Saturday, September 20, 2008

day three test with the new eyes

Well, things are progressing well. If you see any typos, it may be due to my hunt & peck with two fingers (or it could be toes now), my inability to see very close, or my new eyes not focusing well still, or a combination of all the above.

During day two, I had really red and swollen eyes; so bad were my eyes that I thought: booooy, you look more asian now than you ever did in your life! Now, that's having really really swollen eyes! This would happen everytime I applied the lubricating eye drops, which had me thinking: I must be allergic to these eye drops. But I was assured that was virtually impossible.

Due to the clear protective contact lenses, I can't keep my eyes open, which I was told is a normal reaction. I had scheduled my mandatory first follow-up appointment on Friday, two days after the surgery because I wanted the eyes to heal as much as possible so I could drive myself the one hour, 15 minute trip one way to the San Jose clinic.

Imagine this during day three and day of this follow-up: Driving down the freeway toward San Jose, unable to keep my eye lids open, and following any bright big vehicle in front. This worked for a while until that vehicle took an exit... then I had to find some other target to guide me well. The freeway signs passed overhead but I couldn't read them till they were well-past and too late. So, I used the GPS to warn me and that worked great. I arrived at the clinic ahead of time even and there were a LOT of people in the waiting area.... I jad left the apt wearing dark glasses found inside the apt and glad I used them; the bright sunlight was very annoying! I was comforted in seeing all these people waiting were also wearing dark glasses!

For my vision measurement I flunked that right off; I couldn't see anything with either eye but nobody seemed worried. I explained the problem with the tear drops and they said to continue using them. Then I was seen by the doctor and was informed the cuts were healing well, and that was comforting to hear.

The drive home was the same, fighting the traffic with my eyes half-way open. Then the boredom of being at home and resting my eyes ~ trying to keep them shut as much as possible... I never realized how boring it is to sit in bed and listen to CSI reruns instead of watching, but I had to keep my eyes closed. I also lost six pounds so I'm really content at this unrelated change of "lifestyle". hahahaha

As I type this it's a cloudy gray day in San Francisco and I just returned from a short walk of about half a mile. With dark glasses again, I wanted to see how well my eye lids would be while I tried to see in a normal situation. It's been three days since the surgery and I wanted to exercise those eye lids and see how long they would stay open ~ I didn't want to repeat that nightmare half-blind drive to San Jose again! My eyes were okay... the left eye is cut to be far-sighted and would be the eye I've used for viewing through the viewfinder, and the right eye would be for seeing close. But when I closed the right eye, the left eye couldn't focus on anything... while the right eye saw very well. That said and typed, I just turned around and picked up a camera and though the diopter had to be adjusted, I could see well through the viewfinder with my camera eye: the left eye. Now that is a big relief!!

At this rate, I should be able to drive to San Jose to my next appt on Monday without problems and get my new vision into shape soon. I won't take a chance shooting a sunset as that involves looking toward a very bright object, but next week I'll go out and start shooting as a test.

On the other hand, I purchased a copy of the book of Oregon's Lane County because, even if none of my images are featured, it's still a great area that I enjoyed living in, and want a memory other than my many images. I'm also planning to attend the pre-publishing party they are scheduling at a well-known bookstore in November in Eugene... I'd love to meet the other people who contributed ~ there are a lot of gorgeous images displayed at the site and which we all hope will be included in the book!

Months ago I described the opening night of a fitness center where a few of my San Francisco images are framed and displayed there; I just got an email from the owner stating one might be sold soon and to start thinking of bringing by a subsitute. Selling any of my images is good news for me!

One of the greatest things I love about the internet is not only the means of realtime communications between people and the ability to be inside the world's largest library, but for me to listen in realtime the soccer games of the Spanish league, which I am doing now. I don't need eyes to listen to this and it's great to keep in touch with my spanish side... the game is just starting in a few more minutes so.... I and my new eyes bid you adios for now!

UPDATE 2pm: WoW!! I'm looking out the window at some guy illegally parked in my driveway, and I can see he has papers in his hands, and while I cannot read the text in his papers held in his hands, I can SEE the lines of text on those papers from three stories up, and my vision is still blurry!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is it real or virtual (Eyes)

Well, it's done. I was there at 12,45pm in San Jose to get my eyes done. It consisted of more waiting than the actual operation required. My brother drove me to the center, killed time and came back to pick me up at 2pm. Starting out, I had to watch a DVD explaining the whole procedure, plus definitions of the various type of surgery of the eye. It also explained the risks of having such types of corrective vision procedures and how it might not work, and even in the most rarest cases, destroy your existing vision. I decided to go ahead and do it.

After some waiting, I was finally explained some procedures, and started waiting in a separate waiting room which quickly filled up. The came my turn.... I was first asked to take a small Valium pill and allow it to dissolve in my mouth under the tongue. I never realized how difficult it is to put anything, let alone a small pill, under the tongue! Then came some preparatory eye drops to numb the eye and others. After a few more minutes, I was escorted to a large FREEZING dark room where the procedure would be conducted. More eye drops then lie down. One eye covered while the right eye was prepped: marking of certain points of the eyes then laying down and being subject to a red and green light into the eyes. I guess that was the method in which my eye was to be reshaped, then the eye was rubbed then a slight sensation of scrapping. Not a bit of pain was felt throughout this whole procedure! Once that was completed, as the red light shined into the eye, I could smell the slight odor of burning flesh.... it didn't bother me; I have smelled worst in my life. Another slight movement on the eye surface and that was it. The application of a clear contact lens to protect the surgery then the same procedure was done on the other eye, with the doctor holding my head tightly.

I think the whole procedure took less than five minutes!

I walked out without assistance though was told many were a bit floozy after the procedure. I collected my things then went to meet with my brother who was kind enough to act as my taxi this day.

Enroute SF, bright scenes began to annoy my eyes, though shaded areas gave me relief. I just closed my eyes and kept blinking... Still a few hours later there is NO pain and I can see, though the general sensation is bothersome but not painful, and my vision is like I am wearing glasses that are very oily and smeared. I was surprised right off that I could make out words and freeway signs at several feet away that I wouldn't be able to see in other circumstances, and without glasses.

He had to pick up a computer at a MAC store, and after we arrived, I actually got on a few terminals and left my site of imagery on the screens. I had no problem then seeing the keyboards, the screen or anything. The only thing that bothered me was bright sunlight or points of reflecting light.

My first follow-up is on Friday, then the following Monday and I expect to be driving down to San Jose myself.

I'm happy with the results!!!!


Note: I just looked through the viewfinder of my camera and can see adequately well!!! :-)

Monday, September 15, 2008

the view from the span....

well, I finally did it... though it didn't feel like the last time!

When I was but a wee lad, I used to bike and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. I must have been over that bridge at least ten times before I left the City in 1972. Perhaps the last time I walked across that bridge would have been in 1970 or earlier.

Since my return to the City, I've been wanting to repeat the experience... and I can now say I did it. With some friends, I hiked last Saturday from Baker's Beach to the toll plaza, across the breezy and crowded bridge where I made at least 20 stops for fotos then had to run to catch up with my (quickly) departing friends, then down the highway to Sausalito. As that walk-aholic lad, I used to go to the end of the boardwalk where I ate fish and chips at an Arthur Treacher's fish and chips shop; I hear that place is now no longer. Then I would either return to the City by the same route, or if biking, continue to Stinson Beach via Mt Tam.

oooooh, those were the days!!

Sunday I went to photograph the pelicans and sailing boats from the Hyde Street pier.

Concerning the eye surgery: I now have almost all of the required items in preparation of my surgery Wednesday. In just two and a half days my biggest question will be: Will I see or not? Will I lose my better eyesight or ....? How long will it take to fully recover, or at least see well enough to drive and to continue capturing the little details of this passing life?

Enjoy the fotos!!