Archive for Eye Surgery
January 18, 2008
Today I am writing about self promotion! It’s so hard to do that, but it was a necessary evil that I succumbed to today. I will share about my eye doctor’s visit and an article I was asked to write up for the SCASL Media Center Messenger (our state school library asssociation’s quarterly journal.)
First up–Eye Doctor Visit
The appointment today was a six month follow up to my eye surgery from August. I wrote about it before here. Today I find that my vision is 20/20 and 20/25 BUT I have developed “yag,” a side effect where scar tissue is causing my vision to be a little cloudy. I have to go back in for a treatment which essentially means they will buff the sack that the synthetic lens sits in, and eleminate the cloudy effect. I hadn’t really noticed that my vision was a little cloudy, but described it more as a little blurry. My doctor (Dr. Christenbury) says it’s very common and very correctable. I also will get a touch up Lasik procedure to make my eyes vision balanced and even better. Woo haa!
Second, I was asked to write up an article for the Media Center Messenger about my Edublogs Award Nomination. Does anyone know how hard it is to brag on one’s self? I struggled with what to write, but I really felt it does deserve a mention, so I wrote the article. I did ask the editor of the journal to place it in the journal as written anonymously or written by her, the editor, as I felt it would look bad if I signed it as author. But you know what? Anyone who knows my writing style will immediately know I wrote it. Perhaps I’ll resend it and write in first person instead. I’ll think about it.
What? You wish to see it? Ask, and I’ll send you the copy. Comment and include your email in the comment form (which will not be public) and I’ll be sure to share my little self serving promotion of “Cathy Nelson” who DID NOT win the 2007 Eddie, but instead has won much more. Yes, that’s exactly how I feel.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll get back to the business of writing about well…, ya know…, my “professional thoughts.”
January 3, 2008
Now I’ve heard it all! I think I may be allergic to work, but allow me to explain. I am new at a school that just underwent a major renovation. The library acquired a state of the art video production studio and new shelving. The office was carpeted along with the renovations. This was finalized on November 8th, and I was allowed to begin scheduling the studio for use. We jumped in with both feet and never looked back.
Then the gradual discomfort and itching began. I attributed it to allergies in general, after all who wasn’t walking around with a sniffle? In SC, we have allergens of different kinds all year around–there is no off season. Then I began thinking I was reacting to a sinus infection, though I’d never had that kind of reaction before. I began consulting “doctor internet” and “doctor twitter,” asking for advice and what on earth it could be. I posted pictures to twitter so my friends could see what I was facing. (I had even let dr internet convince me I had shingles in my eyes–ouch!) The first post to twitter about the issue was made on November 18th.
I even posted a picture (I am so brave) to share so folks could grasp the severity of the situation.
Since this picture is really embarrassing, you can just visit the flickr picture to get a good view (and laugh). Most of my Twitter friends were strongly recommending I go to the doctor. But I had an eye doctor appointment coming on the next Friday, and would be leaving to go back home to Rock Hill (170 miles away) for that appointment. So I delayed the visit, leaving Myrtle Beach Thursday right after school, and spending the night at home before going to a 2:00PM appointment. But miraculously the next morning 90% of the swelling was gone, and I wasn’t itching at all. It was a miracle, or so I thought.
At my doctor’s appointment I did not even mention the rash or swelling. No evidence of it anyway…But I did return to school the next week. But by this time, I had a full scale head cold that I suffered through right up to Thanksgiving, and so attributed the returned rash and itching to being sick (again, even though I’d never had that reaction before.) After the head cold subsided, the itchiness remained. So I began to think I was having an allergic reaction to possibly my cats, which I only see on the weekends now. It was the only rational thing I could think of, so I began taking Clariton daily, which did seem to help some. The itchiness was still there, but only a minor nuisance, and by this time I had become increasingly aware of it, and tried desperately to NOT rub or scratch my eyes. So there was a significant decrease in the redness or swelling. During my two week break I had NO signs or symptoms. None. But was taking a Clariton daily, and assumed that it was finally keeping the discomfort to a minimum.
Fast forward to yesterday, January 2, a workday at school. I spent a lot of time at my desk doing things and time in the studio getting it ready for a live broadcast from the studio and from a remote location. I was clear and fine when I arrived at school. But by lunch time all those symptoms had returned with a vengeance. At home last night, most of it went away. Note to self-at school, irritation flares up; away from school, irritation fades and disappears. Today at school, once again, the irritation flared up with a nasty vengeance again. As I was talking with a friend at school, we both realized the itchiness started around the time all the construction was done. The studio was finished and made available to us, and the library offices were carpeted (they had previously been tile.) Notice date on this tweet. November 8.
This is almost exactly when I noticed that my eyes were constantly itching. I just never made a connection to the construction or perhaps even the new flooring.
But I did ask my twitter network if anyone thought I could be be allergic to mold, mildew, or allergens in the library, getting several responses to make me beleive this. I even picked up the phone and called my principal, asking if we might could have the library tested for somethng causing my discomfort. Her suggestion is to come to school tomorrow but stay out of the library–to see if the irritation returns. She is the one that suggested it may be the new carpeting that was laid down in the office and the studio…So tomorrow I work all around the building and not in the library. I will be in the auditoruim for class meetings (helping kids with PPT presentations for 3 different class meetings,) and then I’m going shopping for some school accessories we have determined we need. I’ll drive back to Myrtle Beach for this shopping trip. If at the end of the school day I am free of irritation, my principal is going to call the district office to see what kinds of tests they can conduct. What do I think needs to happen? I want a air cleaner (thanks for the idea Carolyn) and I want to go back to tile in the office and studio. I don’t know if the studio will have sound problems with a tile floor, but by golly I’ll be a heck of a lot healthier and happier.
Last, if it hadn’t been for my Twitter network tonight, I wouldn’t have even thought about the “library” possibly causing all my discomfort. Thanks, network! I hope this is resolved soon, as the irritation makes me look ten years OLDER. Arggg.
November 4, 2007
I caught this in my RSS reader today. Recently with my kids we discussed how RSS feeds were initially used only by the news wires–enabling newspapers and other news media to jump on and use stories for papers, magazines, and television productions. I am going to use this during the week with some of my classes. I posted it on the library blog. But it also reminds me of how many (many, many, many) times I have posted to my own blog, twitter, and even in chatrooms the txt talk or spelling issues that I dismiss either due to my now 3 month old eye surgery or my inability to type using a laptop. Will I forgive Fox? Of course! The actual article is after all, error free. Can’t wait to share with the kids at school though.
September 7, 2007
The left eye looked really good today at the doctor’s office, and I was told the mild bluriness will clear in a day. I go back in one month and a final decision about my right eye will be made. There is likely to be planned a lasik touch up to it as well, but they really want me to have time to heal. There was a noticeable dryness in my right eye that could be contributing to that blurriness, and I am to use artificial tears three times a day. May as well b/c the left eye where I just had LASIK gets antibiotic drops for three weeks, starting a three times a day. Clear headed today, I can say that Lasik was a breeze too. NO pain, only mild discomfort for about thirty seconds, and then no pain what so ever. The most discomfort I had was that I was FREEZING where they did the outpatient procedure. They gave me a Tarheel blanket to cover up with. Now all I can do is think about all the work I am missing at school, and how I am getting further and further behind.
September 6, 2007
Dr. Chrystenberry had a battery of tests done, and I went back for the Lasik in my left eye. I was awake the whole time for this procedure. Can’t really tell yet–i’m to give it two days to notice improvements. Right now I want to rest, and he gave me a pill. If the pill will let me rest, and wearing the bubble over my eye will not let me rub the eye, it will heal faster. There was concern that my right I is not improved like he would like to see, and so there may be a Lasik treatment for it as well—maybe as early as tomorrow. The conversations he had with his staff, and not me, but in proximity (so I guess I am in th loop), indicates that it could be a need. But because I am a rezoom/restore patient, all lasik touch-ups are free. My worry is the number of days I will miss. If the team does decide to do LAkisik on my right eye, PLEASE let it happen tomorrow. I already have tht day of as a sick day. Then I’ll have to come back in a month, and then 6 months for reachecks. Lift up some interessesiry praters for me friends.
August 6, 2007
Some of my fellow colleagues and friends have inquired about my eye surgery progress, so I’m writing about it here. Today marks five days since eye number one (my right eye) was surgically “fixed” with a synthetic lens replacement. The left eye was done four days ago. Today I have accumulated most of my distance vision and a lot of my midrange vision back. Reading distance though is still very blurry. The reading glasses help some, and the ability to enlarge text on my computer has been a godsend! But I have to share my favorite tool! It’s a book marker that I got somewhere at a conference–I wish I could remember where. It is clear and has a hotel logo on it (Hilton Columbia Center / Hampton Inn Downtown Historic District in Columbia SC). This makes me want to think perhaps I got it from the SCASL conference in March? Anyway, it is clear but has a miniature fresnel lens of sort on it. If you are not sure what a fresnel lens is, the easiest way to make you understand is to refer to that old dinosaur overhead projector that many of you probably no longer use. The lens sits in the projector and enlarges the clear transparency on an overhead screen. Anyway, here is the handy little tool I am using. It enabled me to get through the Payroll/Benefits meeting this morning–you know, the one where you fill out your I-9 form, or W-4 forms, deductions, insurance, retirement, and all that necessary stuff in order to get a paycheck. The text on those documents is microscopic. This little tool was a lifesaver today as I used it to read and complete forms and text-messaged my husband from the meeting to ask those hard questions (like what his and the boys’ social security numbers were, and things like that.) It felt weird having to use it in front of other people–I sort of felt handicapped! But use it I did! I also have a pair of super-sized solar sun glasses that you see many “mature” women wearing. Well I’m wearing them too, as the surgery has made my eyes extremely sensitive to the bright sunlight. I can’t even describe the nighttime lights with their weird halos. Driving at night is absolutely impossible and downright unsafe for me right now. I sound so OLD! But in two more weeks I’ll be glasses free, which hopefully will take at least five years off! Here’s a picture of the tool I used today.
August 4, 2007
Okay since Thursday I’ve been somewhat out of commission. Thursday was not so bad because I could still read and see out of my left eye. Friday was awful because after the surgery, I couldn’t read a thing! Today I had a follow up, and according to the doctor, things are progressing as they should be. I was very depressed yesterday because the girl beside passed a preliminary eye test of her corrected right eye with almost 20/20 vision. I could not even read the chart. Everything was blurry! It has all been explained to me now though. She had lasik, which is almost like immediate correction, and I had Rezoom/Restor, which takes a few weeks to heal. Essentially (and this is a lay person’s description) the doctor opened the sacks in my eyes where the lens is located and removed them replacing them with the Restor and ReZoom lenses. That sack is now too big for the lenses, and so the lense shifts around some, causing the blurry vision. Over the next ten to twenty days, that sack will shink wrap itself around the new lenses, and when that happens, my vision will become gradually and noticeably better. I will begin to need the reading glasses less and less during this time, until eventually I will not need them at all. In four weeks, I go back to have lasik touch up for the left eye which has an astigmatism. I was told that at the very beginning. If my right eye is not 20/20 or better, they may do a touch up lasik on it too. So that’s where things stand.
What bothered me more than anything was that I could not use my computer at all, so I missed a bunch of emails, twitters, and rss feeds. I have a lot to catch up on. My doctor has said I should use my reading glasses for work–it will not harm what has been done. He has also assured me that my vision will be improving almost daily. So I am wearing the reading glasses, and have my mac settings to large print. The only thing I see myself having to lay off for a while is Second Life, unless someone knows how to increase the sizes of buttons and chat.
Monday I have a meeting in at the Horry County District Office regarding Payroll and benefits. I don’t think I’ll be able to read anything on the pages i will have to complete. Today I hunt for a magnifying glass to carry with me so I can do the paperwork required. Oh, I also pick up my school laptop if I want too (a pc type I’m sure.) Wonder if I could ask for a mac?
Slowly but surely I’m on the mend.
August 2, 2007
Here is a picture of me at home following the first day of the procedure. I can honestly say I didn’t feel a thing. I was put under, and it was done, and then I was out of there. I remember seeing some scrube nurses, but little else. I wear a paxtch until 12:30, and then remove it, putting medicated drops in the eye. I keep the plastic protective bubble over it until tomorrow morning when I go back for day 2 of the surgery–my left eye. Harmless is the only thing I can think to say. There were four other patients there with me, each having the same procedure. I was the youngest. I had no pain or discomort whatsoever. I don’t even remember the doctor’s presence, though I’m told he was there and talked to my husband. More updates later.