Thursday, October 18, 2012

Surgery Sum-Up (Written by John)

What follows is John's follow-up email to those "extended family/friends" he asked to pray for his surgery - 

Hey Gang,

Thanks so much for all the prayers!

Surgery went amazing! We arrived at 10:20 (about an hour early) and they got me back to be staged and immodestly. 

Really top-notch crew along with being a big family. All working so close together to accomplish a mind blowing task -- a cornea transplant in just one and an half hour time -- truly a God send.

They worked in teams on everything and the most knowledgeable team about every last detail --  crazy good!

When they were administering the IV, they said, "We're going to give you a numbing solution first, then the IV. Good thing you're a Duck because we don't provide the numbing solution for Beavers" -- LOL

As the surgery room nurses wheeled me to the surgical room, they said, "It's happy hour -- half priced cocktails!"  After 'happy hour' began, 30 second later, Riley was out!  (You all know I don't drink so this was as close to a "happy hour" as I would get or desire to be ;)

Woke up and thought, what just happened? Oh -- a cornea transplant, that's right!

The first and most amazing thing I noticed was the fact that I had pain in my right eye (but of course I did because they just cut out my out dead cornea~). 

The amazing part is that it is the same pain in the eye as I had twenty years ago. 

The cornea cells are living once again! Praise the Lord!

In a weird way, I get excited to feel that pain because that is pure hope for recovery -- a full recovery would simply blow my mind.

The pain is quite high at the moment, both because of what they had to do in surgery plus because of light.   Light is now reaching my retina once again. My house is dark ---- ahhh, while Vicodin is my friend at this moment in time.

I have a patch on my eye and it will be removed this morning at 10:15 as we travel back up to OHSU. 

I'm going down to get glasses tomorrow for the next several months to protect this investment and precious gift I've been given. A great recommendation from Dr. Fraunfelder and Dr. Steele ;)

Regarding the donor, it was from a 40-something year old that matched everything I needed.  Again, thank the good Lord. If you're not a donor, this may be an encouragement to become one (That deserves an encouragement card ;)

Here is a picture of pre-op. I love how they mark the "surgery eye" three separate times from three separate docs / surgical team members to ensure 100% accuracy -- "RIGHT IS RIGHT"

Thank you all for being my second family -- I am eternally grateful and love each and every one of you. 


I will keep you posted after my post-op visit today.

And, this is the Facebook post he wrote this morning:
DAY 2 -- WOW! I can see so much more detail today. It's brought tears to my new eye -- truly amazing! When the I woke up I can see the details of things, not just a blob of color in my right eye. Stephanie Riley was listening to a favorite artist of ours -- Mark Schultz, and the song so perfectly stated my heartbeat:

"And treated him with the finest care, said that time would tell - The doctor went to bed that night - And when he awoke in the morning light - the man could not be found - He was singing from a hill, Oh I can see - I saw the light"

This day is a glorious day, it's a slow recovery, it will take up to a year to completely heal and see my new 100% -- whatever that will be, we will just have to wait and see.
Pictures taken immediately after the patch was taken off.  Hope the close-up doesn't gross you out - the silver that you see is actually the stitches.  I think it's quite miraculous!

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