Wednesday, August 08, 2012

2 Days After Eye Surgery....

Okay, here's a bit of my eye surgery story ...something I promised myself I would do, as going ahead with this surgery was 2 years in the making --the last couple months being the most extreme, as I debated 24 hours a day as to whether I was making the right decision!  I researched online for months, there was lots of scary pictures of operations & surgical studies ...but little "average person" information available, and almost nothing from an adult patient's perspective.

I have a hereditary eye condition called Convergence Excess Esophoria (CEE).  It was not diagnosed until I was 38 years old, and was not given a comprehensive diagnosis until now, at 40 years old.  Strange, I know, but I never complained, and I did well in school when I was a kid.  I just stunk at sports and was a klutz who bumped their head and tripped over things all the time.

Me at the OP Center, pre-surgery
So, my experience with CEE eyes begin to cross when looking at anything 20 feet and closer.  The closer the object, the more they cross, in fact they cross to infinity ...if my eyes could trade sockets, they probably would at times.  Then, when I look in the distance they uncross.  With constant crossing/uncrossing needed as I drive, walk, or do anything that isn't at a fixed point.  BUT, as I have gotten older my eyes slowed down and were not crossing/uncrossing fast enough, causing constant blurred vision, loss of 3-D vision, and a world of eye fatigue, and crazy visual issues.  I tried progressive lenses and anything the doc suggested with poor results.  They would help for a few months and then back to the same complaints.  So on June 12, 2012 I scheduled surgery for August 6, 2012.  I was to have Bimedial Faden Sutures to correct Convergence Excess Esophoria.

In my own words, not surgical jargon -both eyes would be cut open and one of the muscles in each eye would be sutured to the back of the eye, to weaken the force of the muscle, and limit my eyes' ability to cross.  The procedure will limit the amount of crossing, so I can get special glasses/prisms if needed, to completely correct the problem and fine tune my vision.

That's my story... now here we go!  PLEASE keep in mind, I am writing this on DAY 3, Wednesday Aug 8th... it might not be perfect, as I'm still healing, but I wanted to share the process while I was recovering and going thru it....

Monday August 6th was DAY 1: 
I had the procedure at 12:30pm at our local outpatient surgery center.  My surgeon was Dr. Lee Klombers, MD, Neuro-Opthamologist.  I walked in, they put me under, did their thing, and I walked out, all within a couple hours.  Here's me, just got home from surgery, with my eyes covered and swollen shut.  It hurt, but I was still medicated, and able to smile :).


That night, I had to put medicated salve in my eyes, so this was my first look in the mirror.  Pretty dramatic --red eyes, bloody tears, purple hemorrhaging, and puffy lids.  I felt awful... the night was rough, VERY rough, as all I was given was tylenol.  All I could think is what did I get myself into?????  I wish I had insisted on something stronger for this first night as I was in PAIN and my eyes were having spasms, my head was jerking, and I was freaked out.  I can handle pain, but the spasms and jerking of my eyes was pretty intense.  I could not tolerate the weight of the ice packs this first night, I tried, but just set the ice on my brows.

DAY 2, August 7 2012
I survived Night 1 HOORAY!  I looked awful in the morning, but felt better than I did the night before, ANYTHING was better!  I gingerly washed my eyes and added more drops to get them moving.  They were sore, swollen, and there was a thick layer of gel over them that was making it hard to see. It was hard to tolerate light.  The purple rings in the whites of my eyes went away.  Every now and then I would get a glimpse of clear vision and it would go back to blurry.  Ian (my guy --let me clarify, my wonderful, patient, caring guy) took me to Target to get GenTeal Gel-drops eye drops, washcloths, and frozen peas.  I was nearly blind, but went just to get out of the house.   Then, Ian tells me that the doc told him days 2 & 3 will be the worst --Grrrrr, I think how could it get worse than Night 1??

When we got home, I put the gel-drops in my eyes, and napped with my frozen peas all afternoon.    Frozen peas brought the most relief!  I have gained new respect for frozen peas.  You can arrange them so they rest where you need them and elevate above the areas where you don't want them.  I call it pea tetris, a beautiful BEAUTIFUL thing!

When I woke up from my nap, the difference was profound, my eyes started to clear!  The cold peas and GenTeal drops helped A LOT!  This is me after my nap:

A BIG difference!  MY eyes were still a little blurry and ached like they were bruised, burned, and sprinkled with glass, but it was tolerable.  (believe it or not)  Tinted glasses and the ice-packs (peas) really brought the pain level down.  You can see my eyes are a little off, or slightly out of alignment, but they are working again.  They are working VERY well for things a few feet away, I am beginning to see in 3D, in a way I have NEVER seen things before.  The flowers outside the front door keep fascinating me, they are like jungle vines that look like they are going to reach out and touch me!!   It is slightly euphoric!!  Sounds silly, but it is really something!

With my new eyes I took the dogs for a mini-walk with Ian, washed a load of laundry, and watched a little TV.  Enough to tire me out for bed.  I slept with my peas and eventually my tape-on goggles.  I was restless, but slept MUCH better than the previous night.
DAY 3 August, 8, 2012  --TODAY:
Woke up early, washed eyes and they were much improved and straight.  Today they feel like they were stung by bees, burning itchy.  Right eye hurts more than the left.  Not bad, all things considered!  I can see... like, I can really see, in 3-D!  I look like crap, but who cares.
We headed off to the doctor for my Post-op follow up at 8:15am (too early).  The doc was VERY pleased; he said I am a fast healer.  He tested my eyes and there was NO crossing or jumping around.  And, at close-up I did not need my full bifocal rx!  He also numbed my eyes and trimmed the sutures that are on the surface of the whites of my eyes, MUCH relief when he trimmed them.  I follow up with him again on October 17th, when I will be completely healed, so I can get new glasses to fine tune my new eyes.

I took a few close-up pics today so you can see my eyes as they heal.   You can see where they were cut open and a hint of the fine purple sutures on the surface (near the bottom of my eyeball, if you click on the pics they should enlarge, if you're dying to see the close ups :)).  The sutures will dissolve over the next few weeks.

I would prefer not to go thru this kind of surgery again, but given the results in 48 hours IT WAS SOOOOOO WORTH IT!!!  I hope and pray all continues to go well and I will be sure to post an update here and there to let you know how things are going.  If you have a question please feel free to contact me.  I am happy to share or help if I can --from a patient's perspective, I am not a clinician.   

I am looking forward to getting back to my creative endeavors over the next several days.  I can't wait to see my clay and jewelry in 3D, clearer, and better than I EVER have!!!!  I am limited for awhile as I can not expose my eyes to dusts, powders, chemicals, soaps, etc for 10-14 days.  But I'm going to see what I can do in the meantime...even if it's cleaning my bench off with goggles on!


  1. This is an excellent post. So many people, like you, research a health condition and would be glad to read about your experience. I don't see tags on this post. You really should add them.

    I'm so glad the surgery went well for you. Sending you healing energy to speed your recovery.
    xx, Carol

  2. Thanks Carol--
    SUPER GREAT suggestion!!!! I updated the post today to include tags and a little more info. :)