Monday, March 28, 2011

Eyes- Day 13

I promise the next post will be about something else! I'm planning to do an update on my eyes now just when I note big changes or about weekly...

My eyes have been kind of the same for the last few days. My vision fluctuates a lot throughout the day, it usually starts out pretty good in the morning and then worsens by the evening. I think my eyes just get really tired or something. Yesterday was weird. I was pretty fuzzy all day long, church seemed to make it worse, too many faces to focus on or something. By the end of the day I felt blind and I had a nasty headache, then as I was getting ready for bed I was looking in the mirror trying to figure out what looked different and realized it was that I could see myself clearly! So strange! It was a nice little surprise to have clear vision for a couple minutes. I almost didn't want to go to sleep! This morning things are back to status quo, but I feel a little more hope. Maybe I'll be turning the corner soon? I hope?!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 6-7

Monday was nothing spectacular, vision was a little better than the day before, but not leaps and bounds. I tried to get back to a normal routine but still needed a nap in the afternoon because my eyes were very tired from trying so hard to focus all day. I tried driving Monday afternoon. It did not go well. I could see well enough to know where the cars and people were and everything, but I felt like I was driving looking through a window that wouldn't defrost. I gave up a few miles in and made my husband drive, I was just too uncomfortable driving that way. That night was the first time I was out during the night and the lights made me crazy. I had major halos and starbursting going on with all the breaklight, headlights and street lights. I basically just left me eyes closed to avoid going insane.

Tuesday I had my next follow-up appointment with my eye doctor. I was really looking forward to having the contacts removed, they were starting to big me, but I was nervous knowing that some people have a vision set back once they are removed. I felt like I still had so far to go that I didn't want to deal with a set back! The doctor said my eye was healed, all the cells had grown back, but that I had a ridge down the center of my eye, as expected, and that's why everything is still foggy. My vision tested at 20/40 in my lieft eye and 20/25 in my right. I couldn't believe that my right eye was that much better, since I still felt like I couldn't see anything! It was good news though. He removed the contacts and sent me on my way. Sure enough my vision worsened through out the day until I was really blurry. I keep focusing on the fact that my vision recovery is on track, I just really didn't expect things to still be this foggy. A day at a time I guess...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 5- Sunday

Today has been a pretty good day. I still have had little to no pain, maybe a little stinging on and off, but nothing serious. My eyes have felt drier today than before (probably contributes to the stinging), but I suspect its mostly the contact bandage. I've been using the lubricating drops a little more to help. My vision is a step up from yesterday. Its so hard to quantify, but things are not distorted, and although everything is still very foggy and blurry in spots, and it seems to fluctuate a lot, I can see a little more definition. I'm not sure if that makes sense to anyone, but its the best I can explain it! I was really hoping I would feel comfortable enough with my vision to drive by tomorrow, but I don't think I will, unless there are big changes in the night. I was technically legal vision at my appointment on Thursday, but I felt like things regressed so much Friday that I'm just not there yet. I might be legally, but I would be very uncomfortable driving the way I am today. So, poor Ryan will be doing a lot of driving around with the kids the next couple days. Good thing I have such a great husband!

Day 4- Saturday

I woke up Saturday morning, and with great relief noticed that the pain was gone! Hooray! My eyes felt great. But, just as the doctor had predicted my eye sight was horrible. I couldn't see a thing! There were halos around any light source and things were very blurry and a little distorted. I had to keep telling myself that it meant that my healing was on track, but I have to say its hard after 4 solid days of not seeing to believe the sight it coming back better than it was before! My biggest problem Saturday was just the headache that came from trying to see when everything was so out of whack. Oh, and the boredom! Its hard to sit around, not seeing, not able to read or watch tv or anything. I have been doing a lot of listening to music or listening to movies I've seen a lot so I can imagine what is going on. I also got some audio books too, to try and help the boredom. I tried to keep my eyes shut a lot, and had to wear my sunglasses most of the day again to fight off the glare and halos. By the end of the day my eyes were very tired and were stinging a little, but the pain was nothing like the previous couple of days, so I was relieved to have that part past me.

PRK Recovery Day 2-3

Thursday was a little rockier, but still not too bad. My vision was markedly more blurry, but I could still see decently. My right eye felt really good - I had to remind myself that it needed drops too. My left eye was a little worse off. I had a fairly constant foreign body sensation, and it stung a little on and off. Mostly though, I was feeling good, and probably not resting as much as I should have. By midday, I started having a shooting pain in my left eye. It came and went, and only lasted about an hour, but it was pretty unpleasant.

At 2pm, I had my first follow up appointment. My vision measured 20/40 in my left eye, and 20/50 in my right. Considering it started at 20/400, I was happy. My doctor said things were healing well, but to expect another day or two of discomfort, and for Saturday to be my worst day as far as vision, because the cells would be healing directly in my line of sight.

By that evening, both eyes had begun to burn. Icepacks helped, but the sensation got more intense as the night went on. I hadn't filled my pain prescription, and started to wish I had. It was a really rough night. My eyes burned and teared up all night, and through the next day. My vision worsened again, and my sensitivity to light increased too. I basically wore dark glasses all day, unless I was putting in drops or icing my eyes. I got some pain medication and slept a lot of the day. I was definitely questioning my surgery at this point. Luckily the pain meds took the edge off, and I was able to sleep Friday night.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

PRK Recovery-Day 1

It was really helpful for me when I was preparing for surgery to read a few other people's accounts of their surgery so I could have a better idea what to expect, so I thought it was only fair that I post my account as well. I will post daily when possible, I have to start slow because my eyes don't allow me to focus on a computer screen easily yet.

Day 1- Surgery Day (Wednesday March 16th)
I was SCARED! Shaking in my boots, pretty much literally.
But the process was pretty painless. We got to the surgery center about 9am. We paid the bill then sat in the waiting room, enjoying a freshly baked cookie (not a Valium, but close) :) About 9:45 they called me back to a room where they took my blood pressure and gave me my Valium. Hooray! Then back to the waiting room for a few minutes. Soon they came and got me and ushered my back to the surgery waiting room where I tried to relax and let the Valium do its job. They gave me shoe covers and a super stylish surgery hat and gave me a paper to read that told me what was going to happen in the laser room so I knew what to expect. A little while later we went to a pre-op room and met briefly with the surgeon to go over any last minute questions. By now I was feeling much more relaxed, still nervous, of course, but mostly just ready to get it over with. We then walked back to the waiting room and the nurse put numbing drops in my eyes and disinfected my eyelids and eyelashes. Minutes later I was ushered into the laser room. It was cool and music was playing, I laid down on the laser table and they immediately got to work taping back my eyelashes and putting the wire thing in to keep my eyes open. It didn't hurt at all. They put a few more drops in and then the procedure started. He used a small tool to mark the area of tissue he was going to remove, then used a small ring on the same area and filled it with an achohol solution to loose the tissue he wanted to remove. That took 35 seconds. Then he soaked up the liquid and washed out my eye, then used a small tool to remove the tissue. The sensations were strange, but there was no pain. Once the tissue was removed he fired the laser, just 5 short seconds on my eyes! Afterward they put a bunch of different drops and medicines in my eye, placed a contact lens that serves as a bandage and moved on to the next eye. Everything was repeated on that eye and then I was done! The doctor asked if I could see him, and then if I could see Ryan sitting out in the waiting room. I could! Time in the laser room was probably about 5 minutes, total. Right after I was taken to another exam room and asked to leave my eyes closed for about 10 minutes while they explained my post-op instructions and medications. Then a doctor looked at my eyes to make sure everything looked okay and we were send on our way.

Walking out my vision was not perfect but was far better than before without glasses. Things were foggy but I could definitely make out more than previously.The rest of the day I just took it easy and did my eye drops as prescribed and napped on and off. I was not uncomfortable really. My eyes just felt a little beat up from being pushed around, but there was no pain. My vision came and went a little, mostly it was just really foggy. I slept fine the first night, with plastic protective covers on my eyes, as directed.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Its only my eyes...

So tomorrow I go in for PRK surgery. Its basically like Lasik, only they work the laser on the surface of the eye rather than creating a flap first. The results are basically the same, and the long run complications are lower, but it requires recovery time for your eye to heal from the abrasion that is created by the process. I'm terrified. I know I will be so glad when its done and I'm all healed up, but I just don't totally know what to expect from the recovery since I don't know anyone personally who has done it. I've read lots of websites and blogs of peoples recovery to ease my concern, and I think its helped, but I'm still really nervous. It really varies from person to person how uncomfortable it is, so I won't really know until its my eyes.

4 years ago I went through the process of seeing if I was a Lasik candidate, and I was. So this time around when I went in, my eye doctor said I was good to go still, but they doctor at Hoopes Vision said she recommended PRK because I have some irregularities on my cornea (that had worsened a little in the past couple years) and a family history of Kerataconus (a corneal disease). Basically with laser eye surgery the chances of Kerataconus occurring are increased if you are already prone to it. There is no way to know for sure if I am prone to it, but it does tend to have a genetic factor and my brother had it. PRK lowers the risk because it removes less tissue from your eye. The surgeon said he was willing to do Lasik because I'm a borderline case and otherwise good for Lasik, but it was up to me if I wanted to assume the higher risk. The chances are slim either way, but after talking with the doctors at Hoopes again, and with my own eye doctor, I felt like I should take the safer path. Part of me is second guessing myself on that, but I think its just because it is right around the corner now. I've actually felt pretty good about the decision for a while now, but its scary! Its my eyes!

With PRK it can take 3-6 weeks to achieve optimal vision, sometimes longer. That's the other part I'm nervous about, my vision could possibly be pretty blurry for a couple weeks while my eyes heal. I'm hoping I at least achieve 20/40 quickly so that I can drive. Life will be very complicated if I don't! The doctor said most people achieve that within the first week, so here's hoping. I'm prone to headaches and migraines too, so I'm worried that while my vision is healing I'm going to be one giant headache.

BUT, on the positive side...I very much look forward to the following things:

Being able to see the clock in my room when I wake up.
Being able to see while I do my hair and makeup...I'm always very disappointed when I put my glasses on that it doesn't look like I thought it did. haha.
Being able to swim lap without worrying about contacts or not being able to see.
Not dealing with my glasses slipping around my face when I exercise.
Not having glasses fog up constantly in the winter.
Being able to wear any kind of sunglasses I so desire.
Not paying for expensive daily contacts, since that's all my eyes can tolerate.

And that's just to name a few.

So, basically, pray for me! They will be calling me today to let me know what time the surgery is, but it should be between 8-10 tomorrow morning. ah! Luckily the procedure itself is even easier than Lasik, so tomorrow should be fine, its the coming week or two that I'm most worried about. My sister-in-law is coming to help with the kids, so hopefully they'll let me rest and my recovery will go smoothly. I have complete faith in the surgeon and the laser and my follow-up care, so I'm sure all will be well. I'm just a nervous nelly today!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Kate had her 1 year appointment with the pediatrician. I was right, she's tiny for one of our kids. But, she's still got a big head, there's the Owen genes showing through. :)

Weight 18 lbs. 14 oz. 16th percentile (16th??? What the heck? I don't make small kids!)
Height 29.33 Inches 58th percentile
Head 18.1 Inches 76th percentile