Saturday, March 1


Yesterday was my first vision-correction procedure. Everything went just the way it is supposed to. And now, 36-ish hours later, I can see just fine out of my left eye. So, so weird. In a good way.

Here's how it went down: sign a bunch of paperwork, answer some medical questions (again), pee in a cup (not pregnant!). Put on hairnet and booties. Get first of many eyedrops. Go back to surgery room, lie down. Get hooked up to blood pressure cuff, heart rate monitor, wrist monitor cuffs (also pulse?).Get clear eyepatch on non-surgery eye. Eye is slathered with iodine. A mark is made above my eyebrow to mark surgery eye (I later see it is a big black L). More eyedrops. More medical questions. More eyedrops. Take relaxation medicine that tasted gross. Get goopy eye stuff, makes my eyelid feel like it can't open but doesn't want to shut. Can't see out of my eye anymore, really. Too goopy. Try to relax. The room is freezing, request warm blanket (which has been offered twice already). Wait. Wait. Wait.

The relaxation meds don't seem to be doing much. The nurse said I might not feel like I was really there, or might feel really tired. She said I probably wouldn't remember any of this later. (I do remember it.)

After maybe 20 minutes of waiting, the bed is reclined all the way and I am wheeled into the surgery room. I get another warm blanket. An oxygen thingy is put in my nose. My head is taped down to the bed. A paper sheet thing is placed over my head and taped to my face. A hole is cut out of the sheet over my eye. Surgeon comes in.

My surgery eye is opened with the speculum. Can't feel it, really. I don't even know if my non-surgery eye is open or closed. Surgeon describes what he is doing. I am supposed to look at a bright light. More goop. He says my vision may fade out for a bit. It does, which is a little disconcerting but also super good. Tiny sparkly lights are all I can see, like multi-colored glitter on a black backdrop. At times I see bursts of swirly lights and rainbow colors. I can tell when the lens is sliding into my eye.The surgeon tells me as he positions the four corners of the lens behind my iris. This takes longer than I expect and I feel nervous.

Then it's over and time to rinse my eye. I can't feel it except when it hits the bridge of my nose a little. Cold. I don't remember the speculum coming out. The tape hurts as it is pulled off my face. That's pretty strong tape. I am wheeled back out. The blood pressure cuff and monitors are removed. I feel like crying a little bit, but I don't know why. I am vaguely dizzy.

The nurse puts my bed into the upright position and asks me to slowly swing my legs over the side. It seems too fast, I am not ready to stand yet. But I do. And it's fine. I walk out with her, there is Andrew. I can tell already that I can see better, though everything is fuzzy (I don't have my right contact in so that eye is useless, and my left is very fuzzy and numb and weird-feeling). I sit with another nurse. She gives me a bottle of water and a cookie and explains the post-op instructions. She is pointing at a sheet of paper which is utterly ridiculous to me because I can't see much.

She tells me my eye is dripping a bit and hands me a wipe. It dab at my eye and the wipe comes back bloody. Oh.

On the way out I stop in the restroom to put in my right contact. In the mirror I see the yellow of the iodine on my face, a slightly swollen and very dilated eye, and just a tiny crust of blood in the corner of my eye. But it doesn't look nearly as operated-on as I would have thought.

The rest of the day my eye was scratchy and dry feeling, and pretty fuzzy. My depth-perception was way off. I had a headache. I watched TV, rested, and put in lots of various eyedrops. Yesterday evening we had tickets to see the KC Symphony perform the score to The Wizard of Oz while the movie played. I wasn't sure I should go, considering my eye was still so uncomfortable. But I wanted to see the performance and we had had our tickets for months. So we went, and it was incredible. I put my lubricating drops in several times, which helped.

Then overnight I wore my protective clear plastic eyepatch thing (taped to my face) for sleeping and woke up this morning feeling much better. The scratchy feeling is gone, my follow-up appointment went well, and now I can see out of my left eye with no contact lens. I keep forgetting that it's permanent, like I think, "I'll go take out my contacts now, and just relax in my glasses." But no. Can't do that. Huh. The next three weeks will be weird. Maybe I'll get used to it.

So that is probably way more than you wanted to know about the phakic IOL procedure. Not quite what I expected, which I think is a good thing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! This was a good message. I wondered how the whole thing would work, and now I know. Surgery of any kind is a pretty big deal. I'm glad this went as well as it seems to have gone.