Feeling the fear of potentially losing my graft
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.
On Friday afternoon I helped a friend carry a bookcase from my garage to her car, only a few metres. I could feel a bit of pressure in my eye when I lifted the bookcase, so we kept having stops so that I could put it down. I felt fine after she left, but it was the next morning that my anxiety and fear crept in as my eye felt different.
I looked in the mirror but couldn't see any redness and the specialist had said that I'll know if a stitch has come undone if I feel like there is something in my eye, but I couldn't really feel anything ... or could I..?
I knew the best way to handle my anxiety was to get a professional opinion. I called my local optometrist and they couldn't see me til 4.30pm! OMG! That is like 6 hours away. Breathe... I cried, I cried and I cried at how silly I was for risking my eye, and this was before I knew that I could potentially reject the graft.
I went to the local medical drop in centre at about midday and they referred me straight to the ER, but I didn't want to wait hours because I thought I was just getting my eye checked and there wasn't a real emergency. I walked to the car park and sat down and cried some more, how could I get myself in this position? This is the most important thing in the world to me right now, what do they mean go to the ER? I just want to ease my anxiety, I just want to know I'm going to be ok. This lovely lady came up to me and asked if I was ok, sweetest moment, so lovely to have a complete stranger give some love.
I picked myself up and went home and slept the time away. I was too afraid to do anything that might aggravate my eye so figured sleep was the best way to pass time, and it's also great for healing and resting my eye. At 4.15pm I was at the optometrist ready to go, nice and early. The optometrist looked at my eye and said that it was cloudy and watery and because I may be rejecting the graft I need to go to the ER.
What?!!? Rejecting the graft?! No one told me this was something I could cause by physical activity! Holy crap. All of my fears and hopes and dreams flashed across my mind. I went straight to my sisters house and got her to drive me to the hospital as it was getting dark and I can't drive in the dark confidently yet.
The ER rushed me through as a Category 2, that's the one below life threatening, and there are five categories in Australia, so that freaked me out a little at their urgency. As the nurse was taking my details I was shaking in my seat, I looked up at him and said 'please don't let me lose my sight'. He was so wonderful, he was on the phone straight away to the Ophthalmologist. I said a little prayer to my angels 'please angels, please let the ophthalmologist already be in the hospital, please let him see me straight away and please let me graft be safe'. My prayer was answered, the Ophthalmologist was in the hospital's eye clinic seeing another patient. The nurse sent me straight there and then my sister and I played the waiting game ....
I paced up and down the little sitting area, I sat down and tried to practice my breathing or meditation techniques ... I was so anxious that I was nearly hyperventilating as I focussed on my breathing, This wasn't working. Another 5 minutes passed, and then another ... we could hear voices so he must still be with the other client. My sister came to the rescue with a good My Kitchen Rules discussion - oh yeah, great distraction and heaps we could talk about there, my anxiety was reducing and I could be in the moment. We laughed at the fact I've been so good with not eating chocolate for my eye and then this happens! lol. Another 10 minutes passed and then we were finally seen.
The Ophthalmologist performed the usual tests, he looked into my eye, he put the drops in to highlight the stitches, he did a pressure test on both eyes, and a vision test. Then thankfully he gave me the all clear. Oh my goodness, so grateful right now! He called my local specialist who said it was ok for me to go home and that he'd like to see me on Monday as a precaution, he's seeing me every week at the moment anyway so that's all good.
What a whirlwind. One minute I'm plodding along just fine, thinking I'm recovering and doing all the right things mentally, physically and with my diet and then bam! the thought of losing the graft is placed in front of me.
Thankfully I had dinner plans at a friend's house that night so I didn't have to go home and be alone with my fears and gratitude. Lots of hugs, cuddles of their new baby, laughs and home cooked meal was the perfect remedy to a scary day. Love my friends :)
I am with peace with what is...
Miss Nat xoxo