Friday, March 20, 2015

Eye Surgery, Part VI

Image of my right eye as of March 20
Around 8:45am yesterday, I was getting dressed to enter into the pre-operating room.  The surgery I wasn't worried about since I would be asleep. I was more livid about the situation and why I was having eye surgery from the brain injuries I had last year. Happy my eye was something which could be fixed.   Once I had the IV inserted into my arm and my glasses removed the eye surgeon asked me if I still had double vision. I replied, yes and he put up two thumbs and said good.

When I entered into the operating room I laid down onto the bed with a small circle pillow. The last words I heard before I fell asleep was the nurse telling me she as putting a warm blanket on my legs to keep the warm even though I had on a full body suit.

The eye surgery started at 10:30am. The procedure took an hour and a half. I have single vision, sort of.  When I woke up "five minutes later' at 12:30pm the surgeon was measuring my eyes to see whether they were aligned or not. Since they were he didn't need to make any adjustments. My right eye was given numbing drops and a very small metal prop was placed inside my eye to keep it open.  I looked up to see what I think were metal tweezers plucking away at the two remaining stitches inside my right eye.

I was home by the afternoon. When I look straight ahead I see single vision. When I look from left to right while looking straight ahead images don't shift. However, when I move my head to the right or the left the image shift slightly to the left or right and I have some double vision, then realign automatically after a second. Looking down then up again there is a shift again back into single vision, the same when looking up.

It's an adjustment seeing in widescreen when I've had one eye covered for one year and 10 days. The shifting of the images is odd, and will take a while getting used to. I've discovered when I close my eyes for a second while I turn my head I don't notice the shifting of images as much.  I can drive again in a few weeks.

 My right eye has some redness which should go away in a 3-4 days. The eye surgeon said it would take three months for my eye to fully adjust to the surgery. For now my eye is swollen, bumpy and in pain which should go down in a week. I still have the expectation I'm going to see double when I look above my glasses which is going to take some getting used to.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Eye Surgery, Part V

The surgeon said he is focused on me
being able to see single vision again when I look straight ahead.
They can achieve this part through surgery
which will take an hour under general anesthesia. 
Met with the eye surgeon today. The last time I saw him was in October. He told me there was a slight improvement in how my eyes were aligned since the last time I saw him six months prior.  He commented on how it's unusual to see any kind of improvement over that time period.  There's an 85% to 90% percent chance the surgery will work and I will have single vision again.There's a possibility I may have double vision when I move my head from side to side and then my eyes will have to learn to adjust back to single vision again.

Example of double vision I've seen for a year.
When I move my head the right, the images separate further.
 I move my head to the left, the images move closer together.
There's a chance after surgery I will still
see double a little when I move my head.
The brain may auto correct this and merge the images together.
 It can take 3 months for the eyes to adjust to the surgery.
The surgery will take an hour and then once I'm awake I'll be able to tell whether or not the vision is corrected. If an adjustment needs to be made, adjustable suture stitches will hang from my right eye.I will receive eye drops to numb my eye and they'll be able to make the adjustment with me awake. Which should only take 20 minutes if needed. 

It's outpatient surgery and I'll get to go home the same day. See the doctor for a follow up the next day then again in three months. After the surgery it will take three months for my eye to adjust to the changes. 

There's a chance I'll need to have prisms added to my lenses to fix any remaining double vision after the surgery. 

I am both happy and angry about the situation at the same time. Angry because in these situations you make if/then statements. If doctors had listened to me in 2009 and corrected the issues I was having then, I wouldn't be dealing with this now.
Eye contraption

But that's not what happened. I may animate what I feel like doing to the medical professionals responsible for this happening.

2nd view from the waiting area
All the changes in my body over the last year from these brain injuries is an adjustment to make. It's like grief, you have to adjust to living without the relationship. You still grieve for what is no longer there. but You're able to function again like you did prior again over time.  

1st view from the waiting area
Flowers by the front desk.
The doctor asked me whether I had a preference to using the adjustable stitch method or having the correction done. I didn't have a preference for one or the other, however I commented how I could handle seeing the adjustment being made if needed because as I stated, 'After what I've already been through, I shouldn't have any issues with 'seeing" anything once the procedure is complete. I've survived being up at 2am with feeling and hearing the shunt overheat inside my brain multiple times prior to the March surgery. I've had a camera stuck up my nose and down my throat while awake. I don't feel 'seeing' the last part of the eye surgery will freak me out too much. Still weird though.

Friday, March 6, 2015

1 year and 12 days

Today its the first year anniversary of my multiple brain injuries. Part of me is grateful I survived the ordeal and I'm able to resume most of my activities. However, I am apprehensive about seeing another neurologist/neurosurgeon regarding future care for my shunt. I've spent the last year with double vision and on Monday, March 9, I will meet with the eye surgeon to go over details of my eye surgery, the date and time.

I've been pre-occupied with having surgery to correct my vision from what happened to me 12 months ago.  I have extreme trust issues regarding hospitals and my shunt being revised.

I've had people say fairly insensitive, rude comments to me regarding how I'm suppose to be recovering and what I should be feeling.  I don't talk to these people anymore. A family friend had made the following a few months ago:

"What happened to you wasn't that big of a deal and you need to get over it. There are people who are worse off than you."

Me thinking: Would you like me to crack your head open with a golf club and demonstrate what I mean by brain injuries?

My response: "I was in rehab for three months, I saw people who had lost both their legs and had to walk using prosthetic legs, people who had strokes in their foreheads and could no longer speak, or people who were paralyzed from the neck down and could no longer move any part of their body at all. So I get I am very fortunate and grateful. However, I didn't just bump my head. My brain was bleeding in three places and I had a traumatic brain injury. I had to re learn how to walk, speak, stand, swallow, interact with people/environments and breathe.

And then there was silence.

I've been feeling a lot better (Physically, neurologically) these last few months. I think because my body is continuing to heal itself. My hand writing is close to what it was a year ago. My hand moves almost as it did. The hand writing isn't exactly as it was before, but it's close enough. Others may not notice a difference, but I do.

I think some people are quick to assume because I'm in school means my injuries were not too bad.  I do have some brain damage - processing is slower. It takes me longer to get things done. I'm getting closer to where I was cognitively last year, but there are still some issues.  I had a cognitive test done last week (three hours) and I'll find out the full report of " what it all means' most likely during the week I am to have my vision corrected. 12 more days left to go until I have single vision again.