Okay, for the update... here goes:
A quick little background information (for those who aren't currently aware or those who will come later on in search of guidance/direction, acquiring knowledge, and/or support):
My AVM/AVF was located on the Choriod Plexus of the 4th Ventricle (= a 'crowded' area of the brain where the Cerebellum part of the brain joins the rest of the brain). (This area is located on the opposite side of the Pons section of the Hindebrain.) It hemorrhaged a few times prior to it bursting & hemmorhaging. I had an emergency Ventriculoperitoneal Shunting surgery (to drain the hydrocephalus that had caused my face/head to swell) and then 5 days after that 'surgery', I had emergency 'sub-occipital craniotomy' to remove the AVM/AVF. (I say 'AVM/AVF' because verbally I was told "AVM", then I read my medical records for that time period & it stated AVM and AVF. I asked my fabulous, skillful neurosurgeon about this when I saw him on 2/1/11 and he told me that apparently they are relatively classified/called "AVMs" generally in the beginning until Pathology reclassifies it (this may just be the case in 'emergencies only' situations). When I was first diagnosised, the 'name' mattered to me (b/c I needed to research information & get as much knowledge about it as possible - don't we all feel like medical doctors after getting educated on these rare vascular issues? I sure do!) but now it really doesn't matter, to me, what it is called/classified b/c they're pretty much the same in regards to being a vascular issue & the 'prevention'/'precautions' to take.
After being 'visually impaired' (vision not being 100% 'normal' viewing clarity - AKA: double vision) after the resection of my AVM/AVF for approximately 19 months (Aug. 2009 - March 2011), I readily admit that the mere thoughts of someone doing another surgery - especially one on my eyes - REALLY made me want to RUN (not walk, but R-U-N!!! - if only we could walk or run as we use to, right?) away as fast as I could. Most of my fear was based around the fact that, when it came to knowing what to expect PRIOR to (eye/eye muscle) surgery, I felt like I was completely left in the dark (no pun intended there... I never lost any of my vision (thank God); rather, I had double vision that did not resolve on it's own (nor with the assistance of eye exercises, the 'pirate patch', non-perscription glasses, etc.)). I 'covered all the bases' and was 'ready' (ready as I was ever going to be for someone to perform SURGERY on my EYES - lol).
The surgery went great. The Chief of Anaesthetiology @ Emory administered my anaesthetia (& purely coincidentally - I only found out the morning of my surgery - he & Dr. Barrow (AVM Specialist in ATL) are very well known to each other - what a relief that was to hear... at the very least, surely that helped strengthen that there would be no 'mistaking' who Barrow was, right?). I spoke with the surgeon (Dr. Amy Hutchinson) and the anaesthetiologist (I forgot his name... definitely had to do with not having had my morning coffee... YET) and, of course, after being put to sleep, I woke up in the Recovery room and DID: (1) get a BIG cup of coffee (whew... finally, I get to have my coffee = yay!) [and, you bet, a refill for the 1 1/2 hour roadtrip home - ;) - ahhhhhh, my coffee how I so missed & needed you] and (2) left the building within 15 minutes of me waking up in Recovery. (I forewarned them of those two things. They headed my warning, so I did not have to be a witchy patient - ;) .)
My instructions were the following:
- Do not rub eyes for the first 2 weeks.
- No squinting.
- Do not get any infection(s) in eye(s), especially for the first 2 weeks.
- Do not get ANY water in eye(s) for the first week. (Must be careful with bathing & hygiene procedures so no water gets in eyes during these activities.) No swimming for the first week (= um, NOT a problem b/c it has been being too cold for that activity, even if it was an indoor/heated pool - lol).
- Do not lift nor strain (especially for the first 2 weeks).
- Had to put an antibotic eye cream in my eyes 4 times per day for the first 3 days, then I only have to put it in one time (before bed) per day for the 4th - 7th day.
So, once I woke up from the surgery, yes,I could see. I had no patches nor bandages. (Yes, I did bring my sunglasses for the ride home - lol.) The outer white parts of my eyes (the area near your temple) were solid RED. My eyes didn't hurt but I could feel the stitches in the left eye, which felt like when you get something in your eye and it 'hurts' (it felt just the same as when you get something in your eye - & you know how the smallest thing feels so much larger when it's in your eye). (I could NOT feel the stitches in the right eye... at this point in time - later on I could a little.) The day of the surgery, I did not have any eye swelling/puffiness but the 2nd & 3rd day I did. (I was the 'red eyed monster' for those 2 days - lol.) On the 2nd day (Tuesday), the redness in my RIGHT eye now covered all the white parts of the eye (the left eye remained unchanged in the location of its redness location. The 3rd day of home recovery (Wednesday) remained the same as the 2nd day = redness, puffy & swollen eyes. 4th day (Thursday) = I noticed a 'flickering' in my vision. 5th day (Friday) = noticed the 'flickering' again. 6th day (Saturday) = had a busy day & night & don't recall noticing any flickering (maybe I was too tired or maybe it's gone).
So, all in all, here's my humorous take on it:
Day 1 = 'poked-in-the-eye' look
Day 2 & 3 = red-eyed monster (eyes had solid blood red patches & eyelids were swollen & VERY puffy)
Day 4 & 5 = red-eyed demonic look (think 'costume contact lenses' that actors/actresses wear to protray evil/demonic characters like demons/werewolves/vampires/etc. in movies)
Day 6 (to present) = 'poked-in-the-eye' look (the solid red areas/patches are getting smaller)
I still have double vision, which is 'normally expected' within the first month post surgery. I've been doing some eye exercises every since Day 1 of this recovery. (My logic behind it is that the eye exercises will help strengthen the eye muscle(s) or at least keep them from stiffening up/freezing up. I did inform my eye surgeon (when I talked to her about the 'flickering') that I have been doing them since Day 1 of my 'home recovery' & she's fine with it.) The redness should be 90% subsided by 2 weeks post-op, then turn pink (for the remainder of the month post-op = ?). After 1 month post-op, I believe the pinkness is suppose to be gone and IF the surgery corrected the 'culprit' of my double vision, then I should not have double vision after the 1st month post-op. The first few days I rested & just wanted to keep my eyes closed. Looking at & using the computer post eye surgery (as it was initially post AVM/AVF surgery) has been an 'adjustment'. Every day, I keep getting better & stronger (energy wise).
Hope this answers any questions or concerns anyone has. If not, just ask and I'll try my best to get a correct answer.
Take care everyone!!!