Flying Back

There are way fewer international flights than normal these days, and the ones who are operating are pretty crowded. At least, the European ones. 

My flight to Frankfurt was at 6-30 AM. Usually, I am trying to avoid that flight, because it is way too early, but this time it was the only option. In normal times, Boris would insist that there is no reason to arrive at the airport before 5-30, even if I want to shop duty-free, and even if I need to drop off the luggage. Oh, and about the luggage. I had a “light” airfare, which means – carry-on only, and as I’ve mentioned, I came to Helsinki with an almost empty suitcase. I thought that even if I buy some clothes, it will still fit. But then, I ended up buying more for my girls. It was a gradual process. First, I was not even sure whether I will do any shopping, then I did some, and then I thought that god-only-knows when I would be able to come again, and then I thought that I could buy en extra luggage :).

Boris favored that idea, and we ended up buying a very nice duffle bag, which could be converted to the backpack. I used it to pack the clothes, and also some yogurts. I started to smuggle dairy products from Finland in my luggage some time ago, which worked great.

I tried to check-in online, and as expected, got the message that the boarding pass could be issued only at the airport. We agreed that we will plan to be there at about 5-10. That meant getting up at 3-45 and taking a cab, but that would be unavoidable in any case. 

When we entered the terminal, we saw a huge line. People were trying to maintain the distance, so the line became very long and spiraling. 

Continue reading “Flying Back”

Eyes And Travel

 do not think I wrote in detail about my last eyes-related updates. After my visit to the LensCrafters, things only got better. Fist, I got my multifocal eyeglasses. They work almost perfectly, which was especially important during my air travel. It was the first time I traveled without any worries about the contact lenses and them being in my eyes for way too long. The only thing I find slightly inconvenient with them is that the reading part of glasses interferes with going down the stairs and looking in the direction of the floor in general. 

Also, I tried the multifocal contacts, and that was a life-changing experience. It’s very close to what I was hoping to achieve after the cataract surgery. I still need the reading glasses, but only when I type or look at a really small print, and then it is +1, not +2.75. The doctor reduced the strength of both my glasses and lenses, which helped a lot. 

What it has to do with my travel? First, as I said, I was able to travel in glasses. Second, it is unbelievable how many more things I can see now! 

I am still learning to use my vision, still learning to look both further and closer. I was biking a lot all these days, and I was way more aware of my surroundings than before. 

Also, although I still have my double-vision, it is now localized to a very specific distance. It’s precisely the distance where I need to see the cars in front of me, so I still need my driving glasses. But first, I think that now the prisms can be reduced, a second – now I feel that this can be corrected. 

My all eyes ordeal started when I went to the doctor to correct my double vision. After all these surgeries, I thought that I do not want to do anything for a while. But now I think that it may be a good time to try to fix it. 

Air Conditioning and the Virus

Copying yesterday’s Tribune article – exactly what I was talking about for weeks. Source – here

There’s an invisible obstacle to reviving Chicago’s economy from the coronavirus pandemic.

Potential transmission of the virus through air conditioning and heating systems is the latest issue employers and building owners are focusing on as they prepare for more people to head back to office towers and other non-residential buildings, whether they’re office workers or school teachers and students.

Continue reading “Air Conditioning and the Virus”

More Optimistic Eyes Update

On Wednesday, I went to the two-weeks checkup after my retina surgery. My left eye is now better than before the surgery and is some aspects even better than the right one. However, the horizontal lines are still wavy, and there are some blank spots in the middle. I told the surgeon that I do not want to do the right eye, because I won’t be able to last with my left eye only for a week. He agreed to wait till October to decide whether I will do the second one. I am most likely not going to come back because I have lots of issues with that office.

Since my eye doctor is still not open, I decided to go to the LensCrafters in the city, who made my last glasses. Their location works perfectly for me, and I had an excellent impression of their office in general when they replaced a lense in my glasses.

I scheduled an appointment with them for Thursday, which is now my in-office day. I spent there two and a half hours and I felt extremely guilty missing time at work, but the results are very promising. The doctor fitted me with bifocal glasses, and also I tried bifocal lenses for the first time. He gave me a week to get to adjust to them. That’s a new experience, and I am excited to be almost a normal person. I could not see so well for a long time; I can’t even recall since when.

Hopefully, this all will work out!

Eyes Progress

I should have said, “one eye progress.” 🙂

Anyway, now I can see that the level od the fluid is going down. Last night, I re-read all the information about that surgery, which I read before, and I realized that I saw it all, I just didn’t understand what they meant. They talked a lot about “a gas bubble, ” but I didn’t understand what it means. I could not imagine that it was like having this ish tank in your eye :). And I imagined a very different picture when they would say, “your vision will be blurry at first, but it will go away in several days.”

Now I understand that I won’t be able to drive or bike until this bubble would go away entirely because while even a part of it is there, I still have blind spots. 

It’s hard to say, with what speed it will progress, but I hope it will be gone within a week. 

As for the travel ban, the only thing we can do is wait and see. Boris still does not believe me about “next year,” he still thinks that the ban is political and that something will happen by August. As of today, there are only these many hours-long connections in London, which I do not want him to experience. Especially when Finland is effectively virus-free. So no changes in the observable future. 

All of Today’s Negativities

First, about my eye surgery. The vision in the operated eye is non-existent; it’s as if I have an aquarium inside. I know that that’s exactly what I have in my eye :), but it looks like everybody expected it to be better. Plus, I am seriously upset with this surgeon and the whole office and the whole organization. Vlad, who took me to the post-surgical today, is equally upset. We waited for him for the whole hour, and he didn’t even say that he is sorry for being late, and he barely talked to us. I am also upset that although I’ve explained to him how important it is for me to know what to expect after the surgery precisely, he didn’t give me the correct information like he said I would be able to drive right away. Now I do not trust anything of what he said, including whether I indeed needed this surgery.

I need to come for a checkup in two weeks, and then in another two weeks to see the first surgeon. I hope that my regular eye doctor will finally start coming to the office because I need to consult with her about the situation.

And on top of it – the EU is banning all the travel from the US. Now, once again, same as in March, although Boris theoretically can come, It won’t help if the planes won’t fly. And I still can’t go there because of the current restrictions.

I’ve almost talked myself into some calmness because there is nothing I can do, and because Penelope waited longer and didn’t have Facetime :).

Today’s Eyes Update

I am back home from the surgery; they said it went well, but I can’t tell until later, because I have a patch on the operated eye and will be blurry for a while in any case. Although it was local anesthesia with sedation, it feels more serious than with the cataract surgery, I am still dizzy, and I still feel like half of my head is numb. So most likely, that’s all for today, and I will post an update tomorrow after my post-surgical.

Eyes Update

There’ve been too many of them recently, which I hate. But so far, it seems that posting these updates here proved to be the fastest way to let my close friends know what’s going on. So here it goes.

My next eye surgery will be on Monday, and I am pretty upset that I was not provided enough information about the surgery itself, why it is necessary, how I should prepare for it, and how the recovery will look. 

I went to the retina doctor on Wednesday, when through several tests, the doctor came in, looked at the test results, and said: OK, you need surgery. I still do not understand why that rush, and what would happen if I won’t have it. Turned out, that I need this surgery on both eyes, not just on my left eye. Since I live alone and need to take care of my mom, I was asking what my limitations will be after the surgery. When I asked a nurse a week before that appointment, she said, that it will be “pretty much like cataract surgery, ” same restrictions for a week. When I asked the doctor on Wednesday, he said that I could “drive from the surgery,” which is not true, because they never allow it. His nurse said that “there are no limitations,” which is not what I read online, and I find it hard to believe. 

That was on Wednesday. On Thursday, a lady from the Day surgery center called and said that I need to take a COVID test and that it has to be done at their location. I just received a self-testing kit because I agreed to participate in the research, but they said – no, they need the test to be performed in their facility. I can’t drive that far by myself, and I can’t take Uber to the testing site, for obvious reasons, so I had to ask Vlad. Vlad told me he would come on Friday, and I called back to set up an appointment. I was very upset about the situation. They told me nothing about the test when they gave me a surgery date, and it was very time-sensitive. It had to be completed before surgery, and it is valid for only 72 hours. That left Friday being the only option. The testing site is open from 9-30 to 2-30, and these days we have summer hours on Friday, and I hated to take time in the middle of the short day. 

After I got tested, they gave me a paper saying I have to self-quarantine from now till the time of surgery. Imagine, you are asked to self-quarantine for three days with zero notice! Good thing I took mom shopping in the morning before I started work! Now I am afraid they will tell me to self-quarantine after the surgery! Hopefully, the next surgery will happen within the next week. 

I completed my online check-in on the hospital web site at the patient portal, and I saw yet another set of post-surgical instructions, different from the other two. Also, when the nurse called me, she asked about my ongoing medications and told me I need to stop taking multivitamins. Today, when I ready my personalized instructions for pre-surgery, they said: stop taking any vitamins or supplements with fish oil two weeks before the surgery.

At the moment, I am officially upset!

Eyes Update (More to Come)

Yesterday, I went to the eye clinic for the second implant film removing (for the right eye). As with everything else, the right eye feels tons better than the left one. I feel like the procedure took less time, and less film was removed, and there are less floaters.  

Also, this time I asked whether I can wear contacts in between drops. Last time I agreed with the doctor that I do not want to take in and out my contacts four times a day, and I didn’t think it will be that restrictive to go for a total of two weeks with glasses only. But it turned out that in this case, I need to use two glasses at the same time way too often. Also, I realized that since one drop is in the morning, and one before bed, I only need to take the contact out twice, not four times:). So I switched back to contacts, and now I can tell that, indeed, I can see better after the film removal! 

What’s next. I am going to the retina doctor on Wednesday. Presumably, he will set up a date for surgery, which likely, will be soon. I asked for more details about that surgery. The nurse told me that in terms of restrictions, it will be similar to the cataract surgery, the same no bending-no lifting for a week, which, as I already know, is translated into two. 

Then, it will be the day after surgery follow up, and the second follow-up in a week. At some point, I need to finally get the right prescription for my glasses, but my regular eye doctor is still out. 

I hope it will all be over in a month because I am so tired of being in this or that surgery all the time! Theoretically, I still need to decide whether I want to do Lasic to correct residual near-sightedness, but I was on and off on whether I want to go for it. Also, this whole thing started when I tried to fix my double-vision, so I should return to where I’ve started :), because the double-vision is still there. And if I will go for all of the above, it might be not over until the end of the year!

Eyes Update

Another friends and family update. For the past month, I was learning to wear contact lenses again. It was very different from my previous experience because my eyes are getting dry fast. First, I was freaking out to put the contacts in and to take them out, because the implants are so close to the surface. Also, I started from just two hours, as I was doing thirty-eight years ago, when I started wearing contacts for the first time.

Another problem was that I wore hard contacts for thirty-eight and a half years and the soft ones just for four months. I was having trouble with soft contacts for most of that time, and now, after four months interval, it was even more challenging. It’s only through the past week, that I became more confident in putting the contacts in and taking them off, and that my eyes are not so dry all the time. However, I still do not wear contacts for the whole day. The good part is that with implants, I am -4, not -14.

Yesterday, I went to my next post-surgical appointment. The goal was to check whether I need a removal of the film over my implants, and as expected, I need it. There will be two procedures, one next Thursday, and the second one a week later. After that, I should go to my regular eye doctor and hopefully will figure out a more accurate prescription. She should be open by then. As for my retina, it looks like the problems which were likely to emerge, emerged indeed. Again, not like ai did not know that my left eye is only half functioning, but it looks like fixing it is not an option but rather a necessity. I was scheduled to go to the retina doctor on July 9, but the surgeon asked it to be changed to ASAP, which will be six days after my second procedure. Then, I guess he will schedule surgery.

All of the above make my travel plans even more uncertain because now I need to plan around Brussels decisions, our internal regulations, my medical procedures, and Boris’. Fortunately, the airlines are extremely flexible now, and you can change your flight plans an unlimited number of times as close to the flight as possible. So we will see what the retina doctor will say, what EU will say, and whether there will be flights with less than twelve hours connections.