Feb 7, 2010

post surgery

This is going to sound stupid, but no one ever told me that recovering from eye surgery was going to hurt.  I know, what did I expect?  They cut into my eyeball, why didn't I think it would hurt?

Stupidity?  Ignorance?  I just didn't want to think about it?

But good news - it's starting to feel better.  At least now the stitches have softened and I don't feel like I'm blinking over shards of glass.  But I still feel like hanging out in a dark room, because my eye has been fully dilated for almost a week and with all the blood trapped in my swollen lens it's like looking through a cloudy puddle.

Still though - doing much better.  I might even work a little tomorrow.

The floating consciousness thing was interesting.  I'm sure you're all dying to find out if I told my dr that he has an ugly mustache (or that I think he has Aspergers.)  Right?  Dying?

Starting from the beginning-ish: as soon as the guy with the drugs showed up at my bedside I said, "I want to ASLEEEEEEP."  And he said, "Oh don't worry, once these kick in you won't have a care in the world."  And I said, "No really, put me to SLEEEP."  And then he repeated his whole thing about how I wouldn't care that they were cutting holes and inserting things into my eyeball.

Once the drugs kicked in I didn't care that they were cutting holes and inserting things into my eyeball.  I was awake, but I wasn't.  I could hear everything (their conversation was boring, I don't remember any of it until the end when they started talking about Twilight.)  What I mostly remember is what I was doing during the surgery.

It was horribly boring - not even close to Oprah material.

I snored.  The whole time.  And I kept thinking, "I'm snoring." But I couldn't make myself stop.  I was awake, snoring, listening to a conversation about Twilight while they cut holes and inserted stuff in my eyeball.

I told you it was boring.

And now I just look like some kind of mutant because I can't open my right eye all the way.  And if sunlight touches it I burst into flame like a vampire.  I am a mutant vampire.

I can't wait to get the other eye done.

*****technical poo to follow - you don't have to read this part*****

When I was trying to do research on which surgery to have I couldn't find ANY cases of my same diagnosis for the type of surgery I wanted.  So this is for anyone in my same situation.

I am 28 and I have Juvenile Early Onset Primary Open Angle Glaucoma.  My dad and younger sister have it.  Both of them have had a Trubeculectomy on both eyes but I didn't want that procedure.  My sister has had both done within a year and it has resulted in some vision loss.  My Dad got his done when he was my age and now that he is in his early 50's the pressure is going up in one eye again, and if his drops quit working (which they usually and ultimately do) he's out of options.

I went to the only dr in the state that does other Glaucoma procedures and we discussed options.  I decided on Canaloplasty.  There isn't much, if any, data for patients like me and my insurance wouldn't cover it.  But I felt better about it, and it seemed like a better option for my case.  Plus my Dr was confident, he's done the procedure on quite a few people with success, and he is a research nut, so that's what we did.

I'm almost a week out of surgery.  My pressures dropped from high 30's to about 10.  It hurts and is swollen and bloody, but it's healing well.  The Dr thinks it was a success, and I guess we'll find out as time goes on just how successful it was.  I'm not sure if it is a permanent fix, or even that I'll get to go without drops completely.  But even if it has bought me 20+ years before I have to deal with high pressures again, then I'll be happy.  A Trubeculectomy is always a future option for me, since the Canaloplasty can be reversed.  And I'll be back into my contacts within a couple weeks, which is really nice.

A weird side effect, currently, is that my other eye (which will be having surgery soon-ish) had a pressure of 39 a day after the surgery, but at 3 days post-op it was at 18.  Apparently it's a weird phenomenon type thing (the Dr couldn't really explain it scientifically) where the other eye drops out of "sympathy."  I say that it's in a state of "What the heck?" and will climb right back up to the 30's once my eye recovers fully from the surgery.

In case someone ever actually reads this because they have the same diagnosis and surgery, and they're curious, despite my high pressures I don't have any glaucoma related blind spots.  However, it has almost completely damaged my depth perception, and I have been having an increasingly harder time differentiating shades of color and shadow.  I am no longer able to drive at night since to me the night time world is mostly black and white.  Aside from recovering in the dark due to dilation sensitivity reasons, I like to have as many lights on as possible because it is when I see best.

And thus ends my limited amount of info....I hope someday it might help someone with Glaucoma decide on surgery options.  Since google was absolutely no help when I asked.


Rachel Sue said...

Wow. That must be some pill for you to be awake but not caring if they were cutting your eye open and putting things in it. . .

Mmmm. Where do I get it? :)

Glad you're starting to feel better!

LisAway said...

Yes. Extremely boring. What a yawner. !!! It's probably a good thing that you didn't think about what healing would be like! I hope you are getting lots of rest and glad you're slowly starting to get back to normal. Very nice of you to put some information out there for others!

Claire said...

Great. I have glaucoma in my family. Genetics can be a real kick in the patoot sometiomes. Or a blade in the eye, in this case.

Hope you're feeling ok.

Wonder Woman said...

I'm glad you're recovering well. It sounds like you made the best choice for you, which I especially admire since insurance didn't cover it. And I think it's great that you wrote all the technical stuff so maybe it'll help someone else.

curtis said...

Glad you're feeling better by now. Thatblinking and feeling of "shards" would DRIVE. ME. BATTY!

Barbaloot said...

Glad you're feeling well enough to blog! I hope your recovery goes quickly-the surgery results are BETTER than expected, and the other eye doesn't hurt.

Emmy said...

So nice that you are sharing as you are right, there might be someone else that has to go through the same thing.

Hope recovery keeps going well

Heather said...

Perhaps they were discussing Twilight because they knew your eye would turn into a vampire afterward. Except not a Twilighty glitter vampire but a REAL vampire. So then, I guess Twilight doesn't really apply there either.

I'm glad you are feeling better and that the surgery has worked. :)

Alison Wonderland said...

Well, I could have told you that surgery, especially the conversations during surgery are boring (unless I'm in on it, of course). Glad you're doing well.

beeline said...

Thanks for sharing all of this. It sounds like you recommend this doctor... would you care to share who you went to?

Kimberly said...

As the wife of an eye doctor some of that technical gobbeldy goop actually made sense to me.

My sympathies. I had a corneal ulcer once and the pain just about did me in. Ouchie. Nothing compared to eye surgery.