Thursday, July 1, 2010

. . . . . To Operate or Not to Operate?

For some time now, I have been having real troubles with my eye, caused from the facial paralysis. As I have mentioned before, not blinking is bad news for the eye. It causes dryness, irritation, and problems with depth perception, vision and sensitivity to light. In addition, my trusty eye patches, which give me relief from the issues, have side effects, too. When I wear my eye patches, I develop terrible headaches and I still have depth perception problems. All of these things also make it so I cannot drive, which is a HUGE loss of freedom and independence. This is nothing new, but the weather has attributed to making it worse than normal lately.

So, the big question is, should I get the operation to fix my eye or just "give it more time"? It has been 14 months since my paralysis, and therefore 14 months since I have blinked. In eye years, that is a very long time! The "spring" surgery would implant a spring into my eyelid (where the gold weight is currently - it would be removed) and help the eye to close, by the force of the spring. My gold weight was supposed to do this, but my paralysis was too strong and it never really worked. The recommended doctor is the best in the world at this and works with patients until they have success. Many patients keep the spring in for 6 months to a year after the return of their eye nerves and muscles, just because the process is so slow. Even once progress begins, it can be months or years until full functioning returns (if ever). And, the spring can be removed later if the eye function returns. That's all the good news.

The bad news is, the doctor is in California, which is out-of-network for my insurance, and I would have all the travel costs, plus additional out-of-pocket costs for the surgery. The costs are "unplanned" so therefore, not budgeted for. It would require a minimum of 4-5 days in CA (and sadly my hubby has used up most of his time off), so we would need to figure out if he (or someone else) could be with me in California, plus what to do with the kids here, or what to do with them there. Lots of questions currently unanswered.

So, this is my current dilemma. If I could, I would get on a plane and get it taken care of now. Today. Any pilots available for a fun jaunt to Cali? I'm there. :) Please chime in with your thoughts or suggestions.

On another note, I met with my fabulous facial therapist, Janene, again today. She praised me for the progress I have made and called me a hero for all I have overcome. I love this lady, even though I barely know her!

I have more exercises to do so I can hopefully make more progress, smile my smile, and one day be able to eat and drink without "dripping". The exercises wear out my face as much as your muscles would be sore and worn out after a big workout. Strange, but good.

So, while you are out for a jog, or lifting weights, think of me practicing my smile, pout, snarl and lip presses. We will both be worn out when we are finished.

Make sure to post a comment and guess to enter the current contest from my last post! You still have a few more days to enter!

1 comment:

Els Manning said...

Dude....love your drool during drinking... it's the new sexy. I so would go with you to cali. However here we have a little cash flow problem. But i am more then happy to help with the wee ones! In the end...go with your gut. It's worked out before! You married who you married etc. So you know it's good. YOu'll do good. What ever the end choice is! Oh and remember... i looove you!