My eye doctor’s office is closed, which was a bummer, especially because many other eye doctors are open for emergencies (and post-surgical is considered an emergency). She arranged for me to see my eye surgeon instead. I called twice to make sure he will be able to give me new glasses prescription because they usually would not do it in the clinic. I had to take Uber because I thought that my eyes would be dilated (they were not) and because that’s too far for me in the less than perfect glasses. I haven’t taken Uber since the time of peace and was not sure how many drivers are still around, so I scheduled the ride for the first time. It turned out it was not necessary – there are plenty of drivers out, all looking for riders.
The maximum size of the gathering of people allowed got smaller and smaller every day last week, both by the state of Illinois and by the Federal government. If quickly went down from one thousand to ten people, and then on Friday around noon, somebody posted in work slack that the governor is going to announce the shelter in place order. In three minutes, almost everybody excused themselves from work and ran out shopping before even listening to the governor’s announcement.
I did not, because I detest the idea of hoarding, and because both my fridges and my pantry were far from being empty. Besides, I didn’t fancy the idea of being in the crowd. So I didn’t. I turned on WBEZ on my phone and listened to the governor’s announcement.
I think it was a very reasonable announcement. I am pasting below the whole video, but only the first 10+ minutes are essential.
Now about Wednesday. I already had some vision in the right eye even before I went to bed, and in the morning, I’ve realized it is now the same as in the left eye, maybe slightly better. The eye overall felt tons better than the first one after the surgery. I do not know what the surgeon did wrong the first time, and I am not going to try to find out:)
I had a follow-up in the morning, Vlad got into really bad traffic, and was late. But since now he is an excellent planner, we still arrived virtually on time. This time we didn’t have to wait for the doctor. My eyes were checked, and the right one appeared to be the same about -2.75. Although this time, the surgeon sat with me and asked what questions I had, it didn’t feel like he was interested in me. I asked all I needed to confirm (eyes dryness, when I can resume my training, makeup, etc.) I will have a follow-up with him in three months, and the retina doctor follow up in four months, and endless visits with my eye doctor to finalize my prescription (which might take 4-5 more weeks)
I needed to take my mom to the same eye doctor for her annual, and I figured out I will make her appointment on the same day since Vlad will be there anyway. So when I realized I would need to adjust my glasses for the right eye, I called my doctor. They said they are booked 100% until Tuesday, “but let’s see what the doctor will say.” I also called the Lenzcrafters to see whether their lab person will be in, but they said he is in on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday only. Which meant I wouldn’t be able to get glasses that day.
Once again, tons of details, mostly for my real-life friends.
Probably the worst thing about these eye surgeries so far was these four days before the second surgery when I had to take my right contact lense out. I asked my doctor whether it will make any sense to take out one of my -14 lenses and put my -2.75 in the left eye, and she shook her head and said I wouldn’t be able to see anything. So I had to survive with one eye.
For some reason, when I was talking to the clinic staff in the fall, I believed them when they told me that I would be fine with one eye for two weeks “because people use one eye most of the time anyway.” I should have been skeptical since by then, I already knew they do not understand the severity of my situation, but for some reason, I believed them.
On Tuesday, I had my second (right) eye operated. This time my surgery was very early in the day (we had to be there at 8-15 AM) and overall went much better than the first one. Since I mentioned to Vlad that I’d experienced some pain during the first surgery (and the only reason I’ve said it was because of my known high pain tolerance level), Vlad made sure everybody knew about that. He mentioned it to each of the nurses who appeared by me, and to the surgeon. They ave me more local anesthesia, and not only ai had virtually no pain at that time, but I also had fewer effects when it started to wear off in the afternoon.
The fog started to disappear earlier, and I had less “bloody spots” during the first two days. I ended up being again about -3, which was expected, even with the different lens types. That was after the surgery that we had ice-cream instead of lunch, and I got more treats from Vlad today.
This morning I realized that the surgeon’s mark was still on my forehead 🙂
On the topic of doctors’ orders for before/after surgery, I’ve realized that it is extremely difficult to follow the instructions when you have no idea what’s the underlying reason for these do’s and dont’s. I know that sometimes doctors are annoyed with all these questions, but not understanding the reasons produce even ore questions :).
For example, I was given the list of eye drops with a rather complex schedule of how many times a day they should be inserted, depending on what’s the week after surgery. Plus, there were instructions not to exceed the dose and what to do if you miss the dose.
Only when I got the second package from the pharmacy, each of them had a half-page of explanation in large print :), I knew which of them is antibiotic, with is anti-inflammatory, so you can at least get an idea of how important/not important is to keep the schedule. And it was only on Tuesday that my eye doctor explained to me why the anti-inflammation drops dosage has to be reduced gradually.
Or take this no-bend/no-lift over 10 pounds for a week. And what happens after one week? All of a sudden, you can lift as much as you want? What about the bodyweight exercises? How do they count? Or when I asked about yoga, they said – OK. But yoga poses may be so different! Some include mild bending, some – mode bending. What about a shoulder stand? Or a headstand? Also, you need to know what’s the average level of activity of this particular person, because each body would react differently to the same level of physical activity. You need to know what exactly is important for the operated eye to make a better judgment of what you can or can’t do. Otherwise, you would end up asking about each individual move. Or will do something crazy 🙂
So I like it when I can get explanations. My doctor explained to me that vision is changing after the surgery because the inflammation goes down. Which may be obvious, but I didn’t think about it! Now I am more informed, but now, surgery number two is coming. And it will bring new challenges:)
Not being able to see as normal people sucks. I thought that the cause of my current frustration (and of me doing everything slowly) is the fact that I can’t see well. But now I believe that the real problem is that each surgery makes me older. Even this short surgery. Even just local anesthesia. I feel that I am tired, I can’t do things fast enough, how I usually do, and I can’t do as many things as I need. And this drives me crazy. All this “you are going to work the next day” does not work for me.
I was at one-week after-surgery follow-up with my eye doctor and asked her a million stupid questions. She replied patiently. And she examined my eye and said everything is fine; the implant is on its place, and everything is healing. It’s always very reassuring when another person can see what you don’t see :)).
We talked for almost an hour; she always explains “why,” which helps tons. I understand how the healing process works, what each of the eye drops is doing, and all other “whys.”
On Friday, I worked from home, and my neighbor R. took me to my eye doctor. Turned out that the situation is not as bad as I thought. The doctor measured my best correction to be – 2.75, and then started to look for a place where they would make my glasses within 24 hours.
It turned out that such places are almost non-existent these days, everybody sends their orders to the labs. The staff of the doctor’s office was calling all the places around and finally found Lenz Crafters, where they had such an option – looks like the only one in the Northwest Suburbs:). The staff asked whether they had a lens I needed, and they said – yes, but the technician is not in; he will be there on Saturday. But we could come in and leave the order.
When we arrived, the store associate started to show us different frames. I said that I need the cheapest one since these glasses are going to be for less than a week. For that, she replied that they have a sale of 50% off designer frames, and then they will also give me 40% off lenses. I was still trying to stay on the cheaper side, and finally picked up the frame, which was originally priced at $173.
Once again, way too many details, mostly for my real-life friends.
I forgot to mention that right after the surgery, I was allowed to put my right contact lens in, so after I came home, I was able to put the old lens on. After three weeks of glasses, it felt great. The left eye was still foggy, and also there were random dark “bloody” spots floating around, but for those, I knew they would go away.
I also knew that my operated eye might still change, but not significantly. So when I woke up Wednesday morning and took my eye shield off, I knew right away that that was not -2 or -2.5 My appointment was st 8-45 AM, and again in a distant location. Vlad came to me in the morning and drove me there.
When the doctor’s assistant was trying to measure my vision, I told her that I see nothing on the screen, no matter how big it is, that the screen and the wall are blurry. So She stepped closer and measured the max distance fro which I could see things clearly.
After a while, the surgeon came in, and I told him it must be -6 or so. He checked it, and it turned to be -4. I said: doctor, let’s discuss what can be done now. He started again about Lasic, and I told him: forget about Lasic for a moment, I need to understand how I am going to function in the next four weeks.