Monday, September 28, 2009

3 Weeks after Transplant....

Sorry I haven't wrote in a while. I went on a little vacation to Fairmont last week with Kevin, then finally came home to my own house (not my parents) and I'm just settling back in with my new cornea. So tomorrow marks my 3 week mark! Everything is really great. It looks awesome and I can still see a lot (not as much as my other eye but a HUGE difference from what it was). Tomorrow I am also going to try go back to work for the first time. I'm only going for 3 hours so hopefully it will be ok. For those of you who don't know me I am a massage therapist and I also have a job doing mostly graphic design / computer stuff. I cannot massage for another month but i'm doing the graphic design / computer stuff tomorrow. Dr. A also said I can drive now so tomorrow will be the first time I drive anywhere too! So a big day all around. I'm going to keep this short today as I have had an awful headache all day and just feeling a lot of nausea. It's from my eye so I think I'm just going to go to bed early tonight!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Happy Birthday To Meeee

Hey everyone! So not much new to report again. My eye is starting to get used to the stitches rubbing on my eyelid but it is still quite painful. I've been taking a Tylenol 3 or two everyday and I'm still keeping up with the eye drops. Other then that everything is good!
Since today is my 24th Birthday and that I received the best birthday present anyone could wish for this year I thought I would take a full face picture today of my eye! So watch for the picture later......

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1st Post-Op Appointment

Well, today was my first post-op appointment with Dr.A. He said everything looks GREAT. He said he really like how everything is healing. Then he said he wanted to take off the contact bandage lens, which I wasn't too keen on. But he said if it was too irritating he would put it back on. So I said ok lets do it. So with NO freezing eye drops or anything he took tweezers and told me to hold really still and he pulled the contact out of my eye with the tweezers! Soooo weird! But surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I had expected. However, now that I'm home it is VERY irritating. The stitches are rubbing my eyelid now and it sometimes does hurt a lot, but mostly it feels like I have a piece of glass in my eye rubbing on my eyelid. Ouch!!! Hopefully i'll get used to it soon- I don't really have a choice! These stitches will be in for at LEAST 6 months maybe longer. My eye feels very vulnerable now though, now that the bandage is gone. Just feels very open and its kind of scary! Oh! And I almost forgot, I put the eye drops in and if I thought they hurt before when I had the bandage on. O.M.G it is HORRIBLE now. They burn burn burn!!! But thats really the only pain I have now. Everything is soooo good in general and I couldn't be happier! Oh and it looks great too! There will be a new picture to come soon!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

1 Week Post Transplant!

Well, it looks like I finally made it to a week! And I feel fantastic! The only part that still hurts is putting in the eye drops. My eye feels GREAT. Its not sore or anything! Tomorrow I go see Dr.A for my one week follow up so hopefully I will get some more details on how its healing then. Other then that not much to report!

Monday, September 14, 2009

6 Days After Transplant....

Absolutely NOTHING new to report. My eye is doing sooooo incredibly good. I could definitely go back to work tomorrow for a few hours, but since I still can't drive (can't for 2 weeks! doctors orders) I will be stuck at my parents house relaxing and watching tv until...well...a while. My eye still hurts but it is feeling better also. The worst part of the day is putting in my eye drops. It still hurts BAD. But I didn't take any Tylenol 3's or anything today!! Woo! Anyways, thats it for today!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

5 Days After Transplant....

Nothing new to report. Eye still hurts a lot (really sore!). But other then that everything is good! Here is a picture of me with my eye shield on. I have to wear this plastic eye shield when I sleep for 2 weeks so I don't accidentally hit my eye in the middle of my sleep. Pretty attractive hey? lol. Thank goodness it is only for 1 week and 2 more days!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

4 Days After Transplant....

So not much new today. Except that I have a bit more nausea then the past couple days. I think its just because my eye hurts so bad and I haven't taken any Tylenol 3's today. I'm going to try not to though and see how it feels. So I thought that maybe I would tell you what kind of eye drops I'm using (mostly for people reading this who are going to be having a transplant and are curious what to expect). This week I have 4 different kinds of eye drops and i put them in 4 times a day. The first one is an eye drop for pressure (i think!). It wasn't on my original list of eye drops to use but Dr.A gave it to me after the surgery because I was complaining of pain and he thought I might have pressure building behind my eye.

So these eye drops are called Vigamox. I only need to take these for the first week. Thank goodness because they sort of burn a little bit. These are to reduce inflammation and redness in my eye.

These eye drops are called Ketorolac (Acular). These are the devil to me. They burn SOOO incredibly bad. I'm absolutely convinced that these are the reason my eye hurts so bad. Evil evil evil. And unfortunately, I have to take these eye drops for a while. They are also used to reduce inflammation and redness.

Last but not least, this is Prednisolone (Pred Forte). It is the anti-rejection eye drop. Me and prednisolone are going to become very good friends as I will be taking this one for at least a year. The good thing about these are that they don't burn! Yay!

Friday, September 11, 2009

3 Days after Transplant.... seems that the more days go by the more sensitive to light my eye seems to get. So these are the wicked shades I get to wear. Pretty stylin hey? lol. I got them from the nurse after my surgery. They do really help though! I find that even just wearing them to watch tv makes it hurt so much less. Everything with my eye looks good though. Still no redness or gooey stuff! I am sooo lucky! I still don't really have much vision whatsoever though. Like none at all. I just checked. lol. But with time. I just have to be patient. Seriously though, these eye drops I have to put in are KILLING me. They are so painful! They just burn my eye so bad. My mom says that means they are working. But I think next week when I don't have to put them in 4 times a day (only 2 times) my eye will feel a lot better. I think they really dry my eye out bad. Anyways, all in all I can't complain too much. Things are pretty darn good with it. I am still taking one tylenol 3 twice a day though. I tried not to but I just can't quite do it yet. On a happier note, i'm having my first visitors over to see me today! I hope they are as surprised at how I look as I am!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

2 Days After Transplant....

So today is not as wonderful as yesterday. My eye still looks AWESOME. No complaints there at all. It is just really quite painful today. Ow Ow Ow! I tried to take no T3's today but that did not happen. I took one instead of two though. I'm thinking I might need that second one still though. I am really sensitive to the light today too. If I look at direct light (like this computer screen) I get this intense pain shoot from my eye right into the middle of my head. So this is going to be short and sweet! I think it might be an audiobook day today and just let my eye rest.

On a happier note, aren't these flowers Kevin sent me beautiful?! Gerbera Daisies! My favorite :) Thanks Kevin!! xoxo

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

1 Day After The Transplant....

Ok folks, here it is! The new cornea! Pretty awesome hey? This is only 24 hours after the transplant. I cannot believe how amazing it looks. I was expecting it to be red and disgusting and gross but it is absolutely gorgeous! My iris isn't perfect but pretty darn close! I doubt it will be noticeable unless you are really looking . I can see a TINY bit better then before but as the days go by and it heals i'll be able to see more and more each day. I can't stop looking at it! It is just the most beautiful eye i've ever seen! I did get it from an angel so I wouldn't expect anything less <3

Transplant VERY Successful!

So I thought I'd write a post in detail about my transplant yesterday as I'm sure people are curious and it's easier writing it here rather then telling the same story over and over. So my mom and dad drove me downtown to the Holy Cross Centre in Calgary. We got there at about 7:15am and there were already about 6 other patients and there loved ones there. I go up to the counter where they ask me my name and what I was having done. I said a cornea transplant in my left eye. Then the lady takes the cap off of a blue permanent marker and draws a big blue X on my forehead above my left eye. At this point I feel pretty ridiculous but when I go to sit down, I noticed everyone else had a big X on their foreheads too. I look around the room and notice that everyone else in the room is significantly older then myself except for one lady whose name was Charlene. Charlene was in her early to mid 30's (remember this name!). So we are sitting there in the waiting room when one of my desk ladies opens up 2 sets of eye drops and she literally goes around the waiting room putting eye drops in everyones eyes. I later realized that one set of eye drops were for people getting cataract surgery (majority of the people) and the other set were for people getting cornea transplants (me and Charlene). It was actually pretty funny as the desk lady had to walk around administering eye drops about every 20 minutes. lol. Starting at about 7:45am they took the first two people back to surgery. Of course, I wasn't one of those people. I wasn't in the second round of people either. But at around 10:30am they finally called my name.

I couldn't get back there fast enough! I was taken into a big room with a bunch of patients that were divided my curtains. I was in a curtain room with an older lady who was having cataract surgery with Dr. Al-Ghoul (my doctor too). We were both sitting in dentist chairs. It was so cold back there! Between me being extremely nervous and being cold I started shaking uncontrollably. The anesthesiologist came over and explained he would be putting a needle into my eye and that it was going to be painful but it would freeze it afterwards. He obviously saw how scared I was about this and asked if I wanted a sedative before he did and I said I would definitely feel a lot better if I did. So he said he usually gives people adavan (a pill you swallow) to calm patients but he would give me an IV of something 10 times stronger. However he said I might not remember a few things and I said that would be fine. He came over and put in the IV and he said you should feel this fairly quickly. He was right. All of a sudden- BOOM. It hit me in the head like a ton of bricks. I remember saying to him "Oh yeah, I definitely feel it now". One of the nurses came and took the lady I was sitting beside back to see Dr. Al-Ghoul. Next thing I know, a nurse came to take me back to see Dr.Al-Ghoul. I thought to myself, Oh that was quick. I guess they must have got mixed up and took the other lady back by mistake. I later realized while lying on the operating table that I must have forgot everything from the past hour- including the needle in my eye! Perfect! However I do remember the entire surgery....

I got back to the O.R and they got me to lie on a very uncomfortable table. The room was again FREEZING. However they gave me a really nice warm blanket which helped warm me up right away. On top of the blanket they layed a big piece of plastic over top of me. Then they put oxygen tubes up my nose and then put a piece of plastic over my face (it felt like a garbage bag). Next I was laying there waiting for him to pull the plastic back over my left eye. Well that never happened. Sort of. It was the weirdest thing. I didn't even realize he was doing anything until he said "Ok, can you pass me the donor tissue please". Thats when I realized Oh my goodness! He already cut my cornea out! It honestly felt like both of my eyes were closed. It was the strangest feeling. After a while I could see his shadow when he leaned over me and a couple times I could see the scalpel or knife or whatever he was using going over my eye which was very uncomfortable. But it was virtually pain free! Next part though was not so pain free. When he was sewing the donor cornea onto my eye I could definitely feel it. It was VERY uncomfortable and it hurt. A couple times he would tug on the thread as well which HURT. Thankfully this part only lasted about 20 minutes. Dr. Al-Ghoul was really great though. He kept asking me if I was ok and he would say "only 20 minutes left, only 10 minutes left, 5 more minutes" which really helped. All together the whole surgery was about an hour and 15 minutes. Dr.Al-Ghoul also fixed my Iris (the coloured part of your eye) as the scaring went into my Iris as well. He said he fixed it as best as he could but it wouldn't be 100%. When he was all finished up he put a contact bandage over it which helps keep the stitches protected and also helps my eyelid not be so irritated which is AWESOME. He said the cornea transplant went great and it looked "perfect"! He put an ENORMOUS eye patch on my eye (I swear it was like 5cm thick). Next they took all the plastic off of me and a nurse helped me walk back to the waiting room to see my mom and dad. We were sitting there for probably 2 minutes when one of the desk ladies came over and gave me orange juice, cookies and 2 tylenol 3's. Then she gave me a prescription and told me Dr.Al-Ghoul would see me again later that afternoon. Then we were on our way (literally maybe 10 minutes after my surgery ended!). So we went to the pharmacy and got my prescription for 3 eye drops and went home.

When I got home I went straight to bed and I didn't wake up until it was time to go see Dr.Al-Ghoul again at his office. His office is in Chinook Centre Mall of all places in the professional building. Really first place I want to be with an enormous eye patch after I just had a transplant. So embarrassing. lol. Anyways, we get to his office and it is all the same people that were at the Holy Cross Centre earlier that morning! It was kind of funny because everyone had the same Big Sunglasses on. lol. I got called back and one of the nurses took my eye patch off and Oh-My-God did it ever hurt!!! I immediately put my big sunglasses on too and went back into the waiting room with the other patients. The office was so full that mom and dad had to wait in the hallway, only patients were allowed in the office. So all the patients were just chatting and one of them said Dr.Al-Ghoul had done 16 cataract surgeries and 2 Transplants that day! Crazy! There was also a guy who was probably in his 30's and he said he had just had a transplant 3 weeks prior and that he waited 7 years on the transplant list! Wow, did I ever feel lucky! And just a side note here....he looked AWESOME. You would never know he had had a transplant 3 weeks ago! So I ended up waiting in the waiting room for about an hour then I finally got to see Dr.A again. He looked at my eye and again he said it looked perfect and that he was really pleased with it. He also wrote me a prescription for Tylenol 3's (yay!) as I was in quite a bit of pain at that point. When I got home I took the T3's and after about an hour they finally kicked in. I also put in my 4 eyedrops (he gave me another eye drop for pain) and then put on my eye patch (i need to wear this hard cover eye patch at night for 2 weeks so I don't accidentally rub it or hit it while I sleep). Then I went to bed. I woke up a few times during the night because I have to sleep on my back and i usually sleep on my side which was kind of uncomfortable but i'm sure i'll get used to it. I just listened to my audiobooks on my ipod until I could fall back asleep again.

This morning I woke up fully expecting my eye to be crusted shut (as that is what i've read from other peoples experiences). I was VERY pleased when I took off my eye patch and I could open my eye just fine! No gooey stuff, No crusty stuff- Just Perfect! It doesn't even hurt that bad! Of course that could be because I took 2 Tylenol 3's again this morning but really it feels ok! A little uncomfortable, and when I put my eye drops in it feels like a chemical burn in my eyes but other then that its ok. The light isn't bothering me too bad either! Obviously, i've been typing this out! However my eyes are getting a bit tired now so I think i'll get some rest. I will try take a picture of my eye later for you all to see!

Just a side mom and dad were talking to Charlene's husband and she said that she received her call on thursday (same day as I did) and we figured out that we probably had the same cornea donor which is pretty neat!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Day Has Come!

Well today is the big day. Only a few hours away from getting my transplant and I am so nervous that i'm physically shaking. I am so excited but at the same time I don't think I can quite comprehend whats going to be happening. I'll be able to see again out of my left eye, and I will no longer have people asking me "ew whats wrong with your eye?". I never thought this day would come! So wish me luck!! I'll try write something after the surgery but no promises! Here I go....

Sunday, September 6, 2009

1 Day To Go....

So, only 1 more day until my Cornea Transplant. I'm really starting to get nervous. I'm least looking forward to the painful recovery. I know in the long run it will be worth it though. I've been cleaning my house to make sure its nice and clean when i finally do come home since I will be at my parents house for most of my recovery. I won't be able to do any bending over so I have to do all my cleaning now. I also have almost everything packed in my suitcase. I'm not sure if i'll be gone 1 or 2 weeks so i'm just packing everything I have pretty much. I also finally bought a couple of audiobooks to put on my ipod to listen to since watching tv or looking at the computer will probably be excrutiatingly painful. Anyways, I should probably try and get some sleep tonight as tomorrow night i highly doubt I will be getting any sleep (i'll be way too nervous!!)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thursday- September 3rd 2009- A Day I Won't Ever Forget.....

I want to make sure I remember everything about this day forever. I woke up this morning and put my contact in and it felt so irritated and kind of burned so i decided maybe today I would wear my glasses for a change to give my eyes a break. So I put my glasses on and to work I went. At lunch time I had a couple of phone calls for people wanting massages so I called them back and then ate my lunch so I could get back to work. After I ate I noticed a Calgary number on my phone but I get so many phone calls I didn't think anything of it and thought if they didn't leave a message it must not be that important. I got back to work and was there for about a half an hour when I noticed my boss had left me a note on my desk that said "call". I quickly grabbed the note and ran out the back door with my phone. I called and nobody answered. So I called again.....and again......and again.......and again. Then FINALLY somebody answered and said can i put you on hold. I was on hold for TEN minutes going back and forth in my head whether or not they were calling me for a transplant. I nearly got sick waiting on the phone. Then I finally got to talk to the nurse and she said "Jana, we have tissue for you. Do you want your transplant on tuesday?" all i said was "yes!!" then she started telling me the details and I couldn't even hear anything she was saying, I could not believe this was finally happening. She told me that she would see me Tuesday September 8th and I started bawling. I absolutely lost it. I'm still in shock just writing this, that this is actually going to happen. I've waited for so long and now the day is here. Its a full moon tonight, Thursdays are my lucky day according to my birthday calculator, and 8 is my favorite and lucky number. How ironic that I would get my transplant on the 8th, and only 11 days before my 24th birthday. Wow.......