Wednesday, June 17, 2009

LASIK: Two weeks later

In the last two weeks, I have seen Dr. Lockhart three times (not including my surgery). He says my eyes are doing great, and I now have 20/15 vision. What does that mean? Some comparisons:

To have a pilot's license, one must have 20/20 vision. To drive a car without corrective lenses takes 20/40 vision. 20/80 is where you could be considered for special assistance. 20/200, you're legally blind.

My laywoman's explanation: The 20 represents what a "typically"-sighted person should see at 20 meters. The second number represents my visual acuity. The higher the second number, the worse your sight is. So, 20/15 vision means that I could read something at 20 meters that a "typical"-sighted person would need to move 15 meters away from to see. My sight is better than typical. If a person is 20/80, that means that, what a "typical"-sighted person can see at 80 meters, that person would have to move to 20 meters to see.

Basically, my surgery was a huge success. I still have my regimen on drops, but they are now decreasing in frequency. The Refresh drops I use about 2 x an hour, and I am alternating Pred Forte and Decadron every other hour until this weekend, when I can decrease that to every two hours. I am also still placing Zymar in my eyes 4x a day, but that will end soon as well.

Things are not necessarily as crisp as I had thought they would be with my new vision, but I think that's mainly because I have not been resting my eyes a whole lot. Also, I guess I believed that people who could see without lens corrections saw as well as I did with my contacts in. Probably not the case. I can drive, see the TV, shave my legs in the shower, etc. all with my "new eyes." I am very glad I took the plunge.

Summer begins

I have elongated my school year by consciously choosing to participate in and lead various workshops. Why, why, why? Well, because it was all stuff I liked doing. But now, I am really, really tired and I feel like summer will finally begin for me on Friday... close to summer's actual start date.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

JoLynn Plato - IlliniData Trainer

[Today's blog post is designed for people who are participating in Moveable Feast. If you are one of my typical blog readers, read on, but know there are other purposes for today's information.]

Welcome to my latest obsession

As of the last year and a half, I have been enamored with Blogger and Facebook. It was a paradigm shift that allowed me to leave a lot of the typical control of a website's format to someone else and let me deal with my favorite part... the writing. So, when I was asked to write a bio for being a trainer for what we lovingly call "The Feast," I decided not to recreate the wheel. If you really want to know about me, it's out there on my blogs. Take a look at the sidebars, click around.

Professionally speaking

For those who are curious about my background in education, you will really want to read my vitae. If you would like to know about me in a nutshell, here is your fast and furious list:

Born: JoLynn Paul, August 6, 1969 in Reading, PA, the youngest of 8 children

Exported to Illinois: Attended Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL, where I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Mathematics; married Scott Plato and moved to Springfield in 1992

Moved around Central Illinois: We lived in Springfield, Riverton (adjacent to Springfield), Normal, and Bloomington over the last 17 years

Bragging rights: I am a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) and a continual presenter for topics that excite me

Why a techie?: I earned my Masters Degree in Education in the area of Curriculum, Technology, and Education Reform from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. Since then, I have been passionate about finding ways to engage and maintain the interests of intermediate through junior high school students through the use of computer technology. I have done a great deal of work particularly with SMART Boards over the past six years.

Why so in love with data?: That's the math side of me. We in education seem to generlaize quite a bit. I support generalizations that are backed by reliable and valid data over time. I also believe that it is needless for anyone to have to sift through papers in hard copy files to find data in the year 2009. We have at our disposal powerful digital databases that can give us what we need in formats that make sense. Because I am a "dataholic," as well as a bit nutty about continuous assessment, I was happy to be asked to present IlliniData for The Feast this summer.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

LASIK: Post-Op Appointment

Drove myself to the doctor this morning... because I CAN SEE! The result: it all looks good. I am 20/30 in my left eye and 20/20 in my right eye. My right eye has some swelling which is why it feels irritated), so I have to increase the Pred Forte to once an hour. Otherwise, I got a clean bill of health. Since I wasn't seeing Dr. Lokhart today, Dr. Halperin wanted me to come back Monday morning to check on my right eye with Dr. L. My appointment was originally scheduled for the 19th.

So, all is well in sight land! Over and out!

LASIK: The Day After

Last night, I went to bed looking much like a human fly. When I woke up this morning, I opened my eyes in bed and could see! The moment I had been waiting for. Most of the fog has lifted (although some of it returned when I added Pred Forte and Zymar). This is worth the money most definitely. I have wasted years in contacts. I'm off to my post-op appointment at 8:45!

Friday, June 5, 2009

LASIK play-by-play (no gore...)

This morning I had to clean my eyes and place some Zymar drops in them. At 10 AM, I reported to the doctor's office. First, they ran a few tests, similar to last week's tests. Then, I waited for a bit with some other pre-op patients.

I was given the rundown by the nurse I learned to lovingly call Nurse Ratchett (they will now be getting her a nametag with that on it). She really was nice... I am programmed for sarcasm. I got a hat and footies and some Valium (I welcomed that!). Then lots and lots and lots of intermittent drops. The nurse cleaned my lid area with betadyne (sp?) also.
Dr. Lockhart took a look at me and marked off some parts of my eyes. After that, we went into the operating room.
They had me lay back and hold on to a bear... another thing for which I was grateful. No, it wasn't Doc Smurf and the Care Bears. I probably would have ripped my hands off at the wrist if the bear wasn't there. Nerves plus the unknown.

Above my head was the laser machine. They patched up one of my eyes. For the other one, they put in lid restraints so I would not blink (think Clockwork Orange). The next part was the only part that was painful, and, compared to childbirth, it was a piece of cake, but uncomfortable. They put a covering over my eye that kind of bulged it up a bit. Then the doctor created the flap and pulled it over. At that point, I was ready for the lasers. Twelve seconds later, they were done. Then the flap was placed back into position. I have to say the right eye (the first one) was not as uncomfortable as the left eye. My left eye is whacky... very blinky, crazy reflexes. However now, hours later, the right one hurts like hell and the left one feels great.

I then sat in the waiting room for a bit (picture a big blue La-Z-Boy recliner with nature music playing in the darkness). Intermittent rewetting drops were placed in my eyes. I saw the good doctor again, and then, clad in cool shades, I was on my way. It was like looking in a fog, and still is to a degree. At first, it was as if I had a covering of Vaseline on my eyes. Now, it is equal to falling asleep in your contacts for a few hours... of wearing them for the first time. I definitely feel the edge. Which leads me to my next act of stupidity.

I watch too much House. I have a Vicodin prescription. I could use it or I can just take Tylenol or Advil. So, all I can think of is House's addiction to Vicodin and that WEIRD season finale. So, I try Motrin. Yeah, right. Are you kidding me? That's like giving someone an aspirin for a broken leg. Sent Scott for the Vicodin... I must now eat a normal dinner (for which I am not hungry) before I take one. However, should you have this procedure, take the damn Vicodin.

I have done Refresh lubricating drops every 15 minutes since the surgery. I have also done Pred Forte four of my six times today and have two more sessions of Zymar drops today.

Now, it is 5:45 and I am wearing "fashionable" safety goggles. Max likes the very area on my face that I cannot touch. So, the doctor's office had some handy dandy safety glasses. Scott says I look like Bono. Cool.
There you have it. I am slowly beginning to see (swelling is subsiding), and it is surreal. I keep having to tell myself that I do not have on contacts or "real" glasses.

Tonight, I have to tape on these protective eye pieces that will make me look like a ginormous fly. I will probably sleep in our recliner since I have to be super careful not to knock my eyes. Then, tomorrow morning, I have a checkup to see how I'm progressing.

So far.... very much worth it.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Night Before the Day Of

Tonight's pre-op preparation includes some Zymar drops in my eyes. I need to repeat that tomorrow before the surgery.

My arrival time is 10 AM. I am asked how long it will take, and honestly, I do not know. The actual procedure is very fast, I am told. The prep takes a bit.

So, there's my LASIK update for now.