I am now one week post-op from my bilateral orbital decompression. I thought I'd be able to post much sooner, but it has been the most physically difficult week of my entire life. Today is the first time I've been able to keep my eyes open long enough to turn my computer on, let alone type anything.
Surgery was on Tuesday afternoon and went well, but took an hour longer than expected because I have such a small nose and the surgeons used an endonasal approach to remove the bone between my eyes. They also removed part of the orbit floor on both eyes, and a significant amount of fat from behind each eye, but did not remove the lateral wall - meaning no scars there. They did cut through my upper lid to get to the fat, so I have stitches there that will come out on Thursday but those don't hurt.
My right eye was stitched shut and covered with a pressure dressing. Normally they do this to both eyes but I was so scared of waking up blind, that they decided to give me a break.
I was very sick the first four days, not keeping any food down except water (and only after the first 12 hours). The pain was out of this world, but fortunately I sleep 23 hours a day for the rest of the week. The right eye stitches and packing were removed Thursday, but I was only able to open my eyes for a few seconds at a time and I could only look straight ahead. Any change in direction hurt the eye muscles so incredibly bad. However, the best part of the whole painful appointment, was realizing that I did not have any double vision. I was told my chances were 50/50, and that really scared all of us more than anyone cared to admit out loud, so we are all so relieved that I don't have to fight that battle.
I was pretty disappointed that neither surgeon told me my face would be numb for a month or longer. That is the most uncomfortable “feeling” because I can feel someone's fingers on my skin but there is so much swelling and numbness between my eyes and mouth (including my upper lip/teeth) that I keep biting my lip. Anything that requires chewing is out of the question, but my appetite has finally returned.
Today I turned a corner. I can keep my eyes open, I can look in different directions even though it hurts, and I can eat real food. I saw the ENT surgeon and he cleaned out all the dried blood and mucus, so being able to breathe through my nose is wonderful. He'll do that again a week from today, and I see the oculofacial surgeon again on Thursday. He'll remove the eyelid stitches and hopefully we'll have a more definitive timeline for getting back to work and whatnot. For now, I'm just glad I was able to shower and get some fresh air for the first time in a week.
I haven't allowed any visitors, so only my family and physicians have seen me, but they all agree the change was immediately noticeable. I see it, too, but it's hard to see past the swelling, bruising, and bloody eyes. I'm about to post some photos on my personal blog.
For those who can, I would definitely recommend doing both eyes at once if you have a good support system. My dad and brother have checked on me every hour for a week and I am so thankful for that. My surgeon has called me several times to check on me and gave me his cell phone for any questions at night or on weekends, and we've definitely used it.
I am supposed to be weaning off the painkillers (Percocet) but the pain is still pretty significant, so I am just taking them less often and also taking Aleeve/Advil to help with the inflammation in my face. I'll post again after my appointment on Thursday. Thanks to everyone, especially Shirley, who encouraged me to move forward with my TED and for all the good advice. Sleeping with the head of my bed elevated so high and with so many pillows both under my head and under my mattress has been an adjustment but I'm convinced it's helping!