oh the big needle

I'm having surgery in two days. Friday to be exact. It's been in the works for months, I think I had my first consultation while I was still pregnant, and Tennyson is now 6 months old. I decided not to tell anyone, probably because it's something of a sore spot and I absolutely HATE talking about my eye. Even as I'm writing this it sort of makes me uncomfortable and I procrastinate by going online and looking up scary picture of doctors and stuff. Yep, I'm sure that'll help my frame of mind.

Time for the back story. In September of 1999 I went paintballing with a group of friends from Austin. I think it may have been the first round, or the second one, not too sure. Anyway, the round had just started and the two teams were at opposite ends of the field and we were supposed to capture the flag of the opposing team on the other end of the field and bring it back to our end. As we were just starting the round, I figured I'd take off the ever-annoying goggles until I got a little way in. Maybe this is why I hate telling this story, because it's totally my own fault and I feel so stupid. And any time anybody asks and I tell them it was a paintball injury, they right away ask "weren't you wearing goggles?" Well, no. Not that I was the only one to drop them for a few minutes, but I still feel like a real dummy when I have to admit that I neglected to wear the one crucial piece of safety equipment.
Anyway, I got shot in the eye. The first and only time I've ever been shot with a paintball. Mom, Darrell and I drove into Treherne (I think) to the hospital, and from there we were recommended to an eye surgeon in Winnipeg. The Winnipeg doc had seen a lot of paintball stuff and was usually able to fix these sorts of things so he just told us to come in the next day. Well, apparently I was the worst he'd seen. They tried to do surgery, but it was more exploratory than anything. The doc figured he'd keep working on it and after a few surgeries I'd have my vision back, as much as 60% of what it used to be. Turns out he couldn't find anyone to support him, and after a 2nd, 3rd and 4th opinion he reluctantly told me it was over. I went home to be self-conscious evermore.

Until now! I have finally decided to move ahead and trade my useless eye for a prosthetic one. I figure since I can't see on that side anyway, and they're never going to fix it, I may as well at least pretty it up a little. On Friday they're going to remove my eye and put in an ocular implant. How fancy the wording is, I know. You won't be able to see this part, as it'll be behind the skin. I don't know how to explain it better, and don't really want to. It all seems a little yucky. In six weeks once they're sure all the swelling and pain is gone I'll get my wonderful porcelain eye piece that goes over top of the implant. I saw one the other day at my pre-op visit and they're amazing!! The lady who does them is an artist and she hand paints them to match exactly. I'm very excited.

What bothers me most about this is the I.V. (I have this needle phobia, and that's a big needle) and the six weeks with no eye. It's not like it'll be an empty socket or anything, but it'll be very odd-looking. I'm a very self-conscious person to begin with, and I'm so not looking forward to that. And I know that people will ask, and I'll have to tell, and I don't much like that either. Ugh, to be normal.

That's my story. This is the most open about all this I've ever been, and I'm a little proud of myself for actually writing this in here, so be nice! Just kidding, I know who all reads this, very wonderful people. Wish me luck!


L.A.Z. said…
Oh Tiffany...so glad to hear the surgery went well. Your so beautiful, wonderful Mom, amazing friend, I couldn't ask for better! Love ya!

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