PRK Day 10

It’s now been ten days since the surgery. I’ve gone into the office the last two days as well as today, but have been unable to work full days. The fact that 99% of my job includes reading and writing on a computer screen has really sunk in. I can handle enough for a while, but my eyes get too fatigued and the doublevision/ghosting seems to increase over time.

Still, I’m not disappointed at all, as I continue to see improvements every day. I just wish they would start coming faster :) I’m driving still, but try to keep my time on the road under ten minutes and within daylight hours. Yesterday I came home at lunch time and took an hour long nap, and my eyes were rejuvenated afterwards and I could work another 4 hours. Today, I skipped this rest period and went to lunch with the guys, but could only make it an hour into work afterwards before the fatigue made me pack up and head home.

It’s frustrating for sure, because I think that I lost a good 3 hours of work today looking into a problem that was caused originally by me misreading some piece of code and trying to fix a problem that wasn’t there. Grrrrr….

As for vision – the right eye is doing better and the ghosting is less pronounced but still blurry to an extent. Large fonts are a must, but they’re starting to clear up to the point that, come Monday, I’m hoping to be able to take the screen size down a notch. Things like this are cause for celebration with my new eyes, as I edge ever closer towards that (fingers crossed) 20/20 vision I’m hoping for.

The left eye is worse and the ghosting/double vision is more significant. Today I realized that with just my left eye open, if I focussed through the page I was reading, the two images resolved themselves. This is more of a chore than it’s worth, as I think I overworked my eye muscles doing this from time to time today.

Vision seems to be best when the eyes are thoroughly moistened. I’ll usually use the rewetting drops and close my eyes for a while, and things are much clearer when I open them back up. For a little while, at least. After several minutes, things start blurring up and separating again.

So in all, I’m happy with the progress so far. There are some blogs that I’ve read of people who take weeks to get to such a point. I have no doubt that in time, the ghosting and double vision will go away and I’ll forget what it was like to ever have this screwy eyesight. The sooner that day comes, the better.

The Atheist’s Object of Worship

Today I was delighted to flip through the channels and find that my favorite Catholic broadcaster (EWTN, I think) was having a round-table discussion on why so many young people today are drawn to Atheism. The discussion naturally included a self-proclaimed former atheist and homosexual, now cured and turned Catholic, as well as several members of the clergy with an adamant conviction that Atheism is in itself a growing religion rivaling Catholicism.

Amidst the discussion, one of the priests made a comment that since people are born with a inherent need to worship something, that Atheists themselves attempt to fulfill this desire in different ways; namely, through drugs, alcohol, or homosexuality, to name the first things that came to the minds of these clergy. The former homosexual atheist described how he indeed worshiped his homosexuality.

While this generalization doesn’t surprise me due to its origin, it nevertheless offends me as an unbeliever and atheist. I partake in my fair share of alcohol and steer clear of the harmful drugs, and I see no need to scrutinize the sexual relations of consenting adults, so none of these so-called sins offends me. What makes me cringe is the feigned piety of these holy men proclaiming that anyone not sharing their belief is somehow a slave to any mortal desire not approved by the man in the white hat.

It seems that many religions are unable to cope with the possibility that what they hold dear might not be absolute truth, and thus draw the conclusion that their own assumptions hold true for the rest of humanity. That they have some base need to grovel at the feet of an imagined deity does not infer the same necessity within me, or within anyone else. It was the same in my youth in the fundamentalist church. We were often told of this same basic human instinct, if such a word could be compatible with a designer. They said that we’ll all end up worshiping something to fill that god-shaped hole.

I wholeheartedly deny such accusations. I worship nothing. I see no need to prostrate myself before anyone or anything. Likewise, I see no need for you, or for those misguided clergy, to lay all they have at the feet of an imaginary immaterial specter. Sure, I have my interests and obsessions, but after leaving Christianity, I found the god-shaped hole myth to be a lie.

One of the clergy on the show made a comment that we all needed something to fill that empty Wednesday afternoon with. I guess he’s invoking the old idea of idle-hands being the devil’s playground, but such an assumption is laughable. The idea that worship is in the same boat with how I spend my time is absurd. If their idea of the need for worship were expanded to something one feels compelled to do, or something one likes to do, then the idea certainly makes more sense but at the same time, also loses its religious sting.

Excuse me while I prepare a burnt offering to my xbox. It gets angry when I don’t slit the throat or drain the blood just right.

PRK Day 7

It’s been a week! This is a major accomplishment in the life of my new eyes. Today I got the bandage contacts out and was told my eyes were healing perfectly. Still, that doesn’t mean my vision has stabilized yet, in fact it is anything but perfect.

My vision actually worsened a little after the bandage contacts were out, and my eyes have felt rather dry and scratchy all day. I’ve heard that other people have had this experience of worsening vision without the contacts, so it seems to be a natural occurrence.

I’ve noticed that the quality of vision is best after resting my eyes for a while or using the rewetting drops, but that they degrade after some time of usage. Reading is still blurry and harder now since my left eye seems to be experiencing bouts of double vision.

I actually drove today, and went out on the road to the store. It wasn’t so much blurry as it was somehow smudgy. My adventure took place after resting my eyes for a while, and I noticed that at first driving was clear and natural, but after a while the smudges became bigger. With a sense of accomplishment, I came back home having taken one step closer to independence. It seems the only things that I’ve been looking forward to in the past weeks have been the every-four-hour marks so I can put in another round of prescribed eye drops. That has been my life for the past week.

That, and reading the entire set of audiobooks for the His Dark Materials trilogy (that’s the trilogy starting with The Golden Compass). I’m just about finished and will probably write another blog on that topic entirely. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed the series. It was a great read and an excellent counterbalance to the jesus-loving Chronicle of Narnia books, for, as you may know, the core intent of the main characters in this series is to kill god. I hope I don’t spoil anything by saying that in the end, goodness prevails.

But back to the eyes. I think I might try to drive to work tomorrow if my vision isn’t too doubled or smudged. It will be a welcome task although it will probably only be for a  few hours of squinting at a computer screen.

PRK Day 5

It is nearing the end of the fifth day after my PRK laser correction surgery. Every day is a slight improvement over the previous. I am now able to read smaller print, although it is all still blurry and smudged. I’ve been able to reduce the font size on the monitor to normal, although I still have the monitor size itself blown up to 800×600.

The blurriness I’m experiencing now isn’t exactly like it was when I didn’t have my glasses on. Somehow there is a level of clarity unlike the bad vision I had prior to the surgery. And every so often I’ll move my eyes and have a brief moment of clarity on a small part of my eye which is gone a second later. Two more days and I’ll be able to get the bandage contacts out. I’m pretty excited for that. It’s just like sleeping for a week with normal contacts in. Your eyes just have this weird nasty feeling to them when you wake up and it follows you throughout the day. They say it’s good for you, so I guess I believe them.

Yesterday I spent some time with visiting family which was only supposed to be for an hour and turned into an evening. My girlfriend drove and had to lead me around blindly sometimes when we were walking into the wind, but it was nice to get out. I probably should have called it a night earlier on, because about halfway through the evening, at a restaurant, my eyes started to get really tired and irritated. Still, I wanted to go visit my couple-months-old niece with the rest of the family, so I stuck it out. The majority of the time I kept my eyes closed, and the entire evening I had my awesome sunglasses on that were given to me by the eye doctor.

It was a relief to finally get home later on and lay down in a dark room. My entire eyeballs sort of throbbed from the overuse and were entirely exhausted. I was looking forward to a night of sleep, but somehow that sleep remained elusive.  For whatever reason, I could not get to sleep, and became so angry at this that I really couldn’t get to sleep. I wandered the apartment in the dark and came to rest on the couch and listened to an audiobook for several hours. Sleep didn’t come until around 3:30 and then it was very fitful.

I spent most of today trying to catch up on this missing sleep, and it wasn’t until mid afternoon that I was fully myself again. Part of me thinks that the lack of sleep came from being out all yesterday afternoon and evening. Oh well, I got through it. Now after writing this my vision is beginning to lose focus again, so I think I’ll call it a day for computer work. I had originally anticipated that I might be able to go to work tomorrow (Monday), but I can see now that this isn’t going to happen, and it possibly won’t happen the next day. I write software for a living, so there’s going to be a lot of staring at monitors that I’m just not up to. Hopefully I’ll be able to work soon, as I’m running out of audiobooks to listen to and this cabin fever is starting to get to me!

PRK Day 4

It is now the beginning of day four after the PRK surgery. Both eyes are now worse than the night before in vision acuteness. Everything is blurry again, up close and far away. The left seems a little clearer but not by much. There isn’t really much pain besides the annoying feeling that there’s something in the eye at different times.

PRK Day 3 – Nighttime

I’ve reached the end of the third day after my PRK surgery and am feeling hopeful about things to come. They warned me that days 2 and 3 would be the worst. Day 2 was horrid, but today started better and things noticeably improved throughout the day.

Instead of the constant burning of day 2, today’s annoyance was intermittent periods of feeling like I had something in my eye. I kept asking my girlfriend to look for something, but she couldn’t see anything and my eyes weren’t red or bothered. I called the doc’s office and they said it was normal to have the feeling of a foreign body and that it would pass. It came and went, usually limited to the left eye. Strange, as most of the pain from yesterday was focussed on my right eye.

Much to my relief, my vision has sharpened ever so slightly. The right eye is now noticeably sharper in vision than the left. I can actually see the words I’m typing, albeit in an enormous font. Baby steps. I took several walks today, and the cold, brisk air relieved some of the discomfort.

There were passing moments when it seemed my vision would clear up and I could almost read some print on the bottle of eye drops, only to have it disappear as I attempted to focus. Small setbacks that will be overcome in the next week. I’m happy with the progress so far. It isn’t instantaneous, and opting for PRK is not for the faint of heart. The gradual improvements are like little milestones and make me feel excited for what’s to come. At times it’s almost like a slow wave, from blurriness to a sudden short moment of clarity, back to blurriness. I think I’ve made it through the majority of the pain, although I’m sure the discomfort and foreign body sensations will probably linger at least until I get the bandage contacts out – and that is still four days away. Still, I’m excited to see what tomorrow brings.

As a side note, I was just outside walking in the dark. Most things are still very blurry, with minor moments of semi=clarity. However, every light seemed to have its own gargantuan atmosphere, or halo, reminiscent of comet Holmes. This too is expected to pass, but its duration varies in patients.

I’ll end with a funny little story – The first day after the PRK surgery, you go back to the doctor and they do a quick checkup which includes trying to read the standard eye charts across the room. He tossed up the chart which should be easy to read by anyone, though all the letters looked like they had been smeared with ink. He asked which line I could read and I said I could read the third line perfectly, but when I tried, I failed at every letter. I didn’t know I failed, and said I couldn’t really make out the fourth line, but tried and somehow managed to get all the letters correct. Go figure. He laughed but I didn’t find out about it until my girlfriend told me today.

PRK Day 3

It’s been three days since my PRK surgery. I wasn’t able to write anything yesterday due to the amount of pain and light sensitivity. It was prety rough. I had all the blinds drawn and all the lights out, but that was still too bright.

They said at the eye place that day 2 was going to be the worst, and so far they were right. What I don’t really understand is why they didn’t give anything for the pain besides saying that tylenol and advil would work. I’ve read other blogs where people would either get some sort of pills or eye drop to deal with the pain, but these guys kept saying that over the counter drugs would be fine. Well, I made it, though it was pretty painful.

Today is the thrid day, and it is remarkably better. I can open my eyes and deal with light to an extent. However, my eyes are getting tired from all the light and I think I’ll go lay down again for a while. This morning, the pain is more directed towards a scratched-eye sensation, rather than the burning of yesterday.

My vision is very blurry, much like looking through a few sheets of saran wrap. I can barely read anything on this monitor, even with the resolution and font sizes at their fattest. Getting closer to the screen ndoesn’t really help, and I’m probably mimsspleling a ton of words. I wholeheartedly apologize for that :)

This blurriness is expected for this day. My vision is worse than the first day, but they said it would happen. The reason it gets progressively worse and better is due to the fluctuations of the outer cornea growing back. It’s the same with the pain, som times it’s fine in both eyes, then one or the other eye will burn for a while, off and on.

Well, I’m gonna go lay down for a while and listen to an audiobook They said yesterday and today would be the worst for pain, ,and I made it through yesterday and today seems much better. We’ll see what tomorrow brings. I can’t wait to see again!