Monday, August 27, 2007

First day of school

J-man starts 4th grade today, and I have to admit, I didn't want him to go. I know that he is nervous about the 4th grade, since this year the focus is on writing, and he has a difficult time getting the creative stories he dreams up out of his head and onto the paper. His face telegraphs a look of resignation, of hopelessness, when he talks about the 4th grade. How I wish I could change that look. I've tried encouragement, I've tried just being his sounding block. Unfortunately, he has a mental block, which will not break, one that is stopping him from reaching his full potential. He believes he can not write; therefore, he is unable to write. Yet his imagination is wonderful - when he speaks his stories, they are full of detail and wonder.
We'll see how everything goes today. Hopefully his teacher will make a good impression. We haven't met her yet - she was out on "Meet the teacher" night. She had a legitimate excuse, but I would have felt better if I could have voiced my concerns for J to her.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Quote of the day

Planning is an unnatural process; it is much more fun to do something. The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression.
(Sir John Harvey-Jones)

The truth about lasik

As promised, my experience with Lasik surgery. I won't go into detail as to what goes on in the pre-surgery appointments, other than they measure your eyes 3 different ways in order to ensure that the surgery is a success - they check cornea thickness, plot the shape of your eye and measure how far it dilates in an attempt to prevent the dreaded "halo" side effect. At this point I also received several pages of notes to read and sign off on, which basically explained all the possible complications and how I was messing with my eyes and that sight loss was a possibility (or at least this is what I got out of it).

3 days prior to the surgery, I started antibiotic eye drops to kill any germs that might be lurking in my eyes. This was the one medication I had to purchase, that was not part of the package. The doctor said no generic substitutions, so it did cost me $35. The day of surgery, I was told not to wear any make-up or perfume. The perfume fumes could alter the laser, which would be bad. The make-up could get into my newly operated on eyes. Right before I left for the doctor's office, I was to thoroughly scrub my face and use special eyelid scrubbing cloths to get rid of any dirt or debris.
As a note, at this time my anxiety level was starting to mount, as I HATE having anything near my eyes, one of the reasons I have worn glasses for 25 years.

Hubby, Jman and I drove to the doctor's office where I was quickly seen. The assistant briefed me on what I needed to do for after-care, giving me my little pouch containing steroid drops, artificial tears, sunglasses, tape and another copy of instructions on how often to use the medications. There were also 2 Valium, one for now and one for later. I took my Valium, she scrubbed my eyes again, put anesthetic drops in my eyes, put a surgery cap on my head and booties on my feet and lead me blindly to the laser room.

The laser room actually consisted of a seating area and another room with the actual laser in it. I waited in the seating room for a bit with 2 others (the doctor had 16 surgeries scheduled for that day), where we chatted nervously. It seems that the folks who wore contacts were not as nervous as I. The Valium was not kicking in as quickly as I had hoped; either that, or I had extremely high expectations for it.

Finally it was my turn. I was lead wobbling (guess the Valium was working) to the laser room, chatting nervously the entire time. I laid down on the table, with looks the same as an X-ray table, with lots of equipment to the side. The assistant put a cushion block under my knees, to make me more comfortable, and covered me with a blanket, since the room is kept very cold due to the heat coming off the machine. Then the doctor spoke to me, explaining what would happen. Their was an assistant there to literally hold my hand the entire time.

Then the hard part came - the assistants needed to put plastic shields in both my top lid and bottom lid to hold open my eye. The hands reaching toward my eyes started to spike my anxiety, and I started to panic a bit. At this point, hand holding woman calmed me down. The plastic shields did hurt as they were placed, but the worst was the speculum they used to push down and hold my eyeball in place. OWWWWWWW. This all took about 2 minutes, but it felt like an eternity. At this point I was thinking that maybe I did not want this surgery so much. They started up the laser and it hurt...not at was like looking at twinkling lights on a Christmas tree. So easy.
The same thing was done to the left eye, although I didn't mind the shields as much when they put them in. In fact, the pain of the speculum surprised me since I had already forgotten about it from the first eye.
Once they finished, they had me sit up and read the clock-and I could! Amazingly, my vision was already better. Plastic shields were taped over my eyes to protect them and I was led back to a dark examining room. 15 minutes later the doctor came back to check on my progress. He wanted me to open my right eye first, but I couldn't - it just refused to move. I got the left one open, tears streaming down my face (a side effect that was expected) and finally got the right one open. Everything looked good.
Hubby drove us home, me in the front seat covering my face, whispering to them to stop talking, turn off the radio, just get me home. I believe that my nervous system was a bit overwhelmed at about this point and I could not tolerate any more external stimulation. It was very similar to my reaction to light and sound when I have a migraine.
We got home, I took the Valium, and slept the rest of the night. Well, I woke up once at 10pm to find Jman still awake in his room (hubby had to go back to work). I put him to bed then went back to bed myself.
The next day, I painfully pried off the eyeshields (the tape had stuck quite well to my skin, should have used baby oil to remove it) and drove myself the 45 minutes to the doctors. That's right, my eyesight was OK enough for me to drive, to see license plates clearly, to read road signs. I will admit that my eyes were tired by the time I got there, but still, I could see.

And that is about it. I had severe halos the first day post-op, but they have been slowly decreasing as has the dry eye syndrome. My next appointment is this Friday, where I shall see just exactly what my vision is. I truly think it is 20/20, but we shall see.

Friday, August 10, 2007

eyes have it

I went through with it, and I can see. The surgery itself is not painful, but the prep was. I currently am seeing words clearly with a soft light glow around all light sources (think of the photography studios attempt at romantic pictures or how television will sometimes do flashbacks). My eyes are tired and a bit light sensitive. The valium they provided was much needed. I no longer can see extreme details at 2 inches from my face - as the doctor explained it, that was called near sightedness, now I have normal sight. I will go into detail on the actual procedure at a later point in time, right now my eyes squinch up at the thought of it.
Good point of all this, besides the eyesight, no cooking for 2 days (particles could irritate my eyes0, no yard work for 2 weeks, and no lifting anything heavy for 2 weeks either.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

the Talk

Yesterday I had just returned from helping a friend, when hubby came down the stairs, slumped into a chair and said "I talked to him, I did it, I had the talk".

The talk....the one that every parent knows they have to have but is reluctant to give, not because we think the child shouldn't have the information, but because he might ask a question we are not ready to answer.

J man is 9, and the youngest in his class. He rides the school bus, so we know he has had exposure to the topic, but we didn't know what he had heard and how accurate it was. So, hubby decided that before J enters 4th grade and notices how some of the girls are starting to look different that he had better have some indication as to what is going on.

I was not privy to the conversation, but it seems that J said that there were a few things that hubby said that he did not know about already. He didn't have any questions now, but I hope this opens up a dialogue and that he won't be afraid or embarrassed to ask us anything later on when the questions do come to him.

Although J was ready for the talk I don't think hubby was. I think I saw some new grey hairs too.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

It's on for Thursday!

My surgery is scheduled for this upcoming Thursday, at 3 pm. Am I nervous? A wee bit, after all it is something that will affect my eyesight, either good or bad. I have a whole list of prep work to do before the operation (ie. antibiotic drops for the eyes a few days before surgery to clean out any nasty germs that are hiding, eyelid scrubbers, etc). Along with the pre-operation preparation there are rules for the day of surgery. I can not wear perfume or hairspray because the laser is sensitive that the fumes that emanate from them could through it off. I offered to not wear deodorant either, but was told they would rather I not come stinky!