Monthly Archives: June 2009

My Recovery From PRK Surgery

The days following my PRK eye surgery have been very frustrating. I knew that after the surgery my eye sight would come and go, there would be waves of pain and discomfort but I never imagined I would be without clear vision for several days in a row.

Even though you know that this is ‘how it is supposed to be’ there is still something aggravating about not having any vision improvements. I have started writing this four days after the surgery and even though the resolution on the laptop has been set to “Grandparent” I can see what I am typing, which is a big improvement and the first time I could accomplish this since the surgery.

Now that I have a chance to share my word, where do I begin? The surgery part was over in a matter of minutes. Every person had talked about how fast it would be, but I had no idea it would be that fast. I will back it up a step however.

Surgery Day
With the PRK procedure the cornea is removed prior to the laser and during this I could see the doctor scrape and brush my cornea away. It was like looking through saran wrap with someone using a paint brush with milky paint to obstruct your vision. It was a good thing I was sedated with Ativan, Tylenol 3 and several rounds of numbing eye drops because that would have been very uncomfortable to sit through otherwise.

The laser part of the surgery was not as strange but still intense. For something so advanced and high tech I expected it to last longer or require a little more effort but I guess that would defeat the purpose of it being advanced.

It took me longer to read my post op sheet given to be me before the procedure than my time in the reclining chair under the laser. The next few days were a blur, both literal and figurative. I slept a lot. It was not uncommon for me to have a several hour nap during the day and then sleep for nine or ten hours at night. I could not watch TV so I would listen to music in a dark room or progress through my Harry Potter audio book.

Recovery Process
The pain was never outrageous, but a Tylenol 3 and a cold pack of peas were always able to sort things out. Friday (two days after the surgery) was supposed to be the most painful day but I found that I was most blind on this day. Things held inches away from my face were still blurry and I had to squint, tilt my head or obstruct my vision with fingers to make letters out.

I would wake up most mornings able to see a photo on the dresser across the room clearly and think that everything was back to normal. Then as I went into a well lit room I was brought down to reality with a world of haze and blur.

Protective Lenses
The day I was to have my protective lenses removed I woke with a sharp and fierce pain in my left eye. No amount of blinking could make it stop. I did my regime of eye drops and the pain eventually subsided. I imagine the contact lens was out of place or sticking to something it shouldn’t.

In any case my appointment to remove the protective lenses later that day showed my cornea was healed fine and the lenses were no longer needed. The bliss I had on Sunday with good vision was brought down a notch as my world was blurry and fuzzy.

One Week Later
It has now been one week since the surgery and there have been mild improvements but they feel few and far between. I have been going through a fuzzy and out of focus world for four days since the protective lenses were removed and any time I think my vision is improving something else is out of focus.

I was cleared to drive a vehicle, but street signs from a distance would not be distinguishable. Until I feel a little more comfortable behind the wheel I will bike to work and get some exercise while I am at it.

As the recovery process goes on I shall post updates and hopefully be able to confidently stand by my decision for eye surgery.

Other posts about my PRK surgery and recovery can be found under the ‘eye surgery’ post tag here.

My Dirty Lenses

I remember the night well. It was a warm evening in Millet and I went for a walk with some friends to honor the final day before I was equipped with glasses. As a Junior High student in a small school I thought I was doomed by wearing glasses. They took a long time to become comfortable with them but after a while they were natural and felt they were always there.

I bent my first set of frames more than I can remember. It seemed that glasses had the magical presence to attract a soccer ball, volleyball or basketball to the face. This would usually lead to a bend in the bridge, warping the nose piece or damaging the arm. I became quite adept at fixing glasses on the go, and to my surprise they never broke.

Contacts came in High School and it was an experience to be liberated from the glasses but they did not come without consequence. My eyes were dry, a little red, and never completely comfortable with them in. I used them gladly over glasses when it came to playing a sport that involved a helmet.

Years passed and glasses became a way of life, just something I had to take care of every day. The dry weather of Alberta forced me to rely on glasses more than contacts. When it came time to buy new frames I discovered the goldmine of buying frames/lenses from online stores. I enjoyed fashion and diversity at a cost of $10 to $30 for new frames compared to insanely priced $200+ ones at Lenscrafters or other locations.

All of this will be a distant memory after today as I have laser corrective surgery done on my eyes. I have thought about laser eye surgery for years. It was always some notion in the back of my head and in May I decided it was time to investigate for myself and see what my options were. Things moved at a faster rate than I expected and the week following my initial consultation with the doctor I selected I was booked for the surgery.

I opted for Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and my healing process will put me out of commission for a few days. I will try and document the next few days as best I can but I am not expecting much computer use in that time so we will see what happens.

Morning Sun Rise (tn)Always one for tradition, I made sure that the final night, and morning, before my surgery was memorable. I played hockey with the Ice Dragons netting a goal and an assist (sadly in a loss). Then in the morning I awoke before the sun in the morning and watched its rise on the deck with a cup of coffee, my thoughts, birds chirping and the sound of commuters going to work early.

I guess I will see you around Internet, stay classy.

My Television Rundown

A few weeks ago the television season drew to a close, however with another binge of Battlestar Galactica and other things taking precedence I was unable to complete all of the May finales until recently. September seems so long ago, a fresh season of possibilities is now ready for critiquing. I could talk about any of the following shows ad nauseum so I will try to keep this brief.

Person watching static

Monday Night
Chuck: My leader of Monday night programming. There were some stunts this year (the 3D episode and large guest stars) that may not have worked as well as originally hoped, but that did not take away from a really solid sophomore season. The story progressed nicely, there was the right blend of cheesiness and humor and there was a definite story arc determined in the beginning and stuck to right through the end. This show has given me plenty of laughs and entertainment and I am extremely happy to welcome Chuck back again for a third season.

How I Met Your Mother: If Chuck had not been as solid this year HIMYM would have taken top ranks for Monday programming. Still, this year was not without its flaws. While Sarah Chalke is a fun actress her Stella character was a low point in the season. The show has dipped and dived around the ‘who is the Mother’ arc with some interesting b-stories (Robin and Barney) but it was always in the background. This season finally delivered on the goat, which has been teased about since the beginning. Next to debating when the next slap will occur this left me really satisfied.

The Big Bang Theory: A consistently enjoyable show. It was always a reliable choice on an otherwise busy Monday of programming. Thinking back on the year that was I am not sure I could define one main plot point. There was relationship tension between Penny and Leonard, but everything seemed to be a stand-alone story. The laugh track can be a bit extreme for some viewers but don’t let that spoil what is an otherwise smart and cute story.

24: I groan when I think of what I sat through with season six of 24. On the roller coaster ride of this series season six was the lowest point. The writers strike was a blessing in disguise as it gave more time to develop the season seven story, craft Redemption to be a nice lead-in for the season. The tension level was high to start the season but slowly lost momentum. It was good TV but I was never as fixed to the TV craving the next episode as I have in the past with the series. I may put 24 into exile next season.

Heroes: I stopped watching after the third Chapter break, or the mid point in season three. I have put this series in limbo and will watch the most recent episodes during the summer time. This is the equivalent of a show being put in purgatory, it could return from it, or it could disappear forever if I am not impressed.

Tuesday Night
Fringe: I have a love/hate relationship with this show. There have been some strong story arcs, but they would be intermixed with stand alone episodes that did not further the overall plot. Having watched the pilot last summer I feel like I have been watching this show for years and to think it has only been a single season is surprising. I want to like this show, I am excited for the mythology they have created but it is not addressed the same way the mysteries in Lost was set up and I find my interest fluctuates.

Wednesday Night
Lost: The highlight of my television week. When Lost and Battlestar Galactica were on at the same time I was a happy person. This season has been extremely well done, a lot happened in this short season and the set up for the final season is huge. This show will always be my favorite regardless of what else airs that week, I just have to wait until January to feel that way again.

Scrubs: I love Scrubs. We have had some great moments, but the last few seasons have been mediocre in quality and I was prepared for this season on ABC to be its last. The stories had an improvement, the lighting was turned down and the fantasy sequences were less outrageous. The final minutes of the season were a perfect series finale, and now that there is talk of bringing the crew back for another season I feel incredibly torn and not sure I will add it to my television line up.

Thursday Night
The Office: A reliable choice on Thursday’s, easily the highlight of the day. This show is easy to get into and you can lose yourself in that half hour laughing through most of it. I enjoyed the Michael Scott Paper Company arc and am pleased to see some development with Jim and Pam.

ER: I was glad to have been with this from the beginning, and its final season was a nice ending. This year had a really good story, past characters being brought back was a nice touch and went out with another busy day at County.

Survivor: Easily digestible television that has been a routine of mine since 2000. I enjoy Survivor for the inter-personal conflicts, the variety of challenges and how I go from hating a character in the beginning to loving them in the end. I have no other investment in this series other than out of habit. I do not need to watch this live, and if I miss a week I can still follow along the following week. This year was enjoyable but not as good as some in recent memories, still I will tune in for the next edition in the fall.

Friday Night
Battlestar Galactica: What more can be said about a show that I have talked about in length on here and have seen each episode four or more times? I loved this show completely, I still enjoy watching episodes and have probably not come to terms with it going off the air. It was an end of week highlight and I have felt my Friday’s a little lacking since March 20th.

Dollhouse: Like Fringe, I am in a love/hate relationship with this show. When asked “Which show should Fox cancel: Dollhouse or Fringe?” my answer changes, likely based on how terrible either episode was the previous week. I am pleased this show will have a second season to continue with the trend that season one finished with, but there is only so much I am will to tolerate Joss; make the next season good or I will have lost all hope. If this show could maintain the quality it showed in the final episodes of season one then this could be a weekly favorite.

Sunday Night
Dexter: That show was on television? A show that has a limited number of episodes that airs at the beginning of the television year could easily be forgotten but many months ago there was another installment of Mr. Morgan and his life as a serial killer. The time has made me forget the good and bad points of the last season but the tension was always at a point of breaking with Miguel, Rita and an endless supply of foes in Miami.

Thanks 2008-2009 television season, you were great and treated me to some amazing moments. See you soon with a new batch of shows to watch.