Monday, January 30, 2012

~ Eye Surgery update ~

Hi Friends,

If you have been reading the last few days you have been reading posts that I have scheduled for a few days since I knew I would be out of commission. 

For those who have not caught up on facebook on my surgery here's an update on my Corrective Vision Surgery, PRK Custom Advanced Surface Treatment.  aka. Custom Lasek with an E. 

I have been near sighted all my life. I can see close but I can not see much more than 8 feet in front of me. Probably less. I have had bad vision since about 4th grade, though it was never addressed until I was 18 and an adult with a job and insurance to get glasses. I started wearing glasses full time at 19. I was never a candidate for contacts because of my dry eye. So for the last 16 years I have been stuck with glasses. A few years ago I decided that I was going to get Lasek . And I started saving years ago too, it was $3000.00. Cheap when you consider what I have spent on glasses over the years. and as many of you who follow me know... I scheduled this last November and have been ready for it ever since. 

Moving on... I really want to take a moment to to explain my surgery specifically. I had PRK Advanced Surface Treatment, also known as Lasek with an "e" . Not Lasik with an "i". 

There are 2 different and distinct corrective vision eye surgeries. Let me explain the difference. 

The most common is Lasik with an "i". You have all heard of this one. Some of you have even had it and most of you know someone who has had it. Lasik with an "i" is a very quick healing procedure. A flap is cut on the eye, your eye is lasered and that crystal clear flap is put back down over your newly lasered eye. In about 24 hours you are good as new and can see perfectly. There is little to no pain. It's very easy and is the surgery most people are perfect candidates for and most chosen based on the quick healing time and lack of pain.

I unfortunately was NOT a candidate for Lasik with an "i". I have severe dry eye and an uneven cornea that is thin in some places, thick and others and bulging at the bottoms. Conditions that disallow the cutting of the flap for the cake Lasik with an i. My eyes are so dry that I have never been able to wear contacts. They just fall out of my eyes. Fall out. I blink and out they go. This is important because it is going to matter about 12 hours after I had my surgery. uh oh! 

So I had to get PRK/ Lasek. with an "e" Advanced surface treatment. The difference is that there is no flap cut and they laser right through my cornea causing abrasions and scratching that make it very hard to see for about a week. It's also very painful. 


The Definition from Bloomberg Eye Center :

PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) or advanced surface treatment is a form of laser vision correction where the re-shaping of the cornea is performed at the surface of the cornea instead of deep under a flap as in LASIK. As such, more of the corneal substance is left untouched in PRK, making it a safer procedure, especially for thin and irregular corneas. The patient is left with a corneal abrasion that takes a few days to heal, and the vision improves slowly over several days.

Benefits of Surface Treatment

The laser used for vision correction is the same as LASIK, and the visual results are essentially the same as well. Studies of customized vision correction have even suggested slightly better visual results with PRK than LASIK. This may be because the corneal flap created for LASIK may induce slight visual changes, while PRK avoids the flap. Additionally, since the corneal laser ablation is done at the surface, and not deeper in the cornea, there is less dryness following PRK, than LASIK.

Having mentioned the benefits of PRK, LASIK is still the procedure of choice for most of our patients in Columbus and Newark, Ohio. Slow recovery of vision and the initial discomfort from the abrasion induced by PRK are the major downsides. A somewhat rare corneal haze or superficial scar can also occur with PRK especially with extensive unprotected exposure to UV light in the first year following the procedure. This is usually treatable with eye drops or additional laser. PRK is recommended if the integrity of cornea is in question and cutting a LASIK flap may further weaken the cornea. In the past, some branches of the armed forces only allowed PRK. Some patients who are good LASIK candidates also choose to have PRK for its safety.


I also added the Custom feature to my surgery. It corrects night vision, halos and makes a custom map of your eye correcting things that regular lasik can not even detect. These were  major issue for me as I could not drive at night and feel safe. Mr. Primcat always drives.  I won't post all about that here but you can read what more about that at this link. And I really hope you do read it. 


So definitions... there ya go. 

"Corneal abrasion" is an understanterment. I couldn't see crap. I have my screen currently blown up to 400% and I can barely make it out without shoving the screen into my face so I can make sure what I thought I typed was actually there. 

So let me share the last 3 days. Everything is very blurry. I'm sorta blind in either one eye or the other at any given time. Strangely it changes at whim. It's weird. Friday my left eye was messed up. Saturday both eyes were messed up. Sunday my right eye was messed up. Just weird. It does as it pleases without warning.

Friday morning I woke up in unbearable pain. Unbearable. I was freaking out! What the hello was going on. I woke Mr. Primcat and he awoke with a start and said... "Nurse Shane on Duty". Bless that man. I love him so. Very funny now. Not so much then. He looked in my eye because I was swearing I lost my contact. He thought I had not. What he was seeing was the circle of membrane they removed from on top of my cornea on my eye. You can clearly see it in the video. So in severe pain I took a neurotin,  pain nerve blocker they prescribed and a Xanex and I forced myself to go back to sleep until my appointment the next day. 

Vicki picked me up and took me in. I was a mess. I can not even describe to you the amount of pain I was in. I basically cried from the moment I awoke until I got there. It felt like I was blinking on sand paper and really I was! I walked in and they took one look at my face (I said not one word!) and KNEW I was in unbearable pain. Bless them... within seconds they took me back and numbed my eye and verified that I had lost my contact in the night. All I can say is I can not imagine ever experiencing that pain again. There was nothing I could have done, I lost it in my sleep... but I have been diligent about putting in excessive amounts of tears when I am awake to make sure that doesn't happen again. 

The Dr. asked me to come back Tuesday but I asked him to make it Monday because I'm hoping to go back to work Tuesday. I am hoping I am healed enough to get these maddening band-aid contacts out and get back to work. I feel so bad about missing so much this past month. I was on vacation when my appendix went bad, and I technically only missed 4 days after my surgery, Jan 3-6. The rest was my pre-scheduled vacation time and holidays. But I still feel bad. I even gave my boss the option to have me to reschedule my eye surgery. Unfortunately if I am out he is the only one who can do my job. I offered to reschedule but he said no and I appreciate that because I have so been looking forward to having this done and over with. Back too the point... we scheduled for Monday at 1:45. I came home and went to bed. Best plan ever. 

Saturday... I didn't do much. Both eyes were being defiant. I could mot make much out. Everything was just blurry. 

Sunday. My right eye decided to be defiant. So blurry and itchy.  It's maddening. I want so bad to just rub the holy heck  out of my eyes. I can not ever tell you. I'm going insane!!! 

Today is my appointment. I can not wait. I am Praying for good news. If he can take the contacts out without it being painful I can go back to work I think. I know I should not be worried about work.... but I am always trying to cover myself and my boss. 

So there you have it. My experience so far. What I want to tell you most importantly is that I can see far amd near when my eyes are not being wonky. And over time that will improve more. I can not wait! 

I am again going to post this video of my personal surgery and I hope you will watch it. It really is amazing. I know many find it gross but try to take a different perspective and appreciate that my eyes were just fixed and you can see it on video. 


Please send me prayers and good vibes for my appointment today! 

Until next time... 

Carmen and the Primcats


Farmhouse prims said...

Hi Carmen, I had the same surgery as you, I rem. that scratcy pain, horrible. It will take awhile for them to heal. I used to work an an eye Dr.'s office, I got it done on Fri. and went back to work on Monday. I couldn't hardly see to drive to work, but each day it got better and better. It is so wonderful to wake up at night and be able to see the time on the alarm clock. But now since my age, I am beginning to need glasses to read and thread a needle. That is a whole new ballgame for me, as I have always been able to see up close. But I can see like a hawk at a distance. He He
You will be so glad that you got it done, it just takes some healing time. And I am not a Dr. So please get an okay from a physician. 1000mg. of flax seed oil will really help your dry eyes, or fish oil and benifit your heart health, but please ask your Dr. first since some supplements aren't to be taken with other meds.
Good luck to you, and let us know how your are doing. Hugs, Lecia

Karen/My Colonial Home said...

Oh Carmen what an ordeal for you...I can just imagine the pain you woke up with from losing the contact...and so happy they were able to take care of it immediately.
I watched the video...YOU WERE A TROOPER!!!
Bless you and I am praying for you.

dee begg said...


Ohhhhh....just thinking about how painful it was for you makes me cringe. I've worn glasses most of my life and would love to get out of them. I hope that your eyes heal quickly. Have a great day.


Sandi @ The Primitive Skate said...

My Prayers are with you my friend! I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. I did not watch the video because I am squimish to things like that, Lol! Take Care and hope you heal fast!

BumbleBeeLane said...

Keeping you in prayer sweetie! Still can't watch the movie.Sorry but am glad that they have the technology to fix your eyes.Hope you are back to work soon.Hugs!~Amy

frontporchprims said...

Oh my heck. I am so glad you survived the night. Good luck on the app. today. You are so much braver than I. -Steph-

Karen~The Barely There Primitive Bear said...

I hope your appt. turns out well and you are able to see pretty good! You are so brave!


Barb said...

OUCH!!! Carmen, I had no idea about the different types of Lasik and Lasek. Thanks for sharing.
Here is hoping for a speed and less pain recovery!

Holly said...

Wow! You've really been thru it. Hoping your appointment went well today and you can return to work as planned.

Holly said...

Wow! You've really been thru it. Hoping your appointment went well today and you can return to work as planned.

~Sara said...

Ouch, so sorry about the pain! But so glad it will help your vision. Still praying for you. ~Sara

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

I too have dry eyes and can't wear contacts...and my eyes giggle because of a stygmatism so they can't do that type of surgery..and I am nearsited as well..started out farsighted then went nearsited..where I have to wear glasses period and I have the progressives too..I hope your appt went well and that you are healing up nicely;)

Walking on Sunshine... said...

Feel so bad for you! I hope you appointment went good today and they were able to take the contacts out. Never heard of such a thing! Hope the pain is better and that you can get to work tomorrow. You have pretty green eyes!!!

Deppen homestead 1862 said...

Carmen~sending my thoughts & prayers~
I can seriously tell you I often thought about surgery, but now after you have told your story so far, NOPE I can't tolerate pain I am a whimp & will so enjoy my glasses~ Oh, my sweetie my heart goes out to you~
Hang in there~

Jennifer said...

Goodness girl...I hope things go well for you! and that you feel better soon! Eye pain is never fun....Take care!!!!

Allison said...

Carmen-- I hope you will soon be pain free. Hang in there!!

Cheryl said...

Hope all went well with your appointment and that you will be free of pain soon.
Take care and big hugs!

cynthia lee designs said...

Hope you had a good appointment today. Also hope the pain goes away soon. Saying prayers for you

Susan At Glen Oaks Primitives said...

Hi, Carmen:
I have been reading your updates on Facebook I thought you said to read
there, but oh my heavens you didn't write their how bad the pain was.
And the itching and the "sandpaper"
feeling. I can't imagine the pain.
I'm so sorry you had to go through this. On the upside, if your vision is going to be very improved I guess when it's over you'll feel that it was worth everything you endured.
I'll say a prayer for you, Carmen.

BillieBee (billiemick) said...

My prayers are with you Carmen...Billie in TX