in the top was geographic atrophy and the reason I was there.I might have impressed him. After all, I am more than just an impaired eyeball.

I am more than just an impaired eyeball.

Strange, staccato, conversation followed. I told him I wanted to read the article on the phase 1 results when it came out. It was out and he gave me the citation. I told him I had every intention of being in phase 2. The conversation was a bit of a tennis match. At times we are even finishing each other sentences. I felt as if we were definitely on the same page.

Also, talking to the doctor I felt as if we were in a cat & mouse game and I was the mouse. He seemed overly interested. No, not that way, I felt like I was prey but in a professional, scientific way. It was like he had found a live one. After reading the phase 1 results that were published in Lancet last winter, I figured out why. The mean age of the cohort for the phase 1 study was 77 years of age. The team was planning on doing a 15 year longitudinal follow-up on the study. There was now no confusion in my head as to why Regillo was looking at me as if I were a live one. Hell, in 15 years, with subjects like that, I was going to be the only live one!

The mean age in the phase 1 study was 77 years of age. That means in the 15 years of the study, I was going to be the only live one!

Next: Super Lab Rat

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