Days 2 through 4

Today is Monday.  It has been 3 days since my last post.

On Friday (the day after the procedure) I went to Dr. Goodman’s office first thing in the morning.  The bandage was taken off my eye, and I was asked to read the chart.  I was able to read some of the letters (with work) down to the 20-60 line plus one more letter.  Wow! My vision in the left eye is already better than it was the day before corrected with glasses.  I was given a regimen of eye drops.  vigamox (an anti biotic) and Pred Forte (an anti inflammatory) 4 times a day (8, noon, 4, and 8 ) and celluvisc (a lubricant) every hour.  The first dose was given and I got a sense of how fragile my ey was when the O.D. wiped my eye with a tissue.  He was so gentle I barely felt the tissue.

The rest of Friday I slept and still was a little groggy.  My eye though feels pretty good when I keep the eye drops in.  I can tell when it is time to put in a lubricating drop, but even then it is not pain by any means.

Saturday, I was over the General anesthesia.  I was able to stay up all day. This made getting the drops in on time much easier and my eye feels great.

Sunday, I made it to church in the morning.  I was not terribly tired.  I realized that I hadn’t focused past a few feet for a couple days, and looking any distance was tiring but not painful.  Not much to report about my eyes.  I am still not reading.  I have The Lord of the Rings and CD and our reading from the Bible about the Eucharist on CD as well.

Today has been more of the same. I don’t know what is meant by sensitivity to light. My eyes are a little sensitive when I am outdoors, but I don’t have any problems in doors at all. The eye shades I was given have worked for all but the most direct sunlight. The white part of my eye is a little red but mainly it looks like a bad allergy day.

Actually the most annoying part has been the eye shield.  I am supposed to tape it on each night to keep from jostling the eye in bed.  Each morning I take off the shield and have an ugly rash where it touches the skin.  (I used a gauze pad under the edges of the shield last night and that helped some.  The other problem is that I am supposed to tape it on, but the tape won’t stick to my beard.  I am not actually sure how much good it is doing.  I am going to try a strap of some kind (like a real pirate’s eye patch to hold the shield if I can find one.  Halloween is coming up.  I should be able to find something. hi hi.

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The Beginning of a new Journey

I had hinted at this in a previous post. Today I had surgery on my eye.

First some background. I was diagnosed in high school as having an eye disease called kerateconus.  Kerateconus affects the cornea (the clear part of the eye in front of the colored iris and pupil.)  The rest of the eye is fairly healthy.  The disease causes the cornea to become more and more conical instead of the nice smooth hemisphere of a healthy cornea.  The process is a continuous gradual process.  It is interesting that people with the disease also rub their eyes a lot.  This is certainly the case for me.

When I was diagnosed, I read some literature about the disease and it appeared that the disease often, although not always, continues to deform the cornea until it is so acute that the peak thins and eventually develops opaque scar tissue.  At that point the one solution is to have a corneal transplant,

Well, today was my day for a transplant.   My left eye has reached the point of having scar tissue and my optometrist Dr. Chong referred me to Dr. Goodman who said my eye was an “excellent candidate” for a transplant.  That was in May and the scheduled day has arrived.   So I will try to write pretty regularly about my experience.  If nothing else for my own ability to remember the little details later.  If it helps other know what to expect when they go through the same procedure, great! The entire process will last more than a year probably.

Today my wife and my dad brought me to the hospital for  10:10am surgery.  We arrive early sometime before 8am.  My wife noticed on the board that my doctor, Dr. Daniel Goodman, had quite a number of operations scheduled that day.

When you read about the transplant on some web sites you will see that some doctors prefer to do the operation under a local anesthesia and others under a general anesthesia.  I have to say happy to hear at an earlier appointment that mine would be under general.  I’m sure local is fine but I was happy that I would be taking a nap unaware of what was happening around me.  Because it was a GA procedure I was told to fast after midnight.

Fortunately really the day was pretty uneventful.  My nurse was a pro and got the IV in on the first try with no drama on my part, hooray!  After that everything went like clockwork.  I met with the anesthesiologist and Dr. Goodman.  They said the procedure would take roughly 45 minutes to an hour.  That seemed to hold and after being rolled into the operating room I said good night and work up in the recovery room.  I never actually opened my eyes in the recovery room.  Before I knew I was a awake I found that taking deep breathes was impossible (I have asthma) and apparently said “inhaler” with my first waking breathe.  The recovery room was a blur.  In and out … taking some puffs on my inhaler … being able to take deep breathes … sleeping some more.  Eventually I was taken back to the room we started in.  I don’t remember the elevator.  I heard we were leaving and then we arrived.

Anyway, by 11:20am I was back in the room in the outpatient ward.  I eventually woke up more and had juice, water, crackers, decaf coffee and some lemon cake thanks to Amy and Calvin (friends from church).  Anyway I was given a Tylenol with codine, because there was a very little irritation from my left eye.

At 1:30pm I was discharged with instructions to take Extra Strength Tylenol for any further irritation.  That has been kept up.

On getting home I had lunch and went to bed for a three hour nap.  I woke up and layed around.

By now, about 9pm.  I feel very good.  Good enough to write this book.  I will hit the sack soon for the night.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with Dr. Goodman when he will take the surgical dressing off and look at the eye, and start my regimen of eye drops.

Well future posts will be shorter.  I promise!

Arrrg!

A Swimming Milestone

Today I reached a milestone.

In June I started swimming again after 19 years out of the pool.  In high school I had been an above average swimmer on my schools swim team.  But that all ended when I left for college.  Over the years my weight has balooned and I was in pretty awful shape.

Then in June I started swimming.  My family went with a few other families to a water park out in the sun of the East Bay.  The park had a swimming pool with a lane set aside for lap swimming, so I jumped in and did a few lengths.  That got the bug in me.  I went and bought goggles and got into a public pool the next week.

Oh, the agony.  I swam maybe 600 yards and was nearly physically ill on the drive home.  Just shows what 19 years out of the pool will do to you.  So I set my sights on getting my yardage up.  Specifically I wanted to swim twice a week and get up to 2,000 yards a session by the end of September.

I actually did pretty well at the two times a week.  Better than I expected.  I still am often very tired when I get out.  No hopping out of the pool like I used to.

Well after 3 months, I swam 2,000 yards today.   And, I didn’t feel half bad after getting out.

Now I will have some surgery (that will be another post) and hope that I can get back in the water in a few months.  In the meantime I’ll concentrate on shedding some weight.

But I’m happy with where I’ve gotten.  I am in much better shape even now for my surgery, and hopefully it will help in recovering quickly.