So when I last posted, I was on the road to recovery. Little did I know that recovery would be three months long and come with another unplanned surgery.
My first surgery was June 18. I received very good care from the doctors and nurses. I also was given very strict instructions on how to best take care of myself. With a hole on the back of my retina, the doctor can choose to insert a gas bubble or an air bubble into the area of the hole to “block” the hole and promote healing. Because of severity of the hole, my doctor chose to insert a long-lasting gas bubble. If you remember from science class, gas expands and contracts depending on the elevation level. I live in the High Desert of California and to get to the high desert, we must travel up a mountain to a higher elevation. I had to lie down in the backseat of the car with my head down for the trip and stop halfway between the surgery center and my home to rest my eye for about 90 minutes. This allowed the gas bubble to slow expansion and not injure my eye any further.
A gas bubble in my eye means I had to lay face down on my stomach for 2 weeks. I was very fortunate to have done some research ahead of time and found a massage type of chair that allows you to lay face down. This chair came with a mirror that allowed me to watch TV. It also had a stand to lay a book on for reading. Although I had little pain in my eye, a face down position is painful to my chest and back and neck. My family put hot compresses on my back and rubbed pain cream on my back and neck to relieve some of the pressure.
The gas bubble in my eye lasted for 2 months. I could not drive for the whole 2 months. I had a couple of follow-up appointments within the 2 months (stopping for 90 minutes each time…uuuggghhh). At my last appointment, my doctor informed me that the hole did not close. I still saw wavy lines and my vision, although better, was not corrected. He scheduled my next surgery for September 3rd. The procedure was the same, but seemed much more painful this time around. My eye did not appear as red and swollen as the first time. The doctor told me he removed a fibrous membrane from my eye and “pinched” my eye to promote healing. It seems to be healing better this time. I still have three more surgeries to go. I will have the same surgery, but hopefully without the gas bubble on my left eye in October. I will then have cataract surgery on both eyes after the first of the year.
Let me say how grateful I am for technology and the wonderful God-given talents of my doctor. He has been very encouraging and compassionate about my care. That being said…..a few things I struggle with:
- I cannot drive:
Sometimes being driven around has its perks. For the most part though, I miss my independence.
- Gaining weight:
Being sedentary and restricted on exercise packs on the pounds. I am not allowed to do rigorous exercise or lift anything above 10 pounds. Not being able to see out of my right eye restricts walking outside also. In the big scheme of things its a small price to pay.
- Not being able to see!:
I am so grateful to my husband and daughter, my parents, and my friends for encouraging and taking care of me while I go through this. I could not have done so well mentally and emotionally had it not been for their love.
If you have nay questions or going through this yourself, please drop me a comment, I’d love to hear your experience!