Recovering from my last surgery has taken longer than I expected. For such a simple surgery, it sure presented challenges. My eye hurt for weeks, enough to prevent me from working. And it has meant a setback in my vision.
First, because of the pain and constant irritation caused by the stitches, my eye didn’t want to open as much as it had. Just in the last two days, that has finally improved, and my eye is mostly as open as it can be—which, mind you, is only about 5 mm, compared with about 12 mm for my right eye. (If I raise my eyebrow, I can get another millimeter. It sounds miniscule, but it is another 20%.)
Second, what I can see is blurrier than it was with the oil in my eye. I haven’t gotten a new prescription yet, so I don’t know how correctable my vision will be. It turns out that my eye is even more complicated than Dr. Levine thought. It seems to be less nearsighted than he expected, and the astigmatism counters the nearsightedness in such a way that my prescription is technically 0 diopters—perfect! But not. Dr. Levine raised the question of whether the tightness of my upper eyelid might be contributing to some of the astimatism by distorting the cornea. I sense that I may not be getting a new prescription until after I have more surgery on my eyelids.
Who knows what my eye would be doing if I had gotten the lens implant? I do think I made the right decision not getting it.
One other factor affecting my vision right now is tearing. My cornea is a little dry because my new lower eyelid isn’t tight against my eye and doesn’t actually move. Ironically, dryness causes the eye to overproduce tears, which then collect in the slight reservoir created by my lower lid and become viscous, further blurring my vision. To try to remedy this, I use lubricant drops or ointment and clean my eye out a few times a day.
I have been frustrated since the surgery, feeling like my recovery has stalled. But I keep reminding myself that this setback is temporary, and sometimes progress may be hard to recognize as such. For example, now, with my eye open, I have enough vision to challenge my brain, which paradoxically makes me feel like my vision is worse. It will get better as my brain learns and when I get the right corrective lens. I am the tortoise in this race, and slow and steady will win it.