Orbital Decompression - Prairie Village, KS

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I will be providing a photo journal of my...

I will be providing a photo journal of my experience in the Orbital Decompression medical restoration process from the disfigurement that Graves Eye Disease/Graves Disease did to me. I will provide before during and after photos and journalism if there is space to do so. This disease progressed so quickly I didn't even recognize myself after 3.5 years of having the disease

Today is my birthday and only 4 more days before the first surgery.

I lay wake at night thinking about the surgery... I think not knowing what the results will be and how many times I may have to have surgery to correct my eyes is a more of why I think about it so much. I could be the lucky candidate that the first time I have surgery I won't have to have any more decompression surgery. I'm trying to get everything in order. I don't want to lose my any level of my eyesight as I love doing photography and I am worried some how the surgery could affect my vision. Graves Disease... When I first learned about it and that I had it I thought I was going to die and that is why they called it Graves disease. Lol...I am a strong woman and have gone through much more than this. So why am I so weary of this surgery? It is suppose to help me. Could be the possible side effects I've read about that have permanent numbness of the face. Or that the muscles in the eyes turning so that the eyes are crooked. That one is really scary to me. I don't want to look more monsterous than I already do. I just want to look normal again that's all. I want to look like me again before I got sick with this disease. Too many thoughts. Its time for me to go enjoy my birthday and stop worrying. The surgery will help me. It's just going to be a process of time like any other medical issue.

02-17-2016 The Night before the 1st Surgery Right Eye Orbital Decompression

We leave for Kansas City tomorrow morning at 4AM. It is a 4 hour drive to the Surgical Center. I am suppose to check in by 8:30 AM and I am scheduled for 10:30AM surgery. I have done everything I can to prepare myself for surgery. I studied as much of everything that I could, watched videos, asked doctors, visited several doctors for their opinion ( with each concluding to the same end)... "You have a medical need for Orbital Decompression."
I have prayed, fasted, prayed more and asked God to be with me. This is not an easy thing for me. I need my vision. I do photography and I enjoy it very much and it is also part of my work. I am single and this disease has kept me single.
The psychological effect in the physical disfigurement has taken me from being a very outgoing person to becoming a complete recluse. My children have stopped asking me to go to the mall or anywhere with them because I am too embarrassed to go out in the public and I will only do so if I have an assignment of work. I hide behind the largest sunglasses I can find. I altered my going out shopping to daytime only and at the same time of assignments because that way I limit and have an excuse to always be wearing sunglasses.
I have to read a lot of papers in the assignments I have and looking through very dark lens is not easy but people stare at me if they see me without my sunglasses and people can be very cruel. Their stares alone make me want to shrink away and the innocent child is brutally honest in what they see...
When the weather changes to rain, snow or moisture, the pressure in my eyes becomes unbearable and it hurts a lot.
I want just want to look normal again and not have bulging eyes or sagging facial muscles that have fallen and remained broken by the disease. The bags under my eyes make me look like I have permanent black eyes.
But all is not hopeless. I have taken the first step to recovery. The Graves Disease is subsiding, the surgery will help fix a lot of what is wrong and I am on the right path to restoration. I pray all the work completed by Dr. Sokol to help restore me be blessed by God.
The pictures I am posting tonight is the night before the 1st surgery right eye. So here we go, the journey to restoration is about to begin...I'm scared but I'm determined.

02-18-16 and about 3 hours after the Orbital Decompression Surgery of right eye

I arrived at the surgery center nervous as a cat staring down a big dog but I am as determined as a work horse out in the field wanting to be done already.
I want to get back to looking normal again.
After processing, I was lead to the surgery prep area and shortly after was given a sedative to calm my nerves. It calmed me down so much I really don't remember anything until I heard the voice of a man continuing to talk non stop. I awoke to that voice and realize the surgery was over. I didn't feel much pain, but I did feel confused and I had some nausea. I also felt really tired and I pretty much just wanted to go back to sleep. They kept at me to get me up and on my feet. That is always a good thing.
I left the hospital with 2 medications. Oxycodone 5 mg tab for pain management and Erythromycin 0.5 Ophth Ointment for the eye to prevent eye infection. Everything was going well on the 4 hour drive home until I was given the Oxycodone.
Apparently I had a sensitivity reaction to the medication. My hands and arms went numb. I broke out in a rash on my left side and I felt like half of my brain went away. I do not know why my brain felt like that but I began to faint, come back then faint again.
I do know when it comes to medication my body is virgin territory. I have never taken narcotics or hardly any medication in my life time. The heaviest medication I have ever taken is Tylenol and that only a few times in my life. Aspirin has served as sleep medication for me because it knocks me out. So it does not surprise me when I was given 5 mg of Oxycodone my body went into overdrive and straight into La La land. I woke up back in the hospital, only in this time in a Wichita Kansas hospital.
Hypersensitivity is what they called it, the reaction I had to the narcotic. They flushed my body with IV fluid and sent me on my way back home. I felt much better. My poor daughter in law, my reaction to the medication gave her a big scare. I am so sorry. You stayed with me from early morning to late into the night. Lord bless your tender heart and loving care to me. Thank you.
I look pretty rough in this photo but it was just a few hours after the surgery. I was still pretty groggy as I didn't even have my good eye open.
As I look at this picture, I have a heavy sigh when I look at my "good" eye and see how much of a bag is under it. The Graves disease ran havoc on my face with the facial muscles breaking down and the graves eye disease left me bags that qualify as suitcases or even trunks under my eyes.
Maybe one day, it will all be fixed...I pray it so.

02-19-2016 The day after: Right Eye Orbital Decompression

I awoke feeling good. I had little to no pain at all. My hair is long and I had a few hairs matted to my eye. Eww... Note to self. Must tie back hair at night.
I have not had to take any pain medication at all today. I virtually have no pain. There is pressure but nothing that I can't handle and certainly nothing that warrants any pain management.
When I looked in the mirror I gasped. Wow! I've got myself a shiner and a really good one at that. It looks like it would hurt but it doesn't. My eye has been stuck shut until about the past hour around 1PM. I was finally able to open it just enough to see through it. I covered my left eye to test if I had double vision. So far I can see straight and I can make out objects. Everything is blurry but I do have nearsightedness at -8-0 so I am pretty blind without contacts or glasses. Everything seems good so far.
I am very happy I have little to no pain at all. I have noticed when I walk around I feel pressure in my eye and it doesn't feel so good to lean forward too much. It doesn't hurt, it just feels like a warning feeling not to lean forward too much. I also feel like I am getting tired more easily. I was up before my son and fixed my own coffee but as I was going about my morning I began to feel very tired. So I went and laid down to rest for awhile. I got back up an hour later and have felt fine since.
While moving about I kept glancing in the mirror as I walked by it, then I stopped to stared at myself. Good grief, it does look like it would hurt but it doesn't really and only if I touch it.
I do worry about the stitches popping if the swelling continues. That would not be good and that sounds like it would be painful. The swelling is increasing. I tried to use a bag of frozen peas covered in a towel. I immediately experienced pain when I put the weight of it on my eye and quickly removed it. So, I just sent my son and daughter in law into town to get some cold eye compresses.
I have no numbing of the face or lips. I can breath out of my nose just fine, so far. I think the bruising may dip down lower on my face because it does feel a little sore when I touch my check.
My daughter came in an asked me how I felt. I told her, great except when I do this and I touched my face, then that hurts a little bit. She told me, "Well, stop touching it! then she said, I am walking much better today. Apparently, I needed help walking last night. Hmm, I don't seem to remember that...
I love that I do not have pain. To be honest, I was expecting to feel a lot of pain. I am very happy I do not. Prayer changes things and I believe prayer changed the pain factors in all of this. So to this I say, Thank you Jesus and thank you Dr. Sokol.

02-19-2016 Day 2 after Orbital Decompression

Woke up feeling a little bit sore but I still do not have much pain. I also noticed my temple feels kind of numb.
As the day progressed my jaw feels stiff and when I eat my jaw feels a little bit sore.
My eyelid is tender but it doesnt bother me that much. It feels strange to have so much swelling on my face.
I havent had any problem sleeping. When I wake up it takes me awhile to open my right eye.
I have purposely been keeping my eye closed. It feels more natural to let my eye rest in that postion for now.
I used ice packs on my eye last night to try to reduce the swelling. Im not sure it worked but it felt good to put cool on my temple. I couldnt put the pack directly on my eye because I dont want it to hurt. The bridge of my nose is swelling too now but not that much.
I wonder about the next surgery being so quick for this coming Thursday and if I will be ready emotionally but at the same time I do not want to wait either. I'd rather just get it all over with. I feel surprisingly good and I'm happy about that the surgery is not painful as I thought it was going to be.

02-20-16 Photo update Day 2 after Orbital Decompression

I forgot to mention the stitches on my eyelid began to itch. I told my daughter my eyelashes itch. She thought that was different, but it really does feel like the eyelashes itch. I've also noticed some chest congestion that seems to be clearing itself up but I was coughing some today and yesterday. In the picture I am posting you can see my eye is open a little bit. It is weird to wake up with a crusty eye. Yuk, that sounds so disgusting but it is a reality. The ointment I put on my eye in the morning softens the "semi harden ooze" that collects at night while I sleep so I can gently remove it. I am babying my eye and barely touching it except to dab away the leaking substance that builds up occasionally on the lash. Boy talk about jowls going on in the side profile facial view...I hate the way I look but maybe one day I will be all better.

02-22-2016 2:13AM

I am awaken the early morning hour experiencing low level pain but not from the eye I just had surgery on. It is my left eye that I am feeling pressure from. There must be a weather change coming bevause whenever there is the pressure in my eyes grows heavy. I am not experiencing the same pressure pain in my right eye, the one I just had surgery on. What a relief it will finally be to escape the mandatory pressure pain inflicted by weather change I experience while dealing with Graves Disease.

I am approaching my 4th Orbital Decompression Surgery...

The Graves Eye Disease did a wretched thing to my eyes. I cant even show you the results yet because I am still having surgeries just to get the medical part out of the way which must be done before any cosmetic surgeries. Yeah! Great fun, huh? Not! I had 3 decompression surgeries so far. I will be undergoing another surgery Sept 2.
Dr. Sokol is a gifted surgeon. The communication error was on my part because I was expecting instantaneous results. However patience with healing time is my best friend in my case because of the severity of the Graves eye disease.
After the decompression surgeries, I may need eye muscle surgery to correct the alignment of the eye. Then, what seems like twenty thousand years later...I will get to begin the cosmetic part of it all. Actually twenty thousand years is a bit of a stretch but it does feel like it is taking forever. I heal fast but I am the one that wants to wait a 6 month healing time after each of the set of surgeries I have. Idk, does that sound dumb to wait like that? I know most are in a hurry to change their look but I want to make sure I am healing properly. I will write more soon. Just remember, Dr. Sokol is an extremely talented surgeon and I am very happy he is my surgeon. The results when I publish them will be worth seeing. Right now I do not feel comfortable publishing my photos while I am in the middle of the surgeries, still. I am doing a photo documentation of the progression but have to wait for now before releasing it.
Dr. James Sokol

Consultation was very personal. Dr. Sokol was extremely understanding and kind. I believe my prayers are being answered through this doctor. Dr. Sokol helped me to understand procedures clearer. He has helped to ease my fear in all this. The surgery is a huge advancement for me as it was very hard for me to get to accept the kind of surgery I will be undergoing.

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