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Eye Surgery Recovery: Second Week. [Jul. 9th, 2014|05:29 pm]
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From last Wednesday, the one-week checkup, to this, I had some exercise restrictions lifted, while others (not lifting weights over 5 pounds) stayed the same.  I could ride the bicycle.  Medicated eyedrops continued on the same schedule, but I was told I could discontinue using the eye shield at night on the Monday (I actually used it Monday night, but not Tuesday).   And I was able to get a plain glass lens put in the left side of my regular glasses, so I could see better.  Over the course of the week I rode my bike (a total of 54 miles, with three days 10+ miles) and could tell that my vision was improving, though the astigmatism still made it a bit weird.

Today I had my two-week post-surgery exam.   As with last week, the first part was a measurement of the eye's size (a measure of any swelling or irregularity in shape, compared to the measurements taken before the surgery) and placement of the implanted lens.  The next part included tests of visual acuity (is the operated eye at its full-recovery acuity or not--is it improving from the previous visit or not?) and intra-ocular pressure (the glaucoma test) to see if pressure was building up in the eye.  One of the medications used for the healing process can cause increased pressure in susceptible individuals, so they check for it every time.   My visual acuity had improved from last week, but not to the final intended level, with correction of myopia to 20/20.

At this point, I could have gotten a new prescription, but it would likely have been only temporary, as my vision is still changing, so on the advice of the eye surgeon, I'm waiting another two weeks for that.   The eye surgeon said that four weeks is a more typical period for the operated eye to settle into its final visual acuity.   All exercise restrictions except swimming (underwater) and diving have been lifted; I can return to weight work and floor exercises and as much impact exercise as I want.   For swimming underwater (I don't even want to!) he said to wait another full week.   I am continuing to take the medicated eye drops; two of them will run out before the third (prednisolone) which has to be tapered off.    Because of the astigmatism, I won't be driving until I get my new glasses, though if I didn't that problem, I would--overall, my eyesight is already better than before the surgery, when I was driving.  

I tried to find clip-on sunglasses at several places, and finally found them at a pharmacy.  Unfortunately, they are made in sizes to fit currently fashionable glasses, and none had lenses as large as my glasses (I like BIG lenses because they protect my eyes, like a windshield, when I'm outside riding a bike--bugs--or in blowing dust, which we have at times.)  I bought the best match I could find and will wear them while biking until I can get my own full sunglasses.

Two-week post-op:  results good, vision much clearer, colors brighter (as others have reported),  and I now share the very positive opinion about the value of the surgery that others have expressed.   I never had more discomfort than "there might be something in my eye"  on the first 36-48 hours, and it was never as bad as actually having a piece of grit in there.  It was the incision, I was told.  It really, really helps to have someone put the eye drops in, rather than trying to do it yourself.  It's a three times a day thing, and it's important to do it right.   People trying to do it themselves, using an eye that now has no ability to focus close up, often spill some of the drops, and then they can run out and have to get more.

Discomfort: Minimal in my case.   The IV was the most, really, with a tiny bit from eyedrops until the incision healed completely.    I took one dose of Tylenol in the recovery period and it wasn't for pain in the eye, but for a headache.   There was no discomfort aThe eye shield itself isn't uncomfortable but un-taping it in the morning can be, and if your skin is "loose" you have to hold it down so as not to yank on the eye lid and thus annoy the operated eye.    Those with astigmatism and the resources might want to seriously consider the implant that corrects both basic focal length (myopia) and astigmatism, if it's right for their eye.  It would give better uncorrected vision and you might not need anything but reading glasses for near vision afterward.  I think I'll try that when the other cataract matures (assuming it will).   Even if 20/20 isn't possible,  going from 350ish (I think was my most recent one) to more like 20/50 is a huge help.

The first week post-op, as I've mentioned, I was able to do light writing on the computer within 24 hours, about a half-day (in patched) the next day or so.   Some people I was told, have a problem with double-vision before they get their new prescription, but I haven't had it.


[User Picture]From: redvixen
2014-07-10 01:26 pm (UTC)
Glad you're recovering well.
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[User Picture]From: thewayne
2014-07-10 03:29 pm (UTC)
IV? Whaaa? I guess every doctor's methodology is different. A friend of mine had one eye done a couple of weeks ago and they totally knocked him out to do the eye injection, me they numbed for 15 minutes or so and injected it directly. Since I couldn't focus because I was so dilated, even though I knew it was going on it didn't really bother me.

Your eye shield sounds quite different than mine, mine was a big transparent plastic dome probably 3" in diameter or so, the tape was no where near my eyes.

Myself, I had no-correction lenses made for my sunglasses and had both put in after my first eye was done. I was going to have a flat put in my normal glasses, but then found I had to wear an eyepatch to use my computer, so having the lens out of the frame was good enough.

Glad things are going well for you! I ended up at 20/30 left, 20/25 right, and have to have a laser procedure on my left next month to clear an opacity.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-10 03:54 pm (UTC)
I was aware of what was going on--wasn't totally knocked out. IV was for the meds they used, from numbing the eye to mild sedation & immobilization. Couldn't focus outward, so enjoyed the visuals my optic nerve presented on what was happening. Hence the APOD-quality "nebulas" in blue and rose, the little lightning strikes in brilliant blue...all quite SFnal. My eye shield was a perforated plastic dome, but not a hemisphere--an irregular shape narrower at the nose end, wider to cover the eyebrow-to-cheekbone area.

Every eye is different...a lot depends, I understand, on what the acuity was before the surgery and the individual healing characteristics. Also any previous injuries or eye conditions.

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[User Picture]From: thistlethorn
2014-07-10 10:27 pm (UTC)
So glad to hear that you're doing well! (I had to do all of my own eye drops after my cataract surgeries--after a while, you get really good at it. :-))
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-10 10:36 pm (UTC)
Eeek...I don't know that I could get good at it, though if I had to...I guess I would do my best.
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[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2014-07-11 02:05 pm (UTC)
So glad all is going well. My father wasn't allowed to drive for six weeks after his first cataract op, which he said was very silly because he could see better than he had for years, so when he had his second done, he carefully didn't ask about driving, and drove my daughter to her wedding two days later!

Meanwhile, all my other friends who have had it done have agreed - massively improved vision and colour vision.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2014-07-12 03:01 am (UTC)
I actually don't want to drive yet, as the astigmatism is strong enough to make the other side of the road...intermittently not there. So not safe. I might be OK here in town to run up to the grocery or the post office, but if I did have an accident, it would be hard to explain to a judge why I thought riding with one corrected eye and one uncorrected eye was a good idea. And since I have a bifocal lens in the other eye, and a plano lens in the operated eye, it would be pretty obvious.

I am, as mentioned, riding the bike. Much lower speed, much more time to take second looks with the right eye to be sure I"m not missing anything lethal.
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[User Picture]From: mrs_redboots
2014-07-12 05:25 pm (UTC)
I, too, have astigmatism and gave myself a fright the other day when I misread the nutrition information on an aloe vera drink I'd bought as "388 Calories per 100 ml". It was, of course, 38 Calories, which I only realised next day.... I do hate trying to read tiny numbers - when I was working in the satellite phone industry, I kept a magnifying glass on my desk so that I could read SIM card numbers and the IMEI numbers of the various telephones....
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[User Picture]From: solri
2014-07-13 12:01 pm (UTC)
As we say here in Turkey, "Geçmiş olsun" ("May it be past").
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[User Picture]From: hairmonger
2014-07-13 11:38 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all these details. The cataract in my right eye is barely there, so far, but I'm sure it won't just go away, so in an unknown number of years I expect I'll be having this surgery.

Mary Anne in Kentucky
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