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What to expect in the first month post-surgery

10 minute mantra meditation
Day 1
  • None initially as they gave me a pain block injection.

  • I recommend to start taking your pain medication about 8 hours post surgery otherwise it hurts really bad when the pain block wears off.

  • I could feel the stitches in my eye and my eye ball felt swollen and throbbing – highly recommend masking that pain for the first two days.

  • Nothing on the eye chart but can see fingers held up in front of me

Hints and tips
  • I recommend to start taking your pain medication about 8 hours post surgery otherwise it hurts really bad when the pain block wears off.


Week 1
  • I took panadeine forte and nurofen every few hours for the first week. The doctors offered endone but that makes me feel nauseus and I didn't want to vomit with the cornea graft so fresh. 

  • You can feel pain in your cheeks and in the muscles around your eye.

  • There is a burning and scratchy feeling which is quite strong for the first month

  • No change. I am testing on a large digital clock in my bedroom and can see the green numbers but can’t make out the digits. 

  • The doctors have now advised that unfortunately it could be four or more months before I'll be able to tell if I've regained any vision due to the way the stitches are placed in my eye.

Hints and tips
  • Something the hospital or doctors never clearly explained was that if I over exert myself then I may lose the graft! That means back into emergency surgery to try and recover it, or worse case, the entire graft is rejected and I have to go through the whole process again. So becareful!

  • I can feel the pressure in my eye if I try to exert myself, even when trying to stretch or lift the kettle.

  • When walking hold onto a persons elbow so that they can help guide you, this will also help you to feel any steps or dips in the ground as we don't have any depth perception.

  • Or let them walk in front of you and watch their feet. You'll see where they go up and down and will be able to modify your steps accordingly. 

  • Also when you're out walking you will notice that there are bumps on the path ways to indicate a dip or stairs. 

  • Chilli stings your eyes. Yep, our sinuses are connected with our eyes and when you eat chilli it stings the cornea graft!


Week 2-4
  • The pain is still very evident

  • Every time I move my eyes to look at some thing or talk in a group the stitches scrape across my eye lid

  • After about 15 minutes of group conversation where my head is turning and I'm smiling my cheek bone ends up throbbing with pain.

  • My graft eye stings and burns after looking at a computer monitor for over an hour.

  • Feels like a claw is surrounding my eye and clasping it. 


  • I can still only seeing fingers

  • When parking my car it's hard to judge what's on my left side.

  • I can't see in low light or shadows 

  • The ground looks flat, even on the biggest slopes, stairs and on gravel.

(Remember I have PMD and reduced vision in my 'good' eye, so if you have one good eye you may not experience this as significantly as I do, but you will have depth perception issues as both eyes need to see the same in order to have accurate depth perception). 


These restrictions are in place for the first month and are then reviewed.

  • The hospital wrote a medical certificate for my yoga and gym as I'm not allowed to do those activities for at least one month.

  • No jogging or rigerous/bouncy movement of the head. Even sit ups or stretching with my head tilted down build up pressure almost instantly and hurts. 

  • No sex, unless it's slow and intimate.

  • No lifting more than 6 kgs, this includes shopping bags, so I've been getting my shopping delivered.

  • I also took it to mean no dancing in case somene accidentally knocked my eye.

  • No straining or lifting anything that puts pressure on your eye. 

  • As I work in an office on a computer I am off work for at least the first month.


It's interesting, I asked my Sydney specialist how will I know when I can or can't do something... his response was 'you will know'. And he's right, even when I have a full kettle and I lift that I can feel the pressure build up in my eye. When I go for walks and try and walk a little faster I can feel the pressure build up in my eye as well, who would have thought that all the little things we do impact on our eyes?




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Medical Information Information Sheet #2 2015