I’m not in pain: regular medication keeps any discomfort at bay. I think I am benefiting in this respect from damage to the nerve to my face—which I can appreciate and not rue, since, as of this morning, I don’t think it is permanent.
I keep my left eye covered under a loose moist dressing. As long as it’s covered, I look pretty normal. I even wear my glasses over the dressing. Without the dressing, I’m a distressing sight.
My unhurt eye gets tired pretty quickly, so I have very limited periods of normal clear sight. I can read or look at a computer screen for only a few minutes at a time before the letters blur on me. I have to blink a lot to read. [These limits make it challenging to keep up with emails, so please be understanding if I don’t respond individually to all of your lovely notes of support.] I can watch TV or look at people longer because I don’t have to keep details in focus.
I can converse easily. I can eat—soft food only to avoid pressure on the broken bone above my teeth. I can’t open my mouth very wide. My top lip is still partially numb. The numbness left my bottom lip a few days after the surgery, so I quit dribbling, thank goodness. My mother and older sister have been cooking delicious, comforting food for me. And I just now managed to scramble a couple of eggs for myself for dinner (hurrah!).
Fatigue hits me hard and fast. At some point every day, even when I think I’ve been taking it easy, I discover I’ve overextended my energy and have to collapse. I constantly underestimate the energy required to heal. I need to sleep and rest more.
For 48 hours after the surgery, I had to have my dressing changed, and usually medication put in my eye, every half hour around the clock. The first night we had the help of the wonderful nursing staff at St. Joe’s. They sent us home the day after the surgery though (!), and since then my partner, with help from my sisters, has done an extraordinary job of taking care of me. [My sisters arrived to look after me within days after my accident.] I (and my caregivers) have seven medications to manage now: four drops and an ointment that go into my eye, and two pills. This is complicated, as they all must be administered at different frequencies and none can be given together. My partner and I have finally got a system worked out, and using two alarm clocks, I am now able to keep track of the schedule pretty well myself. I cannot administer the eye medications to myself though, so I need help at least every two hours, and every fifteen minutes for an hour and a half at the beginning and end of every day. And I have beaucoup doctors’ appointments: four this past week; one with each of three of my doctors (surgeon, ophthamologist, and retina specialist) next week. These visits can really throw the medication schedule off.