photo update….

11 10 2008

I’ve been meaning to post these updated photos….they were taken mid-September:

 

Update:I still have significant numbness….if you look closely at the shot of my left eye, you will notice that it is still slightly larger than the right. It has also not healed as well, which I attribute to them taking me off the erythromiacin a week early (they thought I was having an allergic reaction to it) there is a knot the size of the head of a seamstress pin (larger than the head of a regular pin, and more raised) on the scar on this eye, which is a minor cosmetic set-back.

I have not lost any visual acuity, and in fact it seems that much of my vision is improved.

Would I do it again? Ask me in 3-6 months. I still hate that I feel like I’ve had a head transplant every time I smile….although I am starting to have some feeling return to my nose. My “neutral” face used to be a pleasant blank face…now I frown whenever my face relaxes…I find myself pulling up the corners of my mouth just to look like I”m not scowling….which is an odd feeling….as a result, I continue to avoid most social situations, unless I know we are going to a dark restaurant, or bar. Come to think of it, the more I drink, the better I look! LOL!

 I still have significant puffiness in my face, and the 12 weeks I’ve spent on bed rest have made me pretty bloated and ridiculously out of shape. I’ve just started walking 30 minutes a day, and hope to increase my daily activities starting next week. That and a 1,300 calorie a day diet will hopefully allow me to loose some of the extra 10 pounds I’ve put on since the beginning of summer….good thing it’s now sweater weather!!





On the Road again…..

17 09 2008

I’m cleared to drive again. Its amazing how simple life becomes when driving comes off the table. I need to post some photos, but I got a new camera and I’m lazy!! My eyes look pretty good….the left eye is still slightly larger than the right, which is driving me crazy, but I have to remind myself that it was operated on last, and it may take longer to settle in.

I feel as if I’ve had a head transplant. I am still numb from my lips to my eyebrows, and my temples still ache when I brush my hair. My cheeks and nose remain swollen, but the under eye swelling has receded a bit. With my facial muscles numbed out, I find that my relaxed face is a frown, and smiling feels really odd, and looks even more odd. DH keeps teasing me about looking, uh, fugly (how nice!) But, it’s the truth……

He keeps asking me where my glasses are. That’s code for “Baby, your eyes are fugly, do something to hide ‘em”…..Somewhere in the confusion of the operations, the percocet, and the visitors who meant well, but hid all my kitchen items, I’ve lost my everyday glasses. So, this past weekend I bit the bullet and bought a new pair. I didn’t bother with an eye exam, and opted for the same prescription I’ve had for the past several years…..hope that wasn’t a mistake.

I just couldn’t wait for another month, and I wanted something to hide the big red scars on the side of my eyes. I’m not one to wear make-up on a daily basis, and people think I’m stoned when I walk through the grocery store with shades on. So, I look forward to picking up my frames sometime in the next week, and venturing out into the world again, beyond these four walls and the children’s school.





Latest Update

3 09 2008

Well, just got back from my Doctor’s check-up two days ago and things are going swimmingly. They still can’t get over the fact that I have no area bruising to speak of, and the eyes themselves are doing fine. I opted out of having him remove the stitches in my left eye, because I just was tired of people monkeying around with my eyes….that proved to be a mistake, because when the dissolvable stitch broke yesterday, it left behind a half inch of stitch that floated around in my eye for a day until I finally got up the courage to poke around my upper eyelid and pull it out.

My right eye’s stitches are totally dissolved, and the scar tissue is looking pretty good. The left eye still has visible stitches, and I imagine that will be the case for another week.

I’ve now been in bed for almost three weeks, and it’s getting old….but what should’ve been a fun Sunday drive turned into a miserable afternoon, because I get queasy when my eyes have too much to focus on….we went to my favorite breakfast spot, and I know people thought I was weird wearing dark shades on a rainy day!





Halfway there….

24 08 2008

Well, I am in the second week of surgical recovery, and I’m still amazed at how tired my body is. Tell me how it is that I can focus on the tv in my bedroom for hours at a time,but one look at the Target circular in the Sunday paper makes my eyes reel in pain?

The stitches in my right eye have definately dissolved, but my vision is still pretty blurry in the right eye compared to the left. The healing, on the other hand, looks much better on the right eye, which makes me believe that I will be feeling much better in about a week. Until then it is all I can do to lie low and wait it out. My husband is impatient for me to bounce back, but it’s just not that easy for me to jump in the car and run errands just yet.





Day 5 photo

18 08 2008
Day 5 post orbital decompression surgery

Day 5 post orbital decompression surgery





cross my heart, hope to die….

18 08 2008

So, I have to say, I have been really happy with my recovery so far. The swelling and bruising is at a minimum, and the pain is now negotiable thanks to the happy pills.

Until this evening when a foreign object entered the bad eye.

Mind you, I have some hair. Not the Farrah Fawcett, luxuriously thick mane I always dreamed of, but my recent friendship with a Paul at Blue Chair Salon finally has me thinking of my hair as an asset instead of a liability. In fact, two of my girlfriends who visited commented on the complimentary cut and color of my hair instead of how hideous my eye looks…come to think of it, they were probably just being nice.

I have a food service background, so I am paranoid about tying my tresses back before I start work in the kitchen. Especially lately, as my hair tends to fall out more easily with all my thyroid issues. I’m not balding or anything, but my hairbrush has an excess off dna when I blow dry.

I’ve been placing an antibiotic ointment on my eye sutures to help them heal and ward off infection. The stuff literally melts all over…in my eyes, down my cheek, in my hair, etc. So, hairs are naturally sticking to the ointment and I’ve been absolutely paranoid about getting them out. I’m using only fresh washed cloths on my ice packs and washing my face with sterile wash cloths and trying to get the excess goop out of my eye with a q tip…..big mistake.

They don’t make q tips that don’t shed anymore. I’ve tried every brand…they have this synthetic stuff that makes it’s own hair…..not good in my situation.

And to make matters worse, my entire right side of my face is slightly swollen, and completely numb. So, I keep chasing phantom hairs that I think I can feel on my fingers, but I don’t see them in the mirror with my one eye. My skin texture has completely changed with the edema, so it makes it extra hard to determine if it is a stray hair or dry skin….and my skin reacts so differently to touch. If I touch my lower cheek it somehow resonates in my eyebrow….difficult to describe.

So, tonite I can feel a serious hair IN MY EYE. I try excavating it with a q tip, but to no avail. Finally I’m crying and wiggling my face trying to get the bugger out, and it happens: I pull a stitch out. Ouch. And, even though my mom pulled out a mongo hair from the corner of my eye, it still feels as if something is in there.

So, what’s a girl to do when there is a foreign object in your eye, and no reasonable way to get it out? Put on a chick flick and prepare to cry.

The movie du nuit was The Notebook. I loved the novel, and had been waiting until another chick was around to watch the flick with. My mother proved the perfect candidate. I bawled my eyes out….but the hair still seems entwined somehow…..what a helpless feeling.

Good news is, I can see out of both eyes right now, and I get to take my mom for a ride on the OHSU tram to Casey Eye Institute tomorrow, where I’m certain my surgeon would like to lecture me on the dangers of q tips, and proper eye hygiene.

I’m sporting a hair band for the remainder of August.





18 08 2008
latest photo

latest photo

So, the swelling and discoloration continue to be at bay….one good thing. The pain is much more manageable now, but being a one-eyed cyclops is not without it’s disadvantages. I am absolutely paranoid about what I cannot see. Open kitchen cabinets and toys on the floor are now much more serious than distractions, and yesterday my dear husband thought it would be cute to sneak up behind me and tickle me on the back of the leg…..BIG mistake. Mistake magnified by 60 mgs of prednisone, I might add.

I hate prednisone. If you’ve never had it, the best way to describe it is to say that it amps up your primal “fight or flight” response. I’ve been on it many times when I had ulcerative colitis, and I cringe any time it is prescibed, because it makes me a complete hag….lucky hubby, lucky family.

We took our two favorite priests to dinner last week as a big pre-surgery send-off, and they informed me that Santa Lucia is the Patron Saint of the eyes. So, tonight I’m hoping to go out and adopt a koi to keep orangesickle company and name it Lucy. Last Wednesday Mass at Holy Rosary was dedicated to me…..my Great Grandmother Angelina is in heaven smiling at me right now, I’m sure.





Day 2 of Orbital Decompression

15 08 2008

Forgive the typos, I’m typing with my eyes closed. So, the surgery went relatively well. the biggest issue I had was with pain management. The doctor wrote a prescription for purcocet, with instructions to take one pill every six hours. This was a ridiculously low dose, and my mother was hoarding the pills as if I were some sort of addict. The pain ended up getting the upper hand, and by the time I consulted with the doc the next day, he told me that I could’ve taken 1-2 pills every 4-6 hours….much different than 1 pill every six. So, the healing has been much smoother since th first day fiasco. Pian sucks.

Surprises include the numbing of my entire right side of my face. I wasn’t expecting that. My docs are pleasantly surprised that I seem to be bruising and swelling less than most patients….hooray for Monavie!!

I still have significant pain in my eye sockets, and I’m off to purcocet-land…..just wanted to check in and post the first of many gross photos.

orbital decompression photo....after





August photo update

8 08 2008

Here is my latest photo……whoopee.





Doctor dickering….

30 07 2008

Can you dicker with your doctor?

Yesterday, my occular plastic surgeon’s nurse called me back with cost of a full lower lid fix on my eyes….mind you, I’m already sedated and cut open, and it’s the same surgeon doing just one more cosmetic adjustment that he estimated would add 30 minutes to the proceedure.

And the number is? Four thousand dollars. Four thousand uninsured dollars, that is. That means that he wants cold hard cash before he does it. I keep thinking about what I could do with an extra four thousand dollars…..and a cosmetic procedure just isn’t where I’d like it to go….it just seems so incredibly vain to me. I’ve often been accused of having had plastic surgery, and I’ve always been proud to declare a “body by God”….so this whole thing is conflicting me a bit.

So, I’m hoping to call him and tell him that I can’t handle four, but I would happily pay two thousand if he would consider doing the procedure for that…..I’m curious to see how he reacts to that. I know that medical offices dicker with insurance companies all the time, and that many procedures get reduced or even written off…..why not dicker before the fact?








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