Tag: vision

My Strabismus Update

Hey guys!  This is just a quick update.  Those of you who have been with the blog for a long time might remember the eye surgery I had in 2011 and 2012.  It was quite the journey but the surgery was to correct an amblyopia or strabismus (commonly referred to as a lazy eye).  I had always had trouble seeing double and found it incredibly difficult to make eye contact with other people.  Focusing in general was tough but I didn’t think there was anything you could do about it.  Indeed I had eye doctors tell me there was nothing we could do about it (stupid doctors!). 

It’s a real shame too because the problem is much easier to fix when kids are little but because of the doctors ignoring it I went untreated until I failed a vision test for my drivers license.  I was supposed to look into a box and see a light but couldn’t see anything.  This was caused by my strabismus issues.

I ended up finding Dr Petersen at Rocky Mountain Eye Care and it took 2 surgeries and then vision therapy from Utah Vision Therapy but the treatment seems to have worked.  My doctor told me last week that I don’t need to see him again for another 2 years!

I made this video where I explain more of my journey and the treatment I received.  Please pass it on to those you know and keep an eye out for kids that have signs.  Thanks!

Strabismus Round 2

After surgery in the recovery room

I can’t write much because I can only focus for about 30 seconds at a time but I wanted to update my readers on my surgery.   Last year I had a strabismus surgery where they create an incision in your eye and move it with a suture to try and align the eye.   This helps you to not see double or have a lazy eye like I do.

Unfortunately my eye did not accept the new alignment and reverted back to most of its original position (was a 20 right left last year, down to 8 after surgery, back up to 14 this year, 25 up and down).

So I went in yesterday and my wonderful doctor, Dr. Peterson at Rocky Mountain Eye Care, performed the surgery.  This time on both eyes with the sutures on my left eye instead of right like last year.

I was very impressed with everyone at the IHC Surgical Center in Murray.  All of the nurses were very reassuring and kind.  The anesthesiologist put in my IV because my veins wiggle so much and are so hard to find.  I was grateful that the nurses didn’t poke and prod me like last year. The operating nurse was wonderful and very reassuring.  We talked about Hawaii and how much I love it as I went under (not a bad way to enter the zzzz)

I also went with a different pain medication, perkiset, instead of lortab, and I responded much more favorably to it.

Wish I could say the same about the anesthesia.  It makes me very nauseated.  Even with the zofram I vomited when I woke up.  Luckily I had a pretty good nurse who was a tough cookie.  Instead of consoling or feeling bad she just said ‘get it out and you’ll feel better’.  Its true.   Anyway, it wasn’t pleasant waking up from surgery but my time in the recovery room wasn’t quite as long as last year.

I don’t know how anyone can go through a surgery for purely cosmetic reasons like plastic surgery.  It is so miserable for me.

A 2 eyed pirate

After about an hour they wheeled me into the recovery room and my Mom was there.  She kindly came out to take care of me, which is such a treat.  I told her I may have to undergo surgery every year to get 4 days of her all to myself.  Thanks to my Dad for holding down the fort in Cali so my Mom could come.

Luckily I didn’t throw up in the car this time going to the doctors for the final suture adjustment.  They have to do that after I’m awake to make it the most accurate.  This was painful but my doctor is so reassuring and kind it helps.  My only complaint was having to wait a long time when I was so uncomfortable but oh well.

So I got home and my sister Anna came up to help which was very nice and I had tons of well wishers and even a visitor (Thanks Melissa).  I listened to audiobooks (reading wonderful memoir by Marcus Samuelson called Yes Chef) and guazed both eyes in spurts.  The perkiset helps a lot with the pain.  Its a strange pain kind of like a prickly burning feeling more than a stabbing pain.  The sutures itch which is obviously uncomfortable and I found it difficult to sleep with my eyes burning but have been trying to rest as much as possible.

I’ve also been enjoying a few breaks from the diet.  (I mean if there was ever a moment for comfort food this is it 🙂  ).    Today I am going to have one of my favorite things in the world- Harmons fried chicken.  A very rare but delicious treat.   I also love frog eye salad and anything smooth.  (My throat is still a little sore from the tube they insert during surgery.)

I love frog eye salad when I’m sick. It doesn’t have a strong flavor and is so yummy. Never eat it in regular life.

Today I feel some improvement and I am not as sick from the anesthesia as I was last year.   Its hard because my world is still very fuzzy and my eyes are irritated and sore but I think I’m improving from last year.

Anyway, thanks so much for all of the love and support I have received.  I have felt the prayers of people from all over the country building me up.  I am so blessed.  Please come on out and visit as I’m sure tomorrow and Saturday I will be quite bored but still needing to rest. 🙂

Please also continue to keep me in your thoughts and prayers.  I need them!

I’m thankful to all my friends, family, good doctor and nurses and my eyes.  Here’s to hoping the surgery takes this year and I won’t need a repeat again. 🙂

My eyes today. I should go to a twilight screening with my red eyes 🙂

Sorry if this isn’t quite up to my usual posts.  I am touch typing it and my brain is still a little cloudy.  Love you all.

Strabismus Surgery

So the long strange story of my health continued today with a visit to a ophthalmologist (eye specialist).  As most of my friends know for years I have struggled with a lazy eye (the doctor said I’ve had it since I was born).   It’s a little hard to explain but it has always taken effort for me to focus on things clearly.  Once I have the focus I see very well but it goes in and out.  I also have terrible depth perception making driving, tennis, baseball other activities difficult.

In addition, sometimes I see double.  Since this is the way I have always seen for years I didn’t recognize it as a problem.  The only reason I became aware was about 5 years ago I went to the DMV.  As part of the eye exam they ask you to look in the box and tell them which side lights appear.  You can imagine my surprise when I didn’t see any lights!  Naturally in order to get my license I had to go to an eye doctor and get the problem looked at.  Unfortunately I went to a run of the mill eye doctor (that’s one thing I’ve learned specialists make all the difference in the world) and the idiot said ‘you have a lazy eye but glasses won’t help so there’ s nothing we can really do).

Zoom ahead to this year.  As you can imagine over the last few months I have become very aware of my body.  I have always felt there was something wrong inside me but could brush it aside as stress, fatigue, an illness ect.  However, this year was different.  I was doing everything right and still not feeling well, still feeling haggard.

About 6 months ago started noticing when singing music the words would get blurry and be difficult to read.  (the doctor says if I was a veracious reader before I should be through the roof after treatment.  He said my family may not see me for a week I will be reading so much!).  Obviously this was a concern so I went to an eye doctor near my gym.  I honestly figured they would be a high-class doctor because of the designer frames sold in the store.  With my insurance the copayment is the same so I decided to go for the exclusive looking doctor.  Unlike the lame doctor of 5 years ago this man did a number of tests including taking images of my eyes.  He agreed that I had a lazy eye and that glasses would not help. However, he did not agree nothing else could be done.

So this brings us to today.  On the advice of my doctor I went to the specialist, Dr. Petersen at the Rocky Mountain Eye Care Associates in Salt Lake.  After a number of tests he said I have intermittent exotropia or in other words, my eyes are not aligned correctly.  This causes problems with double vision, head aches, fatigue, and other problems.

To solve the problem he is recommending I have a strabismus surgery where they actually loosen and reposition the muscles in my eyes to make them align correctly.   While we have not scheduled the surgery yet it looks like it will be sometime in May.  The doctor said the recovery can take up to a week and he recommends I work from home, which is no problem for me!  (Can I say too many times how grateful I am for my job?)

The doctor said post-surgery I should experience a noticeable difference in my depth perception, head aches, fatigue and energy level in general.  Between the new energy from this and the diabetes shots I should have super powers!  I’m excited! (A little scared but excited too!).

the muscles in my eye(s) will be changed so the eyes align and see correctly

Well, I still have a lot to learn but hopefully I’ve explained this in a way that makes some sense.  This has been such a crazy, difficult journey but I am so grateful to be finally figuring these problems out.  I feel like a detective who has found the key clues to the big case- a case of why can’t Rachel lose weight and why is she always so tired?

Who knew the road to health was fraught with such peril!  Thanks for all of your current and continuing support.  Please keep the prayers coming. Love you!