So here’s the gist of what rules my life right now: I have a gas bubble in my eye that floats to the top and applies needed pressure to the retina. This pressure helps the retina re-attach to the back of the eye, restoring vision. This is why the position of my head is so crucial – that bubble has to hit the correct spot to make the whole thing work or all of this is for nothing. So my one goal right now is to keep the bubble pressed against the back and left of my left eye.
The concept couldn’t be easier – just stay in a position to keep the bubble where it needs to be. Sounds simple. Doing it is another matter altogether.
So as I’m getting ready to leave the surgery center the nurse does what she’s supposed to do – gives me the discharge orders from the dr. It’s only at this moment when I realize how mistaken I was as I’d listened to him in my first appointment.
I’d heard him say that I’d have to lay down for a week, yes, but it did not register as ’24 – 7′. It sounded more like good advice. And he certainly did not say 10 days – I heard ‘a week’.
I’d read briefly about the gas bubble in my eye before surgery. In my mind I saw a bubble filling the inside of my eye exerting pressure evenly across the retina. This isn’t so. The bubble is relatively small and must be manipulated by positioning – a very different animal.
So, the nurse begins reading the discharge orders and ends with something like ‘and you must keep your head down in the car on the way home’. I’m still digesting the whole ’10 days laying down’ bit when she said this and I stop her.
‘You’re serious?’ I ask.
‘Absolutely,’ she says and she bends over to show me (in case I’m not able to understand her words, I assume). She goes into further detail how little my head is allowed in an upright position – 5 minutes an hour to go to the bathroom. I should be laying on my right side with my head facing down or in some completely face down way for the next 10 days…except for those 5 minutes each hour.
‘Also, no reading, tv, or computer for the next 10 days,’ she continues.
‘What??’ my brain is screaming. I’m so completely taken back by this information I can’t think straight. I’d imagined a difficult 7 days kind of laying around, reading, watching tv, maybe a little time on the computer. Very boring. Very very boring, but manageable.
I tell my husband, as we get in his huge pickup, to drive the 30 miles home carefully or he’ll end up with a decapitated wife if the airbag goes off.