I flew to Philadelphia on 3/19/15, nearly a week before the surgery for the pre-surgery appointments and a few last minute tests. This was nice to relax for a few days. I also got the chance to go out to Gino’s and get an original Philly Cheese Steak. They have a good sandwich. I just wish the weather wasn’t 20 degrees and snowing, since they have no indoor seating. I pretty much stayed in the hotel most of the time, to ensure I did not get sick before surgery.
Day 0 – surgery day 2/24/15. Arrived at 6:30am. Blood work, check in, eye lash trimming (quite funny they cut them off), “X” stamp above my right eye (also funny and I have a picture with the stamp on my head). I was asked if I wanted a drug referred to as giggle juice, my answer was “Yes Please”. No idea what the real name of it was but I took it. The Dr’s tell me the surgery went well, obviously I don’t remember. After the surgery I am told I kept asking my mom if she called and told my wife I was awake, and also if I checked my work email. I would like to point out that I did ask about my wife before work, that is important that I make that point. I walked out of the hospital about 3:00pm with a stylish eye patch. The rest of the day I pretty much laid in bed and listened to the TV. I did not open my other eye barely ever that day, as every time I moved it the other eye moved and it didn’t feel too good. I think the only time I got up was to use the bathroom and eat a bowl of soup.
Day 1 – follow up appointment and blood work.
I got the eye patch removed. I am told that a high percentage of young to middle aged men get light headed when they open an eye they can’t see out of. I am definitely one who falls into that group. For anyone who doesn’t know me that is nothing new for me. I have a scar on the back of my head to prove it from passing out in the past (but that is a whole other story). It was completely blurry in my right eye. The only thing I noticed was bright light. There is an air bubble in the eye from surgery that your blood has to work it out.
Day 2 – I sat in the hotel most of the day. In the afternoon I went back to the office for a follow up video that is for UPENN and the CRF.
Day 3 – follow up appointment and blood work. If you are thinking they have been taking my blood, you are correct. In the previous 10 days I have had my blood drawn 5 times, and 3 pricks in my hands for IVs. With all the blood draws every mark had slight bruising. At this point, if you saw me walking on the street you would think I was a drug user due to marks in my hands/arms and a blood shot eye. At the check up appointment, everything looked good and the Dr. cleared me to go home. Due to the bubble in my eye, I was only allowed to travel by car home and not allowed to fly. My parents graciously drove me back from Philadelphia to Fayetteville Arkansas. We stayed the night at my brother’s house outside of D.C. area. It worked out well, as he had just gotten home that day from being out of country.
Day 4 – riding in a car all day from D.C. area to NW Tennessee to see my grandma and aunt. This was a long day of riding in a car. I could start to see clearly the right passenger mirror in the car, but most everything else was blurry. I had a lot of time to look around in the passenger seat.
Day 5 – last leg of traveling home. We made it home about 3:30pm. I was very happy to see my wife and kids. I would recommend not taking a 21 hour car ride just a few days after this eye surgery. If I had to do it again, I would do it the same way because I wanted to see my family and it was all worth it.
Day 8 – I went back to work. Using only 1 eye to work on a computer was quite difficult. Great way to cause yourself to get headaches.
Day 10 – I was able to read the clock on my wall in my office, if I squinted. I was very happy about this. Feel bad for all the people who came in my office that day, because I told everyone. There was also a sales rep. who came in that asked about the surgery. When I told him about the needle to the eye, he about jumped up out of his chair. It was pretty funny.
Day 12 – I could read the TV guide channel just about as good as my other eye. I would say this is the day I felt I was fully back to normal using both eyes. There was still some blurry parts of my vision, mainly when I look down. Ended up installing and modifying cabinets in my garage, so I would say I was doing well.
Day 13 – I could clearly read my phone. Headed back to Philadelphia for my 14 day follow up appointment. I actually wrote the majority of this on my phone as i was flying to Philadelphia.
Day 14 – Back in Philadelphia for a follow up appointment and blood work. This was a very good follow up appointment. I was able to read just about the same as before the surgery on an eye chart. I think I missed a letter or two on the smallest line, but only 2 weeks out from surgery that is pretty good.
I am very thankful for everyone who helped make this surgery possible. This was a huge effort put forth by many people.
Thank you to the CRF for the years of fundraising and awareness that you have created to get this to clinical trials. Also to everyone who has helped with fundraisers.
Thank you to the Dr’s who worked for years, some even decades, on making this a reality. There are many Dr’s who have worked very hard and have been very helpful through the surgery. They truly care about the work they do and for the well being of their patients.
Thank you to my wife, who has taken care of our children with all the trips I have made back and forth to Philadelphia. It has been a little difficult for our son to understand why dad has been gone so much lately, but I know he will understand later on.
Thank you to my parents who stayed with me out in Philadelphia for a week, drove me back to Arkansas and are helping my wife watch my children on my day 14 appointment trip.
Thank you to my mother-in-law who came to Arkansas to help watch my children for the two weeks I was away for the surgery.
Thank you to my wife’s friend Katie who came to Arkansas to help watch my children from one of the trips I had earlier this year.