Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Post-op days 3, 4 & 5

Back down to normal font size :)

Day 3:

Today was nothing like yesterday, thankfully! I didn't have that overwhelmed feeling/ gushing tears that made my eyelids slam shut involuntarily ... my vision is back to what it was the first day after surgery. Some blurriness, pretty hazy, but I can tell that my distance vision is about as clear and in focus as close-up. Occasionally my eyes have been a little watery, but nothing on the scale of things yesterday. I hardly had to use any artificial tears yesterday because I was making plenty of my own, but today I'm back to using them about every hour. Still no pain. I'm looking forward to my post-op appointment tomorrow - I think I'm making progress, but it'll be nice to see what the Dr says.

Day 4:

I woke up with pretty dry eyes from the bandage contact lenses ... had to use artificial tears as soon as I got up. It feels just like when I would leave my contacts in for too long - but definitely not as bad as when I every slept in them accidentally.
I had my follow-up post-op appointment today, and he was really surprised at how fast I've been healing. My epithelium has already completely regenerated! From reading other blogs on PRK recovery, I didn't expect to be there till the end of the first week. Dr Clary said this is an easier and faster recovery than is typical, but that's what several people have been praying for, so I'm not extremely surprised :) He also said that I'm unlikely to have much more pain/ discomfort in the recovery process; what you have on that second/third day pretty well indicates how the rest of the recovery will be.
My vision on day 1 was 20:80 (R) and 20:125 (L) - today it had improved to 20:40 (R) and 20:70 (L). I'm getting there..! He is leaving the bandage contacts in until my next appointment at the end of the week, because it can cause discomfort to take them out and he wants my corneas to have as long as possible to 'smoothen out' before taking the lenses out and having my eyelids blinking back and forth against my corneas. I was a little disappointed that they're staying in for the rest of the week because they're starting to feel dry ... but the drops help a lot, so I guess I'll make it. And I'm not light sensitive any more, so that helps too.
I asked about driving - he said yes at first, and then backed out and said wait another day or two and if I feel up to it then go ahead. We went out for dinner tonight (Mark drove!) and I could read the menu without having to bring it up to my face - sweet :) Fine print is still giving me trouble, but I can read the computer monitor pretty easily without enlarging the font size.

Day 5:

I had to get up a couple times last night for the kids, and both times I had to squeeze drops in under my eyelids before I could even open my eyes to go see what the kids needed. But once I'd put a couple rounds of drops in this morning, my eyes stopped feeling irritated. I can definitely tell that my vision has improved this morning over what it was last night. I have a persistent 'haze' though, which Dr Clary said was from the build-up on the contact lenses. The blurriness and double vision is steadily improving, but everything looks just a little 'misty'. Like looking out of the car windscreen when it needs de-fogging.
I realised after going out for dinner last night that I don't have any significant halos or 'starbursts' encroaching on my night vision. I've read that this can be a problem for a while, but I didn't notice anything different from before surgery. (Which actually means - I had very slight halos around lights at night before, and still have them. I'm assuming this is normal night vision!)
So all in all ... almost a week out, and my only post-operative issue is dry eyes, with almost perfect vision already. I am counting my blessings!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Post-op days 1 & 2

(Note - sorry for the huge font size and likely typos!) :)

Day 1:

No pain at all! And hardly any light sensitivity either. Went in for my one-day post-op appointment and my vision (through the pinprick shield) was 20:20 in my right eye (with some concentration, but still!) … not nearly as clear in my left eye, but I'm still excited! Dr Clary said to expect the peak of my discomfort to be about this time tomorrow, so we'll see how that goes. My vision is blurry and definitely not as good as with my contacts or glasses before surgery, but I can see well enough to function around the house. I would feel comfortable driving a short distance on familiar streets, although I'm not planning on trying :) I did notice a decrease in my visual acuity towards the end of the day. Also, my vision was at its clearest immediately after putting in any of my eye drops. Since I had read this on several blogs, it was not anything unexpected.

Day 2:

DIFFERENT STORY! Still no pain, but when I woke up this morning I felt as though I'd been chopping onions all night. My eyes felt swollen and were gushing with tears, and it was all I could do to crack one lid open at a time just enough to see a tiny slit of the outside world. I am VERY light sensitive and have been wearing my dark glasses all day. Both the watery eyes and sensitiity have improved as the day has gone by, but by mid afternoon I can still not stand to have the sunglasses off. (I'm not looking at the monitor as I type, the white of the keyboard is as much as I want right now!) Vision is more blurry than yesterday, and I'm having some double vision when I look at something involving a conrast between light and dark. Again, vision is best right after putting in any of my eyedrops, and then falls back to blurry after a few minutes. I tried to take a nap, couldn't sleep, but after getting up I noticed a significant regression back to how I felt this morning. So I don't know whether the discomfort is related to the bandage contacts getting gummed to my eyelids, or hust the healing process in general. It is still not painful, just anooying :)

Addendum: by the afternoon I was able to keep my eyes open pretty much all the time (rather than this morning, when I had to pry my lids open just to do my eyedrop regimen), but by bed time I was back to my morning state of being. I took a Tylenol 3 before going to bed, and it definitely helped with the burning that had begun to develop.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

PRK - surgery day

Well, today was the day my vision changed for the rest of my life! This morning I went to the eye laser center for my PRK. I was orogingally hoping to have LASIK, but my corneas were found to be too thin for that procedure. (In LASIK, a small flap is cut in the surface of the cornea, and the laser then has access to the part of the cornea that needs to be reshaped. In PRK, a chemical is used to cause an abrasion on the surface of the cornea, the surface cells are scraped away and that opens up the part of the cornea that gets lasered.)

When I arrived at the center and was taken back to the pre-op area, I was given my first round of eye drops - numbing medicine, an antibiotic and a steroid drop. And my Ativan :) I had a fairly lengthy wait between receiving my first set of drops and actually going in for my surgery, so I was glad that the first thing they did after laying me on the table was give m more numbing drops - pretty sure that first batch had worn off!

My Ativan is definitely still in my system even at the end of the day, so my memory of the procedure is already a little hazy. But this is what I remember:
He did my right eye first. I was told to focus on a blinking red light above me for the whole precedure. After a round of more drops, the speculum to prevent my eyelids from blinking was inserted. As far as I remember, the next thing was a set of drops that softened the epithelial layer of my cornea so they could be scraped away. All I felt during any of this was sometimes light pressure. Never any pain, which remained true for the rest of the day. After the Dr fisihed scraping away the surface of the cornea, a cold rinse was used to clear off any residual medication and/or cells. Then the laser was brought over my face, and when it turned on for my 38-second adjustment it made a loud clicking sound for as long as it was working. When it was done, the Dr wiped a medicine over my eyes for 30 seconds, then a think gel drop was put in and then the badage contact lens. Then some kind of darkened shield was placed over my eye area.

The laser was moved over to the left side of my face ... lather, rinse repeat :)

When I was finished, my right shield was taken off and the Dr leaned over to ask how I felt. And I could see his eyes - completely in focus! For the rest of today, I have been able to see at a level between what I could see with and without my contacts/glasses. Pretty much everything is blurry, even something as close as the typing on this monitor, but I can see a LOT more detail at distance than before. Where I used to see darker blurs against the white of our walls, I can now see individual areas of colour and even some shapes. I don't have any double vision so far, just blurring.
Honestly, the worst of my problems right now are the fact that I shoveled the driveway yesterday so Mark could get back in so now I'm aching, and the ativan they gave me for anxiety during the procedure made me so nauseous that I've thrown up twice since getting home. I'm sticking to my very involved regimen of eye drops, and I plan to update this for daily prgoress reports. Mostly for my own ability to track how my vision impreoves, I realise not everyone else is fascinated by this experience :)

Also, as a disclaimer: I can't exactly read what I'm typing here, so I'm assuming it's riddled with typos, sorry! Hopefully that will improve as my sight refines :)