Friday, October 3, 2014

One chapter ending and eye surgery

  The end of July found me shipping my last cycle of birds at my place and my neighbour's. The next week was barn cleanout and it was a relief to finish for the last time. Usually it'd take about a week to thoroughly clean 4 barns and it always felt good to have them done with a little bit of down time before getting for the ready for the next cycle. This time though, with cleanout done just in time, I was getting ready to go in for eye surgery.

  On August 8th (exactly 3 months before my wedding!), I went in for laser eye surgery. The past year or so I had been thinking about how nice it would be to not have to deal with glasses or contacts any more. I was 7 when I first started wearing glasses and then mainly contacts since 14. The past few years my eyes seemed to be getting a little more sensitive and I ended up wearing glasses and contacts about an equal amount of time. The more I looked into eye surgery, the more appealing it seemed. How nice it would be to not have to bring your glasses along every time you travelled, contacts and contact solution (esp a pain if you want to travel carry-on :p), not have them fog up with winter activities or cold weather, etc. Plus, my then fianc√© and now husband, was very supportive and encouraging in my decision. Knowing personally a few people who went through laser eye surgery, I felt more confident in moving ahead with it.

  First I called the optometrist to make an appt and had to book it a ways out since I couldn't wear contacts for a month (due to astigmatism) before getting tests that were necessary for the surgery. That was towards the end of July and then I got an appt with Horizon Laser about a week later. I drove down to Regina (about 3 hours away) and had a good appt. Due to my cornea being too thin, I wasn't a candidate for LASIK surgery but I would be for PRK, another form of laser surgery. With both surgeries, you end up with the same results about 6 months down the road. PRK is more painful and has a slower healing time but then you don't have dry eyes as severe and there is no flap that needs to heal back in place. When I went to book the surgery, the receptionist surprised me by saying there was an opening in a week, and if not then, it would be several weeks before another available slot. So, I took the closest one and then tried not to freak out and get excited too much. lol.

  The surgery went smoothly but recovery was slow. My parents took me to the appt since they don't allow patients to drive right after surgery, and I wouldn't be able to anyways. Then I stayed at their place for a while. The first 3 days were the worst. I was supposed to sleep pretty much that whole time because the eyes heal best with darkness and resting. Mom would help with the drops since at the start there were 4 different drops to be applied and some of them 4xday. There was a lot of pain those first few days. Then finally on the fourth day things began to feel gradually better. I was very sensitive to light still but at least was able to stay up part of the day and not have almost unbearable pain to deal with.

  I went to my first post surgery appt at the optometrist and said everything looked good but my vision wasn't clear enough to pass the eye test for driving. Usually you can start driving about a week after but sometimes it takes longer. Recovery was much more difficult than expected. My eyes stayed blurry for quite some time with occasional moments/times in the day when it would start to clear up. The days seemed to take forever to pass by. I couldn't do a whole lot due to my eye sight, or lack thereof, and I like having something to keep me busy! My next appt was about 10 days later and I still couldn't see good enough for the driving test chart. That was discouraging but not totally surprising. My eyes were at least slowly improving but I was still dealing with  blurriness, seeing double/ghosting, halos around lights during the night, etc, My next appt was 2 weeks later and I finally passed the test and was able to drive again after almost 4 weeks post surgery. That was such a relief and it never felt so good to have my licence back! :) You realize how helpless you are when you can't drive.

  It was about 6 -7 weeks before it felt like my eyes were completely healed and vision was perfectly clear. The optometrist said they were healing well and he was happy with the progress. I had recently finished the last one of my medicated drops so then just had lubricant drops to apply as needed. So, the first part was definitely not fun but the surgery was totally worth it. I love not having the hassle of glasses or contacts to deal with anymore and definitely have no regrets about going with PRK surgery.

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