My little cornea graft loves to let me know every moment of every day that he's there. If I use my eye too much then my eyelid goes puffy and each time I blink I can feel the stitches - STILL!! - nearly two months post surgery and I can still feel it. I think this is going to stay around forever.
There's this stinging pain that just smashes into my eye at any given time and extends all the way to my chest, as my heart stops beating and I stop breathing as I check in and ensure my eye is still ok. If I lift something that's over 4 or 5 kilos or if I carry a lighter bag for 20 minutes or more (ie while i'm at the shopping centre) then my eye hurts for the rest of the day and I'm stuck on the couch, exhausted, lying there in the dark hoping it will feel better soon.
My new best friend is Thera Tears, they are preservative free lubricating eye drops that the specialist recommended. I put them in every hour or so in both eyes. They feel so cooling and lovely in my graft eye and on my right eye they are really reducing the stinging and pinching that I'm getting.
I hate to admit it, but I am afraid of doing anything, I so scared that the slightest bump or stretch will tear my graft and I'll lose a stitch too early or worse, it will completely reject my graft.
The graft was causing so much discomfort the other day that I called into the specialist to check in on it. Thankfully he is so supportive and said that if I'm ever worried about the graft to just pop in as it's much easier for him to check it and give me the all clear than it would be to risk an infection or rejection.
We had an interesting chat today. I explained how all I'm doing is work, there is no socialising during the week, no late nights, no activities, nothing that could strain my eye, it's all good food and lots of rest and gentle care. The doctor said that if it was possible, he would recommend to anyone with a cornea graft to just be still and do hardly anything until the graft had taken. He said that the first 4-6 weeks he can do this and gets us to stay at home, and then for maybe the next three months we might do 25% of our capacity (where I am now) and if things go well then after that we can move up to 50% of our capacity.
How does one process that?
"Dear Natalie, for as long as you hold this graft your life will be restricted. If you want to see again then you have to change your life, you have to be still, you have to rest, you have to let go of all the things you once loved and find new things to love that won't impact on your eye, your hopes and dreams need to be put on hold too, because you can't be pushing yourself or stressing yourself. I'm sorry to say, but if you want to see you have to rest."