Published June 26, 2012

Shelia Shares....
"How It Went"

Note from Paul:  As you know, Shelia underwent very serious eye surgery on Friday. She described in detail what was planned in this column last week. So many of you have been asking about her that I asked her to provide the following account, which she managed to peck out on a laptop computer:

Surgery is over and it went extremely well. I arrived at Physicians Center early Friday morning with a peace that passes understanding. That is in large part because of prayers. God answered and I never questioned my decision to have the surgery.

I had anesthesia and was put to sleep for a matter of minutes. Beyond that I was awake but medicated enough to not care. I felt no pain and only remember two big tugs when something was removed. I heard talking and was surprised to hear the doctor say "only five or ten more minutes."

When Dr. Brod saw Paul in the waiting room immediately after surgery, he reported that he was pleased with the surgery. Also, a new chunk of the macular had torn off during the last month so my condition had actually become worse. However, that made the membrane peel that much easier to do. Amazing how God works, isn't it?!

I came home around noon and slept a good bit. Our afternoon appointment at 3 p.m. was at the doctor's office. When I walked in the waiting room, I didn't even get to report to the receptionist. The nurse saw me and told me to come right back. The bandage was removed and when I opened my eye there was a black/gray cloud blocking my vision. However, when they moved a finger across in front of my eye, I could see the movement. What a terrific sight! (It should continue to improve bit by bit, but it will be five months before I know whether my vision is restored.) The doctor replaced the bandage over my eye and reminded me, "Position, position, position." (I need to continue to keep my nose pointing toward the floor for at least two weeks.) I've been asked and yes, I can see the air and gas bubble floating in my eye. It covers almost the entire eye at this time. I expect to see the bubble diminish as time goes on.

Saturday morning I removed the bandage and put in eye drops. They eye has remained uncovered. Trying to walk with my eyes open is very disorienting, so I have a patch I can put on as I wish. (I'm learning to talk like a pirate: "argh.") When Dr. Brod called me that afternoon, I told him I had a blazing headache. Foolishly, I had forgotten to take an Aleve. He seemed concerned with the headache and told me to call his office if it did not subside yet that evening. The Aleve did the trick for reliving the headache and allowed me to sleep undisturbed by headache or back pain.

The chair I am using is like a message chair. It gives me a place to rest my head comfortably, face-down. My cushion for sleeping also has an extended headrest and sleeping on my stomach has not been a problem. The eye has no lashes, removed prior to surgery. I expected it to be bruised badly and swollen, but neither is the case.

People have told me it looks uncomfortable in my chair and on my sleeping cushion. I would not choose the position. However, knowing this can affect the sight in my eye for the rest of my life is an incentive to obey the rules.

As you think of me, please pray against discomfort in my back and neck and that the headaches don't return. God has brought me this far and I expect Him to continue to provide healing. How do people make it through illness when they don't know the Lord? I am in a position of facing down, but I am not down. In that sense, I am "looking up," as always. I am blessed to know my Maker and my Fixer-upper. Do you know Him, too?

- Shelia

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