Take It Easy

Sometimes events don’t go as planned.  My retina specialist does not want me to go back to work on Monday.  I have mixed feelings about this.  I feel bad for leaving tasks at my two jobs undone.  I feel disheartened at the thought of a couple more weeks at home.  I am beginning to feel bored with all those hours stretching out before me at home each day, while I am ordered to “take it easy.”  Still, a part of me is relieved.  I don’t know how I would do my work.  The truth is I can’t see.   I certainly can’t drive.  I have a headache all the time.  I can only look at the computer screen for a few minutes at a time.  I need a couple of naps every day.

It makes sense that I can’t go back to work.  The bubble is still taking up half of my left eye.  I can’t focus (even with glasses) through the clear part of that eye, above the bubble.  But I feel sad.   I miss my work friends.  I miss being busy.  I am tired of resting.  I am tired of worrying.  I feel like I am wasting time.

What is the grace in this situation?  What are the positive aspects of more days of recuperation?  Well, I am home when Benjamin gets home from school.  It’s nice to be able to sit and talk with him when the events of his school day are fresh in his mind.  I am also spending more time with Sam.  Our schedules usually conflict and so it is good to see him as he comes and goes.  Another positive is that this time at home is allowing me to get used to moving around with reduced vision.  I’m venturing out on tiny walks and breaking through my fears of falling.  I’m practicing my photography.  Also, I have time to “read” Scripture and think about interesting passages.  I’m praying a lot.  I am definitely moving along on my spiritual journey.

It’s good to think about the positives of being home.  In the next few days, I should get stronger and be able to do more.  The headaches should go away.  I won’t need to rest as much.  It’s important to acknowledge that the time I have spent so far has not been wasted.  Even in my resting and recuperating, God has been doing work.  Healing my eye, for sure.  But also internal work – making me spiritually stronger and able to be a more positive influence in the world.  I am being prepared to be the person I need to be in order to continue to have a proactive transition into low vision living.  My role is to be patient and allow the work to be done in me.

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6 thoughts on “Take It Easy

  1. Belinda, thank you for sharing your experience. I did tons of research before my surgery about what it was, posturing etc, but I didn’t think to look at the post-op aspect. Finding your blog as put my mind to rest, at least for now lol.

    I am at the stage where the bubble is in the lower third of my eye, everything above it is getting clearer, but still distorted. The last couple of days the bubble has been causing concern with the wondering of “is this normal”. I describe it to friends as family as it’s like looking through a great big raindrop on my glasses, it jiggles and moves. The last couple of days I noticed that when I moved my head the bubble moved, if I bend over the I loose all vision as the bubble moves, or appears to, and fills up what had begun to clear. Scary, causing the “normal” question. I have found that by searching tonight that it apparently is, a relief. I was worried I had done something wrong.

    I had to be face down 50 minutes of every hour for a full 10 days. Fortunately the research I had done prior, I was prepared as could be. The head support for the bed, heating pads, straws, Tylenol, Myoflex and a timer! I found that my body knew when my 50 minutes was up, my back simply couldn’t take any more, and the 10 minutes was a relief. I also found that I would have a lot of quick hot baths. The tub would be ready for my quick 8 minute dip. The heat seemed to loosen everything up.

    I am an avid reader and still have trouble focusing so I haven’t opened a book in 6 weeks. I have been passing the time watching movies. A friend has a huge collection of DVD, so with a lend of his portable DVD player which I could put on the floor, and regular visits to replenish the stock of movies, I survived. I can now sleep on my sides and panic if I wake up on my back, though I was likely like that only for a few seconds. I still watch movies on the portable DVD player, as I find it easier to watch than the large TV, easier for my “good” eye to view the smaller screen.

    The other thing I found that makes life easier is I wear a patch of sorts. It eliminates that sea-sick feeling of the jiggling raindrop. On ETSY (it’s like E-bay for handmade things) a seller (hammill178) that made patches that fit on your glasses, over the temple and onto the nose piece and fun fabrics. Far more comfortable than the old pirate patch.

    I return for another follow up next week, but don’t think I will get the okay to return to work…I wouldn’t even think about driving. Most days are good, the odd day has been really lonely, as everyone is at work. My surgeon also told me minimal activity, including minimal walking, that’s been hard I’m used to working out, and would love to go for a long walk in the spring air. I have had a few quick trips for groceries, or lunch with a friend, but quick seems to be long enough. Home as you say is “safe” territory. I won’t wear my patch when I go out (vanity lol), so things are really distorted, and usually am grateful to be home again back in pirate mode.

    If I could offer any suggestion to someone with an upcoming surgery, I would say preparation is key. Get face down equipment, heating pad/bags, Myoflex or some sort of topical analgesic, straws, a portable DVD player and a source for viewing material, talking books(most libraries you can download to your MP3) and the knowledge that there will be pain, you will be bored, but that it’s okay to take things slowly, as you don’t have much choice (it’s a nice feeling actually), and it does get better, especially if you find a site like this that shares the experience. Good luck and Thanks. Karyn

    • Hi Karyn, thank you for adding your experience to this post. It is good for people to see that everyone’s post-vitrectomy experiences are different. There are so many “normals.” I hope that you continue to take it easy until your eye is fully healed. Thanks for your comment and best of luck.

  2. Oh no you weren’t being so pro Catholic! (laughing) I have just had many people tell me I must go to church and that is why I just didnt want to “go there” if you know what I mean (smiling). I actually put something incorrect in my post to you. My left eye is the one that is permanently damaged and now the good eye/right eye is the one with problems. You have given me a lot of courage and information and yes I will keep you updated. I had one specialist tell me I will need surgery in 2 to 3 months and another said it may stay stable for years. I am going to Johns Hopkins in June and am awaiting replies from Mayo in Minnesota. Also have to send records for opinions to Manhattan/New York. I am extremely nearsighted and that is why no one wants to mess with my eyes due to high risk of complications. So I tread on! I do keep praying daily for Gods guidance and strength. I know He will not let me do this alone and will guide me every step of the way. You are someone He has sent also as a guide. I cried when you said you fell because I know what that feels like when you cant see or judge something. Heck I have tears now (chuckling and tearing up at the same time). Thank you for your postings and also I wish you a Happy Mothers Day today ((hugs))

  3. I have come upon your writings as I was browsing looking for information on vitrecomies. I do not remember how or when I found your daily thoughts but I check on them every few days. My vision in my right eye is permanently damaged from therapies due to a bleed and it is 20/150 to 20/200. My right eye now is causing problems and I may need a vitrectomy. It has scared me very much. You putting yourself out there online has helped me to understand what I may go through. I am too a Catholic although I do not go to church hardly any more. I believe, I pray, I try to see the best in everyone and everything. I am not going to get into religion but just want you to know that you have others out there that are interested in what you have to say. Hugs to you and I hope you get to go back to work soon also!

    • Pam, I am so glad you wrote. I hope that my description of my vitrectomy helps you to know what you can expect during the surgery and recovery. If you have any specific questions about it, please ask and I will tell you everything I know. I didn’t mean today’s post to be so much “pro-Catholic” as to explain my thoughts about grace and why I seek it and see it everywhere. You have said a lot in four words “I believe. I pray.” I pray that those four words are a lifeline for you as you face whatever may happen with your eyes. I would love it if you would keep me updated. Thank you for letting me know that my blog is interesting to you and for the good wishes. Peace.

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