PRK: part ii

The truth about PRK… it’s not… that bad.

I have a high pain tolerance and everyone is different, so take it all
with a grain of salt. Your PRK could be mind-crushingly painful.

It hurts.
I’m not going to lie.
It hurts a lot.

When I hit my wall, I knew this is “what they had been talking about”.
This happened at about 20 hours post-op for me, early on Saturday
afternoon. I excused myself and went upstairs to rest. However, no
matter what I did, I found that everywhere was too bright for me to
relax, even with sunglasses on top of other shades.

Since lying in a bathroom that a 2 year uses was not appealing, I went
to the only other place in our beautiful, window-filled home that was
sealed from natural daylight – our walk-in closet in our master
bedroom.

If you house-hunt in the near future, walk into that master closet and
think to yourself, “Hmm… could I sprawl out on the floor in pain if
need be?” You’re welcome.

I made a little nest for myself in our closet, and then I shoved
things against the crack on the bottom of the door. Yes, that was too
much light. With my blankets and pillows and iPod, I found a little
comfort. Life was tolerable. Again, other people can take “real” pain
medication, so I’m sure if you had some Codeine or whatever it would
have been much better pain-wise (not light-sensitivity-wise). I’d give
the pain a 7-8 out of 10. I won’t even type here how much Advil and
Tylenol I took – I’m not admitting that in public. My father would not
approve – it was much more than the safe/recommended amount.

In my dark nest, I listened to audio books. Tina Fey’s book,
Bossypants carried me through the dark, painful hours. Her humor and
light-hearted story telling was perfect for this experience. My mom
made sure I kept up on my medications (it’s hard to judge time passing
in a dark cave).

At one point, Robert came in to visit me. The odd thing? In the pitch
blackness, I could see him fine. I mean, it was a tad shaded, but
while he was totally blind, I could make out most of his face. The
body is amazing, isn’t it? So that explains that light sensitivity –
clearly I was getting way more in than normal! My family referred to
my new super-human night vision as cat or bat vision. For the record,
I didn’t make him stay in the closet with me.

When the sun went down (and it was time for more pain meds – yay!), I
went downstairs.

If you don’t know this about my husband, he is a technological genius
and lover of all things electronic. And what was the most painful
thing for my eyes to endure? SCREENS. The second? ELECTRONIC LIGHTS ON
THINGS.

You know what? Screens are everywhere in my house. There are always
blinking lights from devices that I don’t even know what they do. My
sweet, wonderful husband did make all of the screens he could dimmer
even though it meant everyone else had to watch a dim, dark TV. Still,
I couldn’t help but feel I was stuck in some sort of horrible,
pain-inducing maze.

So I took more Valium. I went to bed very, very early. I slept like
the dead for about 11 hours.

I woke-up on Sunday morning to Stage II of Recovery… “This is
okay-but-not-great-gosh-it’s-really-bright-everywhere”.

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