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Having a new eye and a new way of looking at the world.

 My Cataract Surgery was last week on July 25th. I woke up at 5am to make a 6:30 pre-op appointment. If you know me, you know I believe this is a bed time not a wake up time. Luckily the surgery itself was much less scary than I had feared. I was given a mild sedative so I was awake (kinda of) for the entire procedure. They used a laser to do the cuts in my eye, removed my old lens and replaced it with a new lens. It was all over and done with, including my pre-op, in about 2 hours. I couldn’t believe I didn’t feel horrible after, a little spacey, but no nausea from the anesthesia. I went to lunch and then went home where I crashed for the next 5 hours..

The next day was where the surprise came. I was on my way to the doctor for a post-op check up and noticed the road I had traveled hundreds of times looked very different. Everything was popping out at me! My vision was still a bit blurry in my left eye, but even with that, everything seemed to just jump out.. I found myself staring at trees moving in the breeze, or looking at how the cars parked on the street, seemed to stand out so much more . It was like the first time you see a movie in real 3D.  My doctor told me this is normal, that now my eyes are working together better all of my vision will improve. Funny you don’t know what you are missing if you don’t have it. I have been using the same visual cues to see the world as I do when I paint: close items are clear and far are blurry, and the way shadows fall across objects. But with my repaired vision, things just POP OUT! A whole new visual world has opened up to me. I have no idea if I can paint the way the world looks to me now.

Over the past week this new vision has been both a gift and a curse. My brain is not used to it and I have been horribly woozy, a bit queasy, and very easily tired. This shouldn’t surprise me since every time I get a new glasses prescription I get headaches and a bit queasy. The best way to explain the feeling of looking out my new eyes is this: you know when you look out an old  piece of warped glass? The feeling you get in your head and how your eyes keep trying to focus but they just can’t? It’s kinda like that. My eyes can see better, but some of the vision in the left eye is still fuzzy (this is normal, it will improve and has already) so true focus isn’t possible. Also I had my left eyes sight match my right eyes. I decided that I wanted my close up vision (for reading, drawing, tatting and painting) to be without glasses, and my far vision to be assisted with glasses. So right now my glasses are not the right prescription for my left eye, thus further warping my distance vision. I will be able to get my lens replaced in 2 weeks when we will see the actual prescription my eye will need, then all will be crystal clear. So I still have a few weeks with distance vision being a little off. But my near vision is almost there!

Today is the first day that I actually forgot I had the surgery. I woke up and saw almost as clearly without glasses as I did before, which is a relief. I thought I was going back to work this past Monday, but since my close vision was still not totally clear, all of this weeks appointments had to be rescheduled. I need my close vision to be perfect to make permanent marks in peoples bodies. Even painting and working on tattoo drawings have been almost impossible. I was going stir crazy not being able to do art until I realized I could work with my Cintique tablet on the computer. Because I can enlarge things on the screen till I can see them clearly. Plus unlike tattoos, if I made a mistake I can just hit “undo”. Where my eyes are today I am confident that I will be back tattooing on Sunday!

So that’s how the surgery went, and my progress so far..  I want to thank everyone who bought a piece of art, dropped off a little something in cash, or sent me words of encouragement and support. I am truly blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. I was able to raise about $5000 through art sales and donations which was a huge help! I’ve already paid out $5600 for the surgery to cover my Deductible and what the Insurance company wouldn’t pay for.. In a month I find out how much the insurance company won’t cover, I’m figuring it will be around $2,500 to $3000. This cost, as well as a week off of work and replacing the left lens in 3 pairs of glasses, add up to a few more big bills on the horizon. Which is why I still have all my art work on my site still on sale. Without out the help from all of you I wouldn’t have been able to get the surgery done at all. So THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!  🙂

 

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