Friday, May 03, 2013

Normal vision will be resumed as soon as possible

Self portrait sketch 3 May 2013
The day after left phacoelmulsification of cataract with intraocular lens implantation

to illustrate what I look like on the other side of your computer screen!
I'm going to be pacing myself re use of the computer over the next few days following successful eye surgery yesterday.

The surgery yesterday at Moorfields Hospital was to give me a new lens in my left eye.  This is the first half of a plan to resolve two problems with my eyes - cataracts and near acute narrow angle glaucoma.  The good news is my optic nerve is OK and has not been damaged by the latter.

For those who aren't squeamish this is what phacoelmulsification involves!

Thing is - I have to wear an eye shield for 24 hours (and then every night for two weeks) and the glasses for seeing the screen don't fit over the eye shield unless worn at a jaunty angle of about 45%.  Plus I have to point my nose in the air and look down!  It seemed a good idea to record this for posterity!

So I now have four weeks of regular eye drops - and today is when I learn how to do them for myself.  Thank you so much for all those who wrote with tips following my Facebook appeal.  The "closed eyes, plop the drop in the corner and let it roll in when I open my eye" technique works fine!

For the next three weeks I have one eye which matches the prescription lenses in my glasses and one which doesn't - which is going to take some working out!  I hear some people have a lens removed from their glasses.  Any tips for how other artists / computer users have coped with this would be appreciated.

However in three weeks time on 23 May the right eye will be operated on as well.  Then I'll have two eyes which don't match my reading / computer glasses for six weeks!

Finally, at the beginning of July I can go and get prescriptions for new lenses for glasses for reading.  My distance vision should be absolutely fine and not require lenses

I am so looking forward to being able to:
  • read exhibition labels without having to zero in close to the label!
  • see tone and colour properly again
  • read small print without magnifying glasses
  • not have double vision any more without glasses
  • drive at night and in poor visibility again  - and without the starburst effect from all the headlights
For more about artists with eye problems and other disabilities - and how this all came about for me see MAKING A MARK: Artists overcoming disabilities 25 Feb 2013


The Good News:
Eye shield now off and it's as if a film or veil has been lifted. Colours are better and everything is crystal clear and sharp.  The contrast is back and I can now read the titles of books which are across the room, whereas if I close the eye that's been done and look just with my right I can't even make out where the title is on the spine. Plus  I can read a book with my current reading glasses.

The Bad News:
I can't see the screen with either reading glasses or distance glasses and I recently broke my computer glasses.  Which means in order to work on the computer I have to put a patch over my left eye.  So I now need a proper eye patch so that I don't have to keep using dressings and difficult to get hold of tape for my hypoallergenic needs (Blenderm Surgical Tape if you're interested).  Maybe an eye patch and an inflatable parrot......