Eye Muscle Surgery Phone Pre-Op today

Had a phone 'pre-op' today (will have the physical pre-op on the morning of my surgery) for my upcoming eye muscle surgery on Monday (3/14/11) (and, of course, I cried at times... geesh, darn this PBA crap). The pre-op lady was extremely nice & very compassionate (great type of personality for the type of job she has)! Even though I feel very confident in the eye surgeon (the neuro opthalmologist) & was informed today that the anaesthetiologist that will be adminisitering the anaesthetia to me is the Chief of Anaesthetia at Emory, I have to admit that I did inquire about the possibility of getting Dr. Barrow put on 'stand-by' just in case. (I know, 'long shot' of that to actually happen but it would've helped put me at ease a little moreso. (If there was a way to email him, I would have already email him an 'invite' but since there wasn't, I may still call his office tomorrow and give him an 'invitation'. I'm still listing him as the 'get him now/stat (um, correction... make that "STAT") guy!' on a piece of paper that I'm typing up for the 'just in case'... better 'safe than sorry'... especially since I have to be there at 6:30 AM that morning WITHOUT having coffee (definitely the 'least' of the issues by far but an extremely helpful one to help tolerate the rest - lol). LOL) The nurse was a very nice lady and promised me she put in the comment for the recovery nurse(s) to make sure I got COFFEE to drink (not soda drinks, not anything other than coffee) when I wake up from the anaesthetia/surgery in the Recovery room. (I informed her if they gave me coffee when I woke up, I'd be a much 'better' (AKA: more tolerant & 'pleasable') patient, even though I am still going to want to 'get the heck out of there ASAP' when I wake up, as is the normal case for me.)

Not sure why I am blogging this...maybe to release some pent up, deep seeded anxiety over the whole surgery on my eyes issue but definitely to hopefully help someone else whom may travel down this eye muscle surgery option/road too ('vascular issue' induced or not). Having prior knowledge (so one can plan accordingly &/or have a 'back-up plan') REALLY helps soothe the nerves/anxiety in me and I hope this will let others see that whatever apprehensions they may feel is a normal aspect.

Take care everyone and keep improving!!!

Good luck I hope it all works out great!!

Thank you, Nicole.

Thoughts and prayers with you Cindy! Let us know how you are! Hope the coffee is great!



Thinking of you :slight_smile:

Best of luck with fixing the issue Cindy and a quick bounce back…

Will especially be thinking of you, sending good thoughts/wishes your way, Cindy!! :)

Now go enjoy that cup of coffee! ;)

I just came on here to send you a good luck message and I saw this blog. Damn, I was hoping to beat everyone else to it! :slight_smile: Very best of luck Cindy and you know I’ll be waiting to hear how it all went! It’ll be fine, no worries.

Thank you Marie, Stephanie, Brett, & Patti. I greatly appreciate your well-wishing, thought & prayers.

Think my randomness was a case of ‘the date’s almost here’ prejitter nerves. Okay, so this is what I did: In efforts to increase knowledge for our Vascular issue(s), I called Dr. Barrow’s office to extend an ‘educational only’ invite AND I also put the invite on Emory’s Neurology FB page. The offer for the opportunity to increase knowledge (which I felt compelled to do) has been done so it’s up the ‘them’ to accept the opportunity or not. (Having extend this opportunity has calmed me; therefore, I believe my ‘prejitter nerves’ were mainly due to feeling like I had not provided the opportunity for more knowledge to potentially be known.)

Thank you, Trish. (I’ll update you definitely before next week is over. Apparently, the first 24 - 48 hrs. I may just sleep.)

My thoughts and prayers are with you Cindyxx

Thank you, Lesley.

To follow-up with the resolution/result to the extended invitation to 'view only' as a way to gain further knowledge about our rare vascular issue(s), here was Emory's (FB) response:

Emory Neurosurgery
Cindy, thank you so much for your invitation for our doctors/residents to view your upcoming surgery. Your willingness to serve as a teaching tool for our next generation of physicians and scientists is certainly appreciated.
Just to be clear, our operating rooms are NOT open to the general public for viewing, but we encourage those interested in learning more about AVMs and their removal to check out the resources available on our Opthamology and Stroke Center websites.
Thanks again, Cindy, and do keep us updated on your progress!

Emory Neurosurgery
http://www.emoryhealthcare .org/stroke/conditions/arteriovenous-malformations.html
(Maybe the Stroke link can be of assistance to someone.)
I feel at ease/better since I was finally able to extend the opportunity to increase knowledge to them. Whether successful or not, all one can do is try.
Stay motivated & determined... we WILL get through this!
Take care everyone!!!

Excellent thinking Cindy regarding Dr. Barrow. When I had my 4 embos, I made sure that my main neurosurgeon was available and not out of town just in case something horrible went wrong! Thankfully all went well, but I think it was a good idea to have my bases covered…so knowing that Dr. Barrow will atleast be available to come in if necessary is a great idea!:slight_smile: -GK

Thank you, Greg.

Having the bases covered really does help ease the uneasiness of not knowing/the unknown. It's humorous to me now, but I did type up some information for the surgeon, anaesthetiologist, and the Recovery nurse for 'just in case' (whether that was due to not fully thinking that morning, etc. and didn't get to speak with them) but I did talk to the surgeon & anaesthetiologist (and a Pre-op nurse who notated "coffee" - ;) ) so I really didn't need my typed up notes but it made me feel more at ease to have it. (Ironically, my Anaesthetiologist and Dr. Barrow are well known to each other & good friends.)

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!!!

  Cindy  :) ... You've been in my thoughts (and my prayers).     I am so glad to hear your surgery went well.  Yay!!!!    I believe (in my opinion) working through our fears is one of our biggest struggles of this journey.  And... You did it! (once again).    I'm proud of you,  I really am.     Now comes the recovery time.   Please be patient, allow the healing process to run it's course.   Which I'm sure you will.   I am sooo glad that you are doing better.     Positive energies your way  (wink).

Thanks for the update Cindy. Sounds like things went very well. I’m very glad. Keep the coffee flowing and the recovery speedy!

Morning Cindy & thanks for the update. :)

After everything you've been through w/the AVM & AVF, then to proceed with the eye surgery, you are a very courageous, strong & inspiring woman - yay, Cindy!!!

Take good care and all the best wishes for a smooth recovery!

Now go enjoy your coffee ;) ,