26 Yo Female, Accommodative Esotropia Strabismus Correction - Salt Lake City, UT

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This was a surgery I wasn't expecting to have done...

This was a surgery I wasn't expecting to have done this year. I went in to try a different pair of contacts (I've tried using them in the past without any luck. They didn't correct my eye turn at all.)
That dr recommended I see a specialist, who referred me to my surgeon. The issue I was having was that my glasses were no longer correcting my eye turn, whereas for the last 25 years they have. I was straining my eyes to see a lot and and it was causing me headaches.
As a result of my eye being misaligned, my brain processes what I see in a different way. This still confuses me so I'll try to explain as best I can. Everyone with normal vision receives 2 images that your brain then fuses into one solid image. My eyes don't do that. Because one is misaligned, I would be seeing double. Because that is confusing, my brain suppressed the image from the eye that turns inward; my right eye.
Wearing glasses helps to straighten out my eyes, and I can't remember why, even though it's explained to me all the time. But now because that isn't working for me anymore, we are going to correct the eye turn by going in, detaching the the muscle of the right side of my right eye, and reattach it to my eye further back.

I'm told that my eye will fill up with blood and it will take several months to get back to its normal color. After the actual surgery, I will have to go back to the dr office and they will fine tune my eye placement with an adjustable suture, which sounds super freaky to me, since that means I'll have strings coming out of my eye. *shudder*

Hopefully when all this is done, I'll be able to wear contacts. I've lived in glasses my whole life and I just want something different. I feel like I'm hiding my face.

Because this is considered Medical, my insurance will pay 100% of the cost, since I've already met my deducible and out of pocket max for the year.

I was planning on having a rhinoplasty this month, but after meeting with the eye surgeon, I decided to do this one first since he couldn't promise he wouldnt need to rest his hands on my nose during the operation. I rescheduled my rhinoplasty for the 9th if September. My eye surgery is in a week and a half of the 17th.

Surgery tomorrow!

I just got my time to arrive at the hospital in the morning; 7:00am sharp. (8/17/16)

I'm feeling nervous, and the idea of working on my eye still gives me the heebie- jeebies. I'm trying not to think about the adjustable suture.

I have waited so long for this. Seriously my eyes were the first thing in my life that I was self conscious about. I was little, before school-aged. Kids would ask me what was wrong with my eye, why I wore glasses, and I knew it made me different. In school kids made fun of me, they made fun of me because I wore glasses, but if I took them off my eye would turn inward and they would tease me for that too. Lose-lose situation. As a teen I tried contacts, thinking I would finally be free of my glasses, but unfortunately they didn't correct the eye turn. All they did was give me headaches from trying to focus my eye so hard to look at things. Vision is such a weird thing.

It feels odd to me to think about my life without my eye turn. I didn't realize it until now, but it's been a big part of who I am. It was a defining factor in my life. I woke up every day for 26 years (well, 24.5 years) and put on my glasses. When people picture my face, there are glasses on them. Hell, when I picture my own face, I have glasses on. I got it from my dad, and my daughter and niece have it as well. I cried when my daughters eye started to turn. But it was exciting for her to get glasses "just like mommy." Except now mommy is changing that. I don't know how to feel about that or what message I'm sending her. I suppose this isn't all vanity, since it's causing me headaches and eye fatigue.

With this surgery, I will not only fix the logistical complaints I have about headaches and vision issues; but I will finally be able to wear contacts. I can finally get eyelash extensions. (Because what kind of esthetician does them but doesn't get them? Oh, that's right, the ones with glasses, because the lashes hit the lenses of my glasses making them impossible to wear..) I can do my make up and not worry about why I'm going through all the trouble to do it when it just gets covered up. And because I have OCD (like the serious kind that I need medication for, not the sarcastic, "oh that's my "ocd" kind, that dumb people say because they think it's funny to over exaggerate when really, they are just being stubborn asses who want things to be perfectly "their way." OCD is not funny, people. Perfectionism is not OCD. Learn the difference. *rant over*) I can't wear certain styles of clothes that I love because they don't match the style of my glasses. I got black framed glasses for my "lazy days" then my rimless ones broke, and these frames don't match anything. I can't do my hair in certain styles because glasses like mine are only ok with a few styles. Don't ask me why, that's just the way it is. I feel so limited.

I still want to do this, but I think it's just now hitting me how much this is going to change me. I get to redefine who I am. How cool is that?

I'm doing a lot right now and by the end of they year I should be where I want to be, as far as my goals for self improvement. I have other reviews, but just a list of what I've got going on:

1. Tonsillectomy; Adnoidectomy- both done on 6/22
2. Started the HCG Diet with a Dr. Supervising; hoping to lose 40# - 8/14
3. Strabismus surgery- 8/17
4. Rhinoplasty; septoplasty; turbinate reduction- 9/9

The tonsillectomy was strictly for medical reasons, but I have noticed that my jawline and neck look slimmer because my tonsils had been so enlarged for so long, I didn't notice how puffy they were making my face.

I just want to look the way I feel inside, the me I see when I think of myself. I think this surgery is just one more step to my over all goals. Wish me luck!

Surgery is done!

Just got home From the surgery. It's a bit hard to write, but I'm doing ok! Dr said I was doing very well and the fact that I had started fusing images together with the prism was a great sign for me and increases my success rate. I'm seeing a bit of double vision, but it's layered up/down, not side to side as usual, and the dr said that will resolve itself as I heal. My eye isn't quite so blood red as I expected. The dr said it could look worse later, but that ok. As far as pain? 6 on a 1-10 scale. Super uncomfortable. Imagine having sand or a small rock in your eye. Yeah that's what the knots from the sutures feel like. They are dissolvable so hopefully it will get softer as time goes on. Im passing out so more details late????

It's been a few days

My eye got a bit swollen today. The dr told me to ice it. I was given Percocet but I only took one right after surgery and again that night and I hadn't needed one until now. Yesterday was fine, just the uncomfortable, irritating feeling of the sutures. But today I was more sore. Like blinking hurts. I can close my eye, or keep it open, but going between the two feels sore. I've been taking Advil to help that a bit. This afternoon I had headache- like pains; from my temple, across my eye and down the side of my nose. All on the right side. Like a light throbbing with some soreness. Percocet is helping that right now.

My eye is changing as far as how red it is in some spots. The inner side of my right eye, where the adjustable suture is, was very dark pink, but is turning yellowish, and under my iris there is some blood pooling under the membrane. Which is what I expected the entire eye to look like, so this actually isn't too bad. My dr says the eye heals quickly, so let's hope he's right.

I also wanted to mention that while my right eye only turned inward, they did adjust the muscles on both sides of my eye. The outer muscle was attached with sutures (non- adjustable) but the inner one was made adjustable to fine tune the placement. We took a video of the adjustment and it was super cool. I'll see if I can get it from my hubby and put it on here.

I'm also using an antibiotic eye drop 3x a day. Not sure if I mentioned that.

Some thoughts now that I've been home a few days:

Small ice packs, or pebble ice in a sandwich bag. Pebble ice, like frozen peas, conforms nicely to the face letting you get the cooling relief right where you need it. Without wasting so many peas. I hate wasting food. Peas are also more expensive than ice. It's like $1 for 8 oz or less while the bag of pebble ice is like $2.50 for 5 lbs. and it's fun to eat.

Clean your house before you have this surgery. You are going to be squinting with one eye, or possible have the eye be swollen shut. Having clean floors means less risk of tripping.

If you have kids, find childcare or help at home for like the first 3-5 days. Today was day 3 for me, and I went with my mom and kids to get groceries for about an hour and it took all of my energy. I was exhausted when I got home. Because I'm not in horrible pain I forget that my body is still healing and I still need to rest. My kids are also very little, 1 &4, so maybe with older kids it might be easier. So I've been very fortunate to have my mom stay with me. My husband will be home tomorrow and Sunday, so Monday will be my first day alone with the kids. That gives me 5 days to recover before I'm totally responsible for them again.

Do all your regular shopping before surgery. If you don't have to leave the house to pick things up, the better. 1, because you will be tired, possibly drugged and 2, you look like a freak with one red eye. (Yes, I wore my sunglasses inside the store) Make sure you get the pebble ice. And have plenty of ziplock bags.

So basically- help, and ice. Those are things you will need. I would not recommend driving yourself the first week. My vision is slightly obscured by my swollen eyelid, and it feels dry and irritated, so I find myself needing to close my eye frequently so it doesn't get too dry.

I'll update in a few days, thanks for reading!

It's been over a week!

I'm healing well and so far it looks like the surgery was a success! Symptoms I still have: swollen eye lid, slight irritation from the sutures (but a lot better than right after) some goopy eye drainage, and general soreness. But not too bad. Good enough that I done need to take anything for pain.

I had my one week post op appt. dr says everything I'm experiencing is normal, also before surgery, my eye turn was 12.5 degrees, and now, it is .5 degrees. Vision in my right eye is slightly blurry, compared to my left, but dr says that will fade over the next few weeks. I'm also aloud to use eye drops for general dryness.

I'll update in another week!

Healing progress

It's been another week, and I'm happy to say, things have definitely improved. Sutures are dissolving nicely, I can barely feel them now. Redness has done down, and I haven't noticed any swelling for a few days. I think I'll try my contacts next week to see how they feel.

New sunglasses!

Well, since my eye is straight, I've been able to successfully wear contacts all day. I'm getting used to them. Since my last post I've had my rhinoplasty- 7days out! Decided to head out to the fair tonight and found myself 2 pairs of sunglasses for $18. I have an upcoming trip to Disneyland, and I like to wear my sunglasses on some of the rides, but I was always leery of wearing my $150 prescription sunglasses when they might fly off my face. Here's a few pictures of me in contacts with makeup for the first time- date night with hubby. And a few more of my awesome $9/pair non-prescription sunglasses. And another one of me tonight, without glasses. You can see between the two face shots that my eye will get progressively more red as the day wears on and depending on where I have been (environmental irritants) and what I have been doing (watching tv, or reading.)

The stitches in my eye don't bother me really anymore. If I rub my eye too much I will start to feel them but mostly they feel fine. But I can still see the blue suture. Most days now my eye looks really white except immediately around the stitch. Last picture is of me this morning, no makeup, but I have my contacts in and you can see how it's not super red.
Dr. Peterson

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