Home Again, Home Again

It is strange, having two homes. Sometimes I don’t know what to say when I tell people where I am going. I am home, but I came from home. Indy is home, but DC is also still ‘home’. Weird. Anyway, I am home in DC for the week, and then will go home to Indy on Sunday. πŸ™‚ Confused yet?

Progress is slow and steady. Mornings continue to be the most difficult, as I am still waking up in quite a bit of pain, regardless of how much medicine I take the night before. So, a nap usually follows my morning meds. The afternoon and evening tends to be better, as I have more energy and less pain. Cold compresses also help a lot to reduce the swelling and the pain. I am thankful for the time to rest and heal and am praying these days in DC will allow for lots of both. For those of you who live in the area, I hope to see you while I am here!

One thing I forgot to include in yesterdays update from my appointment was that Dr. Lee was telling me about how the eye pressure gauges are only reliable and accurate to up to between 40 and 50 (remember that a normal eye pressure is between 10-20), and anything over 50 is considered a guess and unreliable. My last pressure check measured at 41 on the gauge, but Dr. Lee said that based on the hardness of my eye when he removed it, he estimates that the pressure was probably somewhere between the 70-80 range!!

My main prayer request for this week is that an infection won’t develop in the eye socket. Since I am in DC, I would have to go to the ER if one develops, which would be no fun at all. Also that my energy will continue to increase, and the swelling and pain will continue to decrease. Dr. Lee said I should notice a difference by this weekend in both areas. He showed me pictures of my small eye and the cyst he removed, and when I called today to ask for his nurse to email them to me, I’m pretty sure she thought I was crazy. I’m ok with that though…..it’s fun to have them. πŸ™‚

Thanks for your prayers and continued encouragement! Love you all!

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Day 4 and Thankful Thursday

I realized once again that yesterday was Thursday and I forgot to post my list….this time I am blaming it on the Vicodin.

Day 3 was successful – I incorporated real food into my diet and stayed awake much more than I slept (thank you, NCIS:LA!! :)) Bath time got pushed until this morning, and it felt soooooo good to get clean! As expected it completely wore me out, and I promptly laid down and napped for about an hour afterwards. The meds are helping somewhat, but the large plastic conformer holding everything in place is driving me crazy. Much of my time is spent laying on the couch with my eyes closed, just to keep my eye from moving and irritating it. I keep thinking that it feels like I have some large, foreign object in my eye, and then I have to remind myself that I do.

In the midst of discomfort though, there is still much to be thankful for this week:

1. Successful surgery and continued confirmation that this was the right decision and the perfect timing

2. My parents being here this week to help

3. Vicodin

4. Rest and time to heal and get well

5. All of my dear friends who have stopped by for a visit, called, texted, emailed, mailed cards, facebooked, etc. I have been so encouraged and feel deeply loved by everyone.

6. Being able to laugh in the midst of the pain

7. My patio and the lake where I can be entertained by the ducks and geese diving for food and sticking their butts in the air. Haha. It is so fun and funny to watch them! Mom took a video today. Maybe we’ll upload it later.

All in all things are going well. I’ve been up for a while though, and need to lay down for a bit. Keep your prayers coming! Love you all and so thankful for you today.

love,

emily

Day 3

I don’t remember much of Tuesday, and yesterday is kind of blurry as well, but today the clearness is beginning to come back. Still really sore, maybe even more so today now that all the anesthesia and numbness are gone, but Vicodin has become my new best friend! Apparently I slept on my right side last night, because I woke up today looking like a raccoon – two black eyes instead of one, and swelling in my whole face instead of just the left side. Gravity must have pulled it over while I was sleeping. It still hurts to move my eye, so I am trying to keep my focus pretty straight and level. Looking down hurts the worst, and turning my head comes shortly after that. So if you come visit me, don’t be offended if I don’t make much eye contact. πŸ˜‰

Goals for today:

1. Take a bath

2. Be awake more hours than I sleep during the day (this one may have to move to tomorrow….haha)

3. Eat real food and keep it down (I haven’t thrown up again since Tuesday night, so this shouldn’t be too hard!)

If one or two of those happen, it will be a good and successful day. I think my expectations for the recovery period on this surgery were a little too high, as I fully expected to be on the road to normal by now, HA! I keep having to remind myself that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and it is fine to be a tortoise as long as I get to the finish eventually, rather than trying to sprint and mess something up.

Couple facts/funny stories from the surgery:

*My anesthesiologist while waiting to go in to surgery: “I’m Dr Kurtz, your anesthesiologist. I’ll be putting you to sleep when I want you to sleep, and I will wake you back up when I want you to wake up. Also, I don’t get paid to put you to sleep, I get paid to wake you up!!” He was so funny.

*Eyes are supposed to be porous and kind of like a jelly-bean consistency on the inside (I hope that doesn’t ruin jelly beans for any of you πŸ˜‰ ). After the surgery Dr. Lee came out to talk to my parents and told them that when he took my small eye out, it was as hard as a rock! He was amazed and doesn’t know how I was handling the pain, as it should have been much worse! This was also another confirmation that this surgery was the right choice and done at the right time.

*In recovery: Nurse – “Emily, how is your pain level?” Me – “Uhhhh about an 8 or 9.” Nurse – starting at me expectantly. Me – “What? Did you not hear me?” Nurse – “Emily, you didn’t say anything!!” Me – “Oops. I must have just answered in my head and thought I was speaking.” Hahaha. This happened at least three times during my 2 hours in recovery. Those are always my favorite stories. Do you have any funny ones from your times in the hospital?

*Towards the end of my time in recovery, I said I felt like getting dressed and going to the bathroom, and by the time I got back from the restroom, they had already put someone else in my bed, and were escorting me out to my car! They were not kidding about this being outpatient!!!!

A New Chapter Beginning

Today is the last day of life as I have known it thus far, at least as it goes with my eye. Though my appearance is not going to be much different on the outside, the removal of my eye tomorrow will still bring a change. I don’t really know what it is going to be like; what the eye socket will look like, if it will move the same, if it will be majorly different, or if it will feel basically like my current eye. I have no idea how I am going to respond or how I will be feeling about all of that come tomorrow afternoon, but I do know one thing for sure:

The time has come, and this eye has got to go.

Everything has its season, and this little guy (as I refer to my eye), has come to the end of his. I was telling some friends earlier today how thankful I am that the pressure headaches have been consistently bad this entire week. Every day has been a reminder of why I made this decision, and a continual confirmation that this is where I am supposed to be. Every throb, every sharp pain, every time my eye aches, just makes me more ready to get rid of it. If I hadn’t had much pain this week, I could easily see myself wondering if I made the right choice, and if I should really remove it or just leave it in for a while longer. But no, on the contrary, I am so ready for these headaches to go away. Basically, the negative side effects of keeping it now far outweigh any of the positives (and those are few anyway), such that removing it, although final, still consistently wins the tug-of-war in my head and heart.

So now, dear eye, I bid you adieu, tschΓΌss and farewell. I give thanks for 25 years of globe-trotting adventures, practical jokes, conversation starters (and enders), good times, hard times, sad times and celebration times. Tomorrow I enter the world of normal “two-eyed” people, no longer able to claim having three. You have done well up until this end, and for that, I am grateful. The Lord is good all the time, even (especially?) in this.

Surgery is slated for 10am EST, and I should be out in an hour and home a couple after that (crazy? yes, I think so too). Thank you for your prayers! We will update again tomorrow with a progress report once I am home and settled on the couch or my futon. πŸ™‚

love,

emily

Two last pictures to remember:

With my shell in, looking "normal" πŸ™‚
The last picture of my little eye....bye friend!

Patch Party Pictures!!

I uploaded a bunch of pictures from Monday’s patch making party to facebook. If you are interested and want to see them, click here. It was a delightful evening and I feel so blessed and supported in this upcoming operation by the love shown by so many! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement as it gets closer! 6 days to go! We are under the week mark!