Saturday, August 29, 2015

That Time in Between



I am one week into the two week break between my first cataract surgery and my second (From Severely Myopic to....).   So far so good (knock on wood) -- I'm healing on schedule and there are no signs of retinal detachment.  Plus, my right eye tested at 20/20 which for someone who has been myopic since she was 10 is pretty darn cool.  Except for the two rats that I probably would not have seen on my walk last night in Central Park if not for this new right eye.

The only issue I've had is with reading and working on the computer -- which has made the last week a bit challenging.  This was not unexpected given that my left eye still requires a great deal of correction.  How much you might ask?  My eye glass prescription for that eye is -17.5 and my contact lens prescription is -12.  I am anticipating that I won't need correction for myopia in my new right eye but will need readers.  In a nutshell, a pretty big difference right now in refractive error (when light rays entering the eye don't meet directly on the retina causing blurred vision).



I do a little better on my lap top than on my work computer -- mainly because I can adjust it to the right and ignore what is coming in from my left eye.  It has definitely slowed me down though as I've had to accommodate for tired muscles around my new eye, headaches, and dry eye.  Not being able to rub my new eye does not help!  The other thing that does not help is my own drive to keep up with things despite this current challenge.  I've been moderately successful at slowing down (took a half day on Tuesday and worked at home on Wednesday) but it's always a challenge for me.

The good news is that this is likely a time-limited problem -- depending (of course) on how the surgery goes on my left eye next Friday.  Stay tuned.

A Couple of Asides
How excited was I when I remembered the #BGWindow display that included a phoropter (the machine that they use to figure out your eye glass prescription)?

The rest are photos from my post surgery walks with my new Olympus Air -- more on that another time. How cool is it that #Instagram now allows for landscape and portrait?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

From Severely Myopic to....



I have been wearing glasses since I was 10.  It started with not being able to see the blackboard in the 4th grade and went rapidly downhill from there.  Name a kind of contact and I've probably warn it -- starting with hard lenses in the 8th grade (might slow the progression of your Myopia) and progressing to the ACUVUE daily wear lenses that have been my go to contacts for some time now.  Name a treatment for making eye glass lenses thinner, lighter, glare proof -- and I'm confident I've paid for it.

Last Friday, I had cataract surgery on my right eye and I'll have the left eye done in two weeks.  in my research before the surgery, I read something in the guidance for ophthalmologists that basically said:  "Your severely myopic patient will be among the most happy" -- true that (at least so far).  I admit, I'm a little young for cataract surgery but I had a particular kind of cataract that is common in people with severe myopia (try -16 in that right eye) called a posterior subcapsular cataract.  Basically, it blocks the light on its way to the retina (for more on cataracts).

I seem to be running through the "c's" when it comes to surgeries, having had a cheilectomy in 2013 (Wiggling My Toes, Bending My Toes, First Steps and New Toys, and Rolling through My Toes) and a cholecystectomy in 2006 (gallbladder removal).  Perhaps the hardest surgery I ever recovered from was a laparotomy sometime in the 1990s for ovarian cysts.  And then there was the tonsillectomy when I was a kid.

Having a cataract removed is quick -- although not entirely without pain and I was awake for the entire thing.  The first stage was a laser to remove my own lens.  It was kind of like watching a green and red light show on steroids.  Mercifully it was short and I managed to stay still.The coolest thing was the white fuzz once the lens was out and as I was being wheeled down for surgery part 2.  It reminded me of when the black and white Magnavox of my childhood got snowy.  I could see dark shapes but nothing was very clear.   The second stage was a bit longer and they twilighted me for it (basically they sedated me just enough to take the edge off but not put me out).  That stage seemed to take forever but I am pretty sure it was probably not all that long.  Then it was up to post op where I got to have coffee, a muffin, graham crackers, and saltines.  OK, was I supposed to eat all of those things?

Aside from the weirdness of having one eye that is still severely myopic (even more myopic than the one I just had the surgery on), the weirdest thing is how white everything seems when viewed through my right eye alone.  It's like a film has been lifted and the colors of the world are just popping.    I tried to capture the difference in how I see with photo at the front end of this post that has a sepia tone -- Herring Creek Farm (2/2).  It's a tad darker than the actual way I see with my left eye -- mainly to make the point that there is a difference in how I am seeing.  The photo at the end (Herring Creek Farm (1/2)) is closer to how I see now see out of my right eye.  If I had to describe it in words, white walls are now white walls, and red is now red.

The coolest thing is that I've gone from a world where everything at a distance was always a bit fuzzy to one where I can see the individual shingles on the roof of the Plaza Hotel from half a block away.  That's pretty awesome.  The downside is that I probably won't be able to cheat and read without my readers anymore.  That's a trade off I'll take.