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Surgery survival tips

I was lucky to b

e anesthetised for my corneal graft because the surgeon wanted to do some extra work on my eye, so I was asleep and didn’t feel a thing.

However, generally they like to keep patients awake for corneal grafts so that you can move your eye when asked. Eek! You are given sedatives to relax you and advice from the Sydney Eye Hospital is that you can’t see what’s happening or feel any pain and some people don’t even remember the procedure.

I have had cross-linking surgery performed in both of my eyes before and was awake for that surgery. Cross-linking is performed to try and stop the cornea from degenerating any further; unfortunately it didn’t work for me. As I knew I was going to be awake for that surgery I planned ahead an uploaded a bunch of audio books and my favourite playlists on to my phone so that I could focus in to the voice and get lost in the story. I highly recommend doing that for your corneal surgery.

My dad came to the hospital with me and was there when I came back to my room. Dad had my phone ready for me so that I could listen to my audio books, given that I don’t really have much sight in my right eye I wasn’t going to be watching much tele until I could wear glasses again, which happened to be the next day, over my patch.

Dad also set up a little alter for me. I know, it sounds like hippy or crazy religious talk, but it’s actually quite calming and helped me to centre myself when my anxiety or pain was taking over. You can see my alter in the photo. The photos are of me as a child and my deceased nan and nunno, they’re always there with me, supporting me through life <3

The first night was ok, a lovely nurse came in and did my obs every 4 hours so I had broken sleep. At about 7.30am I was asked to go in and see the treating doctors and was told that my graft looked ok and they were happy with the surgery. #winning. I looked at the eye chart and couldn’t even make out where it was on the wall ... let alone see a letter, but I could see two fingers when the doctor held up her hand. Phew! Some sight is great sign.

I could feel the ‘pain block’ starting to wear off, so I’d highly recommend getting your pain medication into your system about 10 hours post surgery. I was a bit slow at getting it and wow! was it painful!! I could feel the stitches in my eye and my eye ball felt swollen and throbbing – highly recommend masking that pain for the first two days!

It gets easier from here ...

I am at peace with what is.

Miss Nat xoxo

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