Saturday, February 28, 2009

Swimming and surgery

Here are the girls having fun on Wednesday while mom is going under the knife. I didn't get to be with them for any of the fun - no room for me in the car. Sitting at home alone I felt like the kid who didn't get picked for the team but I'm very thankful that they got to go have some fun after a long dry spell. They absolutely love their new friend Madison, after dreading her coming, thinking she was going to take Anna's attention away from them. I knew Anna better than that and all four got along great, at least from my two's point of view! Madison let Jing play with her Nintendo DS and Jing has a new passionate desire to own one!

Surgery itself was a breeze - I have no memory of anything coming at my eye, which is what I was dreading. But post surgery has been a let-down. I have strained to do my work so long I was gasping with desperation to be able to DRIVE and to read better and see to do my work without intense squinting of my entire face with resultant constant eye strain and headaches. Well now I can't read hardly at all. They gave me reading glasses which enables me to read large type and computer type, as it is lit up brightly, but I can't read my watch, can't read prices in the store, can't pick up a book and read if the type is smallish. What I do type and read is double letters sliding into each other and just exhausts my eye and me. I know (hope!) eventually glasses will correct this but on top of another bit of bad news I have been pretty blue. Not even sure I can drive yet - too rainy today to attempt driving for the first time in five months.

The surgeon had asked me many times if I had a trauma in my left eye, which at this point is so thick with cataract I can only see vague shapes - no meaningful vision. I told him I knew of nothing. He cannot get a good look behind the cataract with any machine they have or with a slit lamp as it is so thick. He had told me he would try the traditional surgery but it had at most a 50% chance of succeeding. If not, he would go in and scrape my eye and something else I don't remember, some kind of compensation for muscles too weak to hold up the new lens. Well yesterday I said, "Please get this other thing out so I can see! When can you do it?!" He said, "I'm not going to do it. I'm not touching that eye."

He said I needed a specialist and that Lion's Club would probably not pay for that and even if they did I would probably not get accepted as a patient with no insurance. He is one of the top surgeons in the country so I am somewhat concerned about this. One of the ladies there told me he was very cautious. And they told me no glasses until both eyes are done, but they are going to have to change that as I can't live unable to read! My eyestrain between the new sharp distance vision and the double/blurry vision up close mixed in with an eye that is "way past 20/200" is almost worse in ways than when the cataract was in. I know part of it will be adjusting but I am somewhat blue about it at the moment, particularly since it's not the only serious issue on the board at the moment!

But for today, I have two happy chatty girls all excited about their adventure and for preservation of my spirit and need of more income I have decided to take the plunge after years of longing to try my hand at making sterling silver jewelry with Precious Metal Clay. I so need something new and exciting creatively to give me a spark right now. Can't afford it, but I'm getting the cheapest set-up, no kiln alas, and I hope it pays for itself before too long. I may even start a PMC newbie blog when my stuff comes!

Toss out a prayer for me if you can spare one. I could use all I can get right now.


  1. Jan, hang in there, you need to let the eye heal and your vision settle down. The good news is: the eye heals faster than any other part of the body. Sending good thoughts your way, and am confident something will happen to make the other eye operable!! HUGS!!

  2. Huge hugs and prayers for you Jan! Don't give up yet, you have come SOOO FAR, remember that. There was a time not too long ago you thought you'd never get to this point so DON'T GIVE UP! I too am sure that things will work themselves out! Good luck on your new adventure, I can't wait to see what you have to offer!!!

  3. So glad to see you back and I think I was wanting to hear the 'quick fix' almost as much as you were wanting to say it. But it does take a little time for everything to heal/settle. Keep writing about your progress and setbacks - you never know when someone reading might be the someone who knows someone who has been there...or knows the doctor with the experience...Dawn's right, you ARE progressing in the right direction.

  4. Jan, Rachel had cataract surgery when she was three, most likely she had cataracts at birth. The pediatric opthamologist didn't hold out much hope when we first saw him, he said it should have been done when she was a newborn (well, duh)but he'd do what he could. She had cataracts removed in both eyes and lenses implanted. One eye was still clouded and the doctor used a laser to clear the sac (that was operation #3). The last operation was to actually cut away the front of the sac that hold the lens because it was too cloudy. The result is not perfect, but it's far, far better than it was. She sees perfectly well to run around, watch TV, can even read without her glasses if she holds the page up to her eye. She has bifocals but I don't know how much they help, she doesn't like to wear them and loses or breaks them constantly. She uses a magnifier to read sometimes and a monocular (like half of a binocular) to see the board at school if she needs to. She also sees a visual impairment specialist once a week. In fact, I wrote to her VI teacher to see if she knows of any resources that you might contact for assistance.

    Give your eyes time to heal -- this is real surgery, it's not like laser surgery.

    All the best,

  5. Jan,
    I am praying for you and will continue to pray that your vision becomes very functional. I know there is a problem with glass until you get both eyes done, but can't they give you glasses for the good eye and patch the other one whild you are doing a lot of reading? There has to be some sort of a solution to get you reading again. I'm sending you a hug. My cataract came one very rapidly and nowbody could tell me what was going on because it was hard to see for some reason. I went to China to get Cadi not knowing if I was going blind or what. That was stressful. A month after I returned I had the surgery. I know God has a plan and remember He is the great physician.

  6. ((hugs)) I know you wanted this to be fast. My Mom has had several eye surgeries.. both for cataracts and glaucoma...I know it took a while for things to 'calm' down and her vision to improve. I know it's frustrating in the meantime. I will keep you in my prayers. Please don't get discouraged. Doctors have to give you the worst possible scenario ... it's just the way they do things.. hopefully you can get glasses to help you focus and read .. and drive! We're all here for you. Take care.

  7. Jan...Duh! Why didn't I think to check your blog? I was wondering how you're doing & if you guys got snow. Anna loves the pic, but is disgusted to know that we missed SNOW! Both Anna & Madison want to come back soon though they're trying to talk me into flying. Hang in there. We're praying for you. I would love to see you with a great new career & better hours, something that allows you all to get out & involved again with your church & homeschool groups. Hugs to Lily & Jing.