Week 8

Went swimming for the first time after 6 months (since the beginning of the eye checkup journey, surgery till minimum recovery period before hitting the pool again). Not quite an enjoyable one as the pool was a little tad murky but it feels different to be swimming without vision aids. I was very careful with the eyes, making sure no water is touching it.

There is no major improvement that I can notice this week. Probably there is little but too little for me to notice. I’ve been very diligent with applying the artificial tears to keep the eyes as moist and as lubricated as possible. I still don’t like what I see in low light condition. Outdoor is still good and I’m sometimes awed by the sharpness of the details and the crispiness of the image.

Still worried actually but under control. It doesn’t help that my working place is dead cold and air is dry. I’ve been popping those tears in more than ever this week. Doesn’t help too that my job requires me to be in front of the computer for long hours.

Hoping for a better Week 9.

Miss Her

On this particular night, I miss my mum. Just got off the phone with her after an hour long conversation. I told her I miss her and she feels the same.

I’ll miss her even more when I get married as I transition into another stage of life. I’m not getting married yet but sometimes I would imagine if I am and what it’ll be like. I understand that every woman would have to go through this.

When mum said she misses me too and that she’ll be ok if I stayed with her, I jokingly said that I would have to marry her in order to do so.

But we both know that’s not going to happen.

Anyway, I just wanted to write this down because on this particular night, I really really miss my mum.

Week 7 – Post Op

Both eye pressure came down to my delight at 17 for the right and 14 for the left, as opposed to 19 for both eyes last week. I’m happy my vision is improving with the stop of all eye drops, except to use preservative-free eye drops to keep the eyes moist and lubricated. It helps with my vision as well. Doctor said it wasn’t avoidable, as much as I was respondent to steroid, there was a need to use the eye drops. I guess  he understood what I had to go through.

When I see things outside under the sun, it is crystal clear. Very happy! 🙂 Vision indoors are dependent on the light type. I seem to see better under golden, yellow kind of light instead of white fluorescent light. There are less details to it and sometimes gets clear every time I use artificial tears. Doctor says it’s a case of dry eye so I hope as the eye continues to heal, the dryness will go away too. There is no changes to my short-sightedness but there is still some astigmatism detected and tested in both eyes. The positive side of things is that the astigmatism was higher last week and I’m hoping it will go down further, though doctor says the power is little and I don’t have to do anything about it.

With that, there was no need for dilation and I was sent home in a jiffy. My next checkup is not next week but in 6 months’ time. I wasn’t expecting that long a gap because I’ve been seeing the doctor every week for 6-7 times now since 28 November 2012. But it also means there is no problem with the eye and I have to continue to be patient as the eye continues to heal and for the vision to stabilize hopefully by my next check up in 6 months.

The Eye Progress

Week 1: My vision was very blurry the first day after surgery. It got better a few days later. I was able to return to work, drive and resume with normal light-weight activities. Eye drops – Vigamox (antibiotic) and Maxidex (anti-imflammatory) to be used every 2 hours.

Week 2: I continued to use Vigamox and Maxidex. Both to be used 3 times daily. Vision was better compared to Week 1 but there is still room for improvement. It is good in broad daylight, outdoors but is not as good in dim light. Eye pressure went up towards the end of the week. Was given Diamox again to bring the pressure down. It worked like a charm, eye was seeing clearly but eye pressure elevated again few days later.

Week 3: Eye pressure is higher than usual. I could feel it because vision was blurry and sometimes I feel that the eyes are strained and tired. Reading was at 22 and higher. I don’t remember the figures or the brain refuses to remember the bad stuff. I remember having the pressure checked twice. Once with just my eyes and once with my eyes numbed from an eye drop as I always blink each time the measurement is taken. I really don’t like that machine that measures my eye pressure as it lets out air puff and I’d jump. Me very sensitive human being. Doctor added another prescription to the 2 existing eye drops I was on. It’s called Brimonidine in order to lower the eye pressure. So it’s 3 times daily for Brimonidine, Vigamox and 2 times (morning and night) for Maxidex as doctor suspects it’s Maxidex that is messing with my eye pressure as it contains steroid and I’m a steroid responder.

Week 4: Continued to use Brimonidine and Vigamox three times a day, stopped Maxidex as it is the cause of the eye pressure. Vigamox is still needed to prevent any eye infection and Brimonidine is used to lower the eye pressure. Sometimes as much as I think the eye drops are helping me, they are also not helping me. I especially dislike applying Brimonidine. I sometimes feel tired and drowsy after applying it. I also get a weird taste in my mouth and not forgetting dry eyes, at times stinging. Eye pressure measured at 20 and 21 at the end of the week. I can’t wait for the day to come where I would not need eye drops anymore because instincts tell me the road to real recovery starts when I stop all these medication.

Week 5: Eye pressure came down to 19 which is towards the higher side of the normal range (10-21 mm Hg). I’m glad that it’s still within a normal range and hope that it’ll go down further. With that, the doctor asked me to stop all eye drops as it has been a month and because all these eye drops contain preservatives. I will just need to apply preservative-free artificial tears as needed. The one I’m using is called “Blink”. Very happy even though I still can’t see very well yet. At least my eyes feel better. Doctor says it’s ok for me to go swimming and make sure I wear my goggles. You see, I haven’t been swimming for far too long and I’m getting fatter. I’ve gained 3 – 4kg and I’m glad the doctor gave me the approval to swim. I’m in the middle of week 5 as of writing and my vision is still somewhat blurry and not crisp. It is clearest just after I apply the artificial tears then it goes blurry again. Not where I would like to be. I know I can see better because I’ve seen that happened one day somewhere week 2 or week 3 when it was crystal clear near and far. I also experienced a night where I had very good vision while I was sitting in the car while my sister drove my car as I had earlier complained about not being able to see very well in the evening 1-2 week earlier. Bummer. I really hope it’s just the after affect of using eye drops containing steroids and that once the effect wears off, I’ll be back to seeing crystal clear.

In short, it was been very frustrating and not quite what I was expecting. But that’s because I’ve been highly optimistic of the immediate outcome. I was expecting myself to heal immediately and to be able to see clearly in an instant without any complications. I never really focused on the risk before the surgery as I trusted the doctor and only hoped for the desired outcome which is to see without depending on glasses and contact lens. Doctor says it would take 6 months for the vision to stabilise as I still have fluctuating vision and that it’s normal. I think he’s giving me the maximum timeframe to make me feel better. I don’t know. But I know and hope I would take shorter than that. I’m going to get my eye pressure and refraction test checked again the end of this week. I will also be on dilation again as doctor wants to check my eyes further. When the eyes are dilated, the pupils are enlarged and it would allow the doctor to see the back of the eyes. I hope and I pray that this blurriness is temporary and will get better with time and that the elevated eye pressure didn’t cause any damage to the eye.

For the past month, all I cared and worried about was my eyes. I’ve been doing self-testing everyday. Cover my left eye with my hands and then repeat with the right eye to see which one sees better. Sometimes it’s the left, sometimes it’s the right. Sometimes one eye is better with long distance. Sometimes the other eye is better with short distance. Sometimes I see things that are far clearer than close up and vice versa. So people around me would hear me say things like “I can see better today.”, “Today my vision is not so good.” , “I seemed to see better after I cry.” , “It is also better after a series of yawning.”, “Morning was better than the evening.” and etc. It has been filled with lots of uncertainties and my mood graph is based on how clearly I can see everyday. The victim is my boyfriend who has been listening to my ramblings about my eyes since the day of surgery. He has been very supportive and positive (tho maybe he’s a bit worried too but trying not to show that side of him to me to complicate things further).

Every Saturday of mine since a month ago is spent at the eye specialist centre and I don’t know how many Saturdays more I would need to go. It’s usually 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, 3 month, 6 months and a year post surgery checkup but it’s been weekly for me. Despite the many visits, I’m still grateful that I have a doctor that cares and who wants to see me every week. 🙂

I wasn’t able to focus on greater things. Been searching the Internet a lot. I get to read about positive and negative reviews. Positive ones will make me feel positive. Negative ones will of course make me worry even more. What is the normal recovery time for a person may not be the same for another person as each individual has healing duration that varies. I don’t know what is mine and I’m still counting. I do not mind the slow recovery if it means a desired and good results in the end. And the fact that my recovery hasn’t been a smooth one due to elevated eye pressure will require more time for the eye to heal and recover.

Above all, it requires PATIENCE and lots of it. It’s been somewhat a blurry few days and I’m not as loudly worried as I was. Still worried but I want to take things easily and slowly. If the doctor says it’s ok then it should be ok. Oh eyes, come back to mama please.