I just had my procedure yesterday. My surgery was...
I just had my procedure yesterday. My surgery was performed by Dr. David Choi, Riverside, Ca. I didn't go looking for a doctor to do this procedure, he's part of the medical group that my insurance covers. My procedure was 100% covered by insurance! I didn't even pay a copay.
I was unhappily awake for the surgery. The anesthesiologist told me that I'd be relaxed and aware, but I wouldn't care what was going on...so not true! I'm no stranger to nasty procedures while being awake. I have Osteoarthritis. I'm 11days post-op from rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder. So surgery is pretty fresh in my mind at the time!
I was given shots of numbing agent all around my eyes, those were pretty painful. Forgive my lack of knowledge of medical tools. The doctor used the device to cut my eyelid that burns the flesh to remove it to lessen bleeding. The smell and sound of your burning flesh is pretty unpleasant! There were areas he'd hit that I could feel it. I'd slam my fist down on the bed rail, he got my message and poked me further with numbing agent. This happened a few times, and toward the end on the last eye he decided, "We should just push thru this to finish", I knuckled down and bucked it up until he finished. I was fully aware the whole time, I couldn't even go to my normal " happy place" I was stuck in the now. The only hint that I had any kind of relaxation was that the entire procedure took 1 1/2 hours, I guessed it at 30 minutes. Other than that I was experiencing the whole time!
Recovery was quick since there was no sedation, I wasn't in any real pain from my eyes. I am in pain management for my back, so I was in need of a narcotic hit, which they gave me in recovery, so that would have knocked down any eye pain as well. The recovery room nurse was awesome! It's always a good idea to be nice to the recovery nurse, it's not hard, they're usually super caring. I left recovery with a handful of packages of gauze, sterile water to wet the gauze I'm supposed to put between my eyes and the ice pack. 5 reusable eye-shaped ice packs (that I filled with peas and they wok like a charm) plus a pair of sunglasses that they give cataract patients that has hoods on the top and sides to block your eyes from the sun, they look odd, but I've been warned to keep the sun off my eyes all the way thru my recovery to lessen the scarring.
When I got home I wasn't super swollen. Really no pain. I have antibiotics to take, cream for my incisions and artificial tears to wet my eyes. My doctor took off enough excess skin so that my eyes barely don't close right now. He said the skin will loosen up and I'll be able to fully close my eyes plus having tighter eye lids. My eyes look creepy, it looks like I'm crying blood. I'm to only dab the blood away, not wipe. I think I'd look awesome if it were Halloween!!
I was able to sleep just fine, but I do take a sleep aid on a daily basis anyway. My eyes didn't wake me up with pain or any other discomfort. I opted to not look at myself during the night, I saved the thrill for today!
Today I'm swollen and puffy and mighty colorful! I normally wear glasses, but they are of no use to my today, I can't see for crap thru the small, goopy eye openings that I do have. I've put my cream on, I'm not needling the wetting drops as I'm pretty much pouring the water out of my eyes like I'm having a good cry, but I'm not., I've got a headache, which is to be expected I think. No blood seeping from anywhere. Some dried blood is making it's way onto the gauze I need to put between my eyes and the ice pack. I'm being diligent about my icing today, trying to get the swelling down, so it's 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off with the ice.
What I'm trying to do here is document this process the whole way thru. I like to know what to expect and I had a hard time finding pictures right after the surgery. I want to be different and give you the day by day. I'll keep it short, but a good decision is an informed decision. Instead of before and after, you're getting day by day with me. I'll have to spell check myself later, I'm posting on a iPad mini and I really can't see what I'm writing too well today!
I hope you'll join me along the way!
1 Day Post-Op
The day following surgery I just rested and iced all day. (not good to leave ice on for more than 20 minutes each time.) I felt pretty good, couldn't see for crap. I normally wear glasses but my sight was actually worse with my glasses on, so I just left them off. I tried to read a book on my iPad, but I wasn't too successful despit enlarging the text to the size of a preschool book!
2 Days Post-op & It's Getting Interesting !
My second day I woke up to lots of swelling beneath my eyes, even tho nothing was done down there. I slept really bad. My left eye was pussy this morning, but I'm on antibiotics so I'm not going to worry about it now. I'm putting my cream in at least 4 times a day, icing and trying to rest. There really isn't any pain or even discomfort.
End Of 2nd Day
I've felt like I had a larger field of vision today. I'm still not in any kind of pain. Do I want to really rub my eyes? Oh ya I do! I'm not really noticing the swelling going down but I've not got to rest like I really should be doing. I'm trying to stay hydrated. I am still sleeping propped all the way up from my rotator cuff repair surgery, so it works out that I was already sleeping properly before having my eyes done. I did get a pretty good sized blob of goo out of my left eye, nothing from my right eye.
Three Days Post-Op, I Think I'm Seeing Slight Improvement
I'm now 3 days post-op. I feel more rested today like I got better sleep last night. I think the swelling below my eyes is starting to reduce, the bruising is receding away from my eye. When I place the fingers of my hand over my eyes and lightly press down, most of my eyes don't have any pain. My eyes feel itchy at times, I press all around my eyes to try to relieve it, it only helps a bit, but there's not much else I can do! I do feel like I'm getting over the hump and I'm going to start seeing improvement soon! Yippee!!
4 Days Post-op
I decided to try sleeping flat last night and I woke looking the same as I had before as far as swelling, but I've got a massive headache, don't know if it's related or not but it sure felt good to lay flat! I'm not really expecting the " what did I do?" stage, not because I'm immune to regret, but I've had numerous major surgeries and I'm used to giving things time to heal. My face? That I'm not proud of, I've never liked how I look, my only good feature that I feel I have are my eyes. I used to love wearing makeup which turns my gray eyes ice blue, which in turn gets me complements. I'm hoping to create some self-esteem to my worn out self! If my body isn't working right then hopefully I can find some pleasure again in just the simple joy of putting on some eye make-up!
Watch Out For Little Hands!!!
Granted, sometimes I'm a bonehead, I topped myself today! I wasn't thinking when I was playing with my granddaughter, I allowed my face to be at her level and I got smacked in the eye! My worst fear realized! It took all my strength to act like nothing happened, she's just over a year old and is clueless to what I had done to my eyes. My son was watching over her since I cannot lift her due to my shoulder surgery, I could see the pain for me on his face! I literally ran off to the bathroom to cry! It hurt sooooooo bad! No damage done, just to my ego for yet again getting hurt by being stupid! Trust that I will keep my head above little hands for quite a while to come!
5 Days Post-op, Tomorrow The Stitches Come Out!!!
Things are finally becoming easy now. I can close my eyes all the way already, I don't need my eye drops much. I can scrunch my eyes without soreness, I feel like I've got my full range of vision back. I happily slept flat with just my cuddly pillow, it was heaven! I did gather lint & stuff overnight with my stitches, but washing my eyes took care of that. I'm now able to get most the dried goo off my eyes as well, before they were sensitive and I didn't want to go poking around up there, but a lot of things that I thought were stitches were goo, so my eyes look more presentable now! Can't wait to have my stitches out tomorrow, that's the top of the hill, it's all recovery after that! Yippee!!!!!
6 Days Post-Op......Stitches Have To Stay In....Waaaaaaaa
Saw the doctor today to have my stitches out. He felt there was just a bit too much swelling still so he's leaving the stitches in for another week. He said the bulk of the stitches are dissolvable and while they are dissolving some, he likes to see them gone a bit more before he removes the black stitches which are the ones holding everything else in place. I'd rather be safe than sorry so I'm good with waiting. I will admit I was excited about having them removed, but I'd rather not risk my results!
While I was chatting with the doctor he told me one of his patients that had an eye lift rubbed her eyes!!! While they do itch, who would rub them!?!? He said she opened one of her eyes wide open and he had to run to Urgent Care to stitch her back up!! Ew!! Horrible, horrible thought!
1 Week Post-op! Feeling Pretty Good!
Not too much change. I'm noticing that the dissolvable stitches are really going fast now! I've been plucking hangy ones all morning. I'm thinking once those are gone I'll see change. I had to sleep upright last night, for the sake of my shoulder, not my eye. I still woke swollen so I'm sleeping the best way possible at night.
I'm taking myself and my scary eyes to the mall today. My son turns 25 this weekend so I need a gift. Not sure if I'll wear sunglasses or rock the scary eyes! It would probably be more interesting to go without sunglasses!!
Day 8...Looking More Human!
Oops, almost forgot to post today! I think I'm finally getting back to flesh tones, losing the bruising, which is nice. Most of the dissolvable stitches are gone, which leads to a separation of the incision line, but that's normal. I'm trying to keep the cream on my eyes to keep the incision from scabbing. I'm doing fine with my eyes but I'm not doing too well with my shoulder, it's keeping me up at night and bringing me down a bit. I am relieved that my eyes are giving me problems or I'd be a very unhappy camper!
Day 9, I Look Like I've Been Up For Days!
Geeez, my eyes look so tired and wrung out! My pictures are taken outside in my truck while I'm parked in a local parking lot with all 3 dogs while an open house is going on at our home! Today was stress on top of stress with a stress cherry on top! Trying to get ready for the open house was a joke! The rest of the family was dead weight, I was trying to do everything on my own. I'm 3 weeks post-op rotator cuff surgery on my right shoulder. I seriously have a nearly dead arm! I can use my arm from the elbow down, but I can't even lift my arm on my own, trying to clean like that, total joke. My eyes don't bother me at all, no pain, some soreness when I'm gooping the cream on, but not too bad at all. I think if I didn't have problems with my arm I'd be running around like nothing happened to me! I was a hit at the pharmacy the other day, everyone had to take a close look! Everyone says they wish they could do it, to that I say DO IT! If I can do it, anyone can, other than looking like a Halloween experiment, the procedure and recovery-piece of cake!!
Day 9 Continued
I realized that I could get some good, close upictures of my eyes with my iPad and since I'm outside, I thought it would be goo do show my eyes in this light a bit better. Looks like the only stitches left are the black, holding stitches.
Day 10, Feeling Better Actually Means Be More Careful!!
Ah, getting into the double digit post-op days now! It's nice to just be moving forward! Feeling better also has a down side, not a bad down side, but I'm forgetting to keep my fingers out of my eyes!! You know how we all kind of swipe the inside corners of our eyes to remove gunk that settles there? No! That hurts! Wipe your eyebrows when you're over-heated? No! That hurts! Try plucking your shaggy eyebrows? No! That hurts! (Although I did continue to pluck, but some places really stung!) Geeze, I'm really just not remembering to leave my eyes alone!
I finished my antibiotics today, just as I'm developing a red, swollen area at the very outside edge of my right eye. There are dissolvable stitches there that are still intact, I'm wondering if that area is just more sensitive and it's not happy to still have the stitches there, not sure, I'm watching it tho.
I'm going out and around now, I wear glasses, that probably covers most of the eye work, but no one notices my eyes. Maybe wearing sunglasses inside is over rated!
Day 11 Post-op....You'd Think I'd Be Better At Taking Pictures By Now!!
Seriously, today people take pictures of themselves upside down with both hands tied behind their backs and I'm still sucking at taking pictures of my eyes! Geeze, you'd think I'd be getting better by now, please forgive me! I'm feeling really good, it's exciting now because other than a few holding stitches in each lid, I can now see how my new eyelid is going to work! I can get expression in my eyes and enough of the lid is released so that how this whole new look is becoming more obvious! I've got a spot in my right eyelid that looks like it may becoming infected. I see the doctor Wednesday to get the stitches removed so he can take a look at it. I'm developing a hard bump in the upper part of my lid that is getting red, I just finished off my antibiotics the other day, hopefully it's not going to be a problem, things are looking too good. We'll see. I just got fabulous new eye shadow from Lancome today, I'm just dying to try it out!!
Day 12 Post-op...Finished Antibiotics A Few Days Ago, Now Infection In Right Eye, Ugh!
Things are going quite well besides the growing infection. I've had a few post-op infections like this. I'll need to say that I'm not a medical professional, all I have to go by is my long history of way too many surgical procedures and surgeries. When I've had an infection like this, the first thing they look for is an un-dissolved, internal stitch. I had this happen after my first knee replacement and again after my second spine surgery. Both times they just opened up the incision and cleaned it out to find the stitch. It's not fun, and it's not something they numb you up for. Since my healing is going so well, I don't want to see that right eye lid opened back up, I would think that would increase risk of worse scarring. I already have an appointment tomorrow morning to have the holding stitches removed. If I wasn't already seeing the doctor, this is something I'd feel needed to be looked at. I have pushed and poked but I can't get anything out. There is one holding stitch that is pretty sensitive, my guess is that once it's removed the doctor should be able to get to the infection. I'm hoping he can at least. We'll see, I'll be sure to post the results of my visit. I tried to show the area I'm concerned about in the picture, but I don't think you can tell. It's on the upper side of the incision, more toward the outside edge, it's red and I've got a firm lump up there.
Day 13 Post-op, Lucky & Un-Lucky 13!
Ah, today was my second shot at getting my stitches out! I got nearly all of them removed, which was the lucky part. Since it has been longer than usual to remove the stitches, some he got out easily and those didn't really hurt coming out. Some were too hard for him to find so he used a microscope-thingy to see the stitch well enough to cut, then he was able to pull them out...that hurt a bit more, but it was like ripping a band-aid off quickly, it hurts, then fades quickly. My unlucky part was my right eye. I was afraid I was getting an infection, which the doctor agreed, plus he said it looked like it was trying to open up. The doctor did not remove the holding stitch from the center of that eye. If you get creeped out at things, stop reading! To address the possibility of infection, I got my eyelid scrubbed with betadine! Now that hurt a tad bit more, actually it hurt a whole lot more! After that he cleaned it with sterile water before finally putting ointment on it. Running out of there came to mind a few times! The doctor didn't use a brush to clean my eyelid, he just used gauze, but from the way it felt, you could have told me it was a wire brush and I would have believed you! Needless to say I'm sore now, that eye is blurry, but the doctor felt it will be fine and I go back in another week to see if that final stitch can be removed then! Lucky and UN-Lucky 13!