Thursday, December 29, 2011

Do you see what I see?

I'm happy to report that all my worries about my surgery are gone and things are looking up! Everything is healing perfectly and I am starting to feel human again. All it took was a little time and patience. Here's the overarching lesson in all of this. Don't be nonchalant about surgery. MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR GIVES YOU A RANGE OF EXPECTATIONS. A little more prodding on my part with my doctor would have made this past 9 days so much more enjoyable.

I swear I asked him how I would feel and if I would see double after surgery and he told me I would be just fine. His "just fine" meant that the first 7 days would suck and in about 10 days I would be fine. I took it to mean that I will be fine right after surgery. That's the expectation I had when I was sent home with the orders of "take tylenol for discomfort." I didn't realize that my eye would ache some 5 days post-op and would require major narcotics and muscle relaxers to ease the pain. I didn't realize that my double vision would make it hard to drive and nearly impossible to shop (just a few days before Christmas). I also didn't realize that the "shiner" I would develop per my Doc was more like a rainbow of colors on the normally white parts of my eye than a typical black eye we all think of when the term shiner is used.

It's all good. I just have to apologize to my husband and kids for being a total lump on Christmas day trying not to puke from the Vicodin, and more to my husband for not picking up any last minute gifts for him to open Christmas morning. I have to thank my husband for doing basically everything around the house for the past week - all with a smile on his face.

So I got my New Year wish of single vision - now I need to shop!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Eye Thing

So here's the lowdown on my eye surgery:

Over the past several years, I have noticed in pictures that my head is always slightly tilted to the right. Figuring it was just all my training in school pictures to cock your head to one side, I didn't think much of it at first. I also noticed that when I lay down in bed to watch TV and was on my left side, I would see double. I could lay on my right side and see the TV just fine. Do you ever stare at something and close one eye, then close the other eye and see how the image you're looking at jumps? I do that all the time, and thought it was a perfectly normal phenomenon. Turns out it is in some cases, but not to the severity that I experience it. It only took me about 5 years of mentioning this to my OD at Simon eye that she mentioned I have a mild case of 4th nerve palsy. My eye surgeon calls it something else. Not technically "palsy" but some mild weakness. Chances are I've had this most of the life, but because it is so minor, it's never been very apparent. To the untrained eye, you would never think anything was wrong with my eyes, besides that fact they are freakishly large and bit buggy. They don't noticeably cross, and my slight eye droop is just that - slight. But upon recent examination from my primary care doc, my eye surgeon, my plastic surgeon, and another ocular plastic surgeon, seems like everything is related to this 4th nerve thing.

I'll break it down for you. When my head is perfectly straight, I see double. I have to tilt my head just a tad to the right in order to have single vision. The head tilt over time has caused my eyelid droop and some whacked out muscle development in my neck where one side is pliable and stretched and the other side is really tight and always aches. While my surgeon initially (last year) didn't recommend surgery because my impairment was so minor, I convinced him to do it this year as my neck pain has been getting worse and I'm tired of tilting my head. I also don't want to be 80 with my ear to my shoulder if I can help it.

So this morning I went under general anesthesia and my Dr. performed the recession of my left oblique inferior muscle in my left eye. Besides looking and feeling like I got popped in the eye, recovery has been going well. Oh except for when I asked for some anti-nausea meds and the nurse spilled it all over my hand instead of getting it in my IV. Oh well, luckily I had some pills at home that I took while kneeling over the toilet almost puking! Throwing up is the worst. I did manage to sleep most of the day and kept everything "down."

Not sure if the operation was a success or not. My double vision is worse than it was before surgery, and in order to see single vision I now have to tilt my head to the left - almost at a 45 degree angle or just close one eye. I chose the closing of one eye to pound out this entry. I can't remember if results are supposed to be immediate or not, so I'll be calling the Dr. tomorrow to see. If a revision needs to be made, I need to go back under the knife before Jan 1 when my new crappy insurance kicks in.

My surgeon warned me that an overcorrection is certainly possible, so I don't blame him at all for this. He is great - and I know he'll do whatever it takes to get me the best results possible.

So my new Santa wish is no double vision in 2012 - unless of course it's martini-induced!