day 7: back at work today. I took the bus in today, and enjoyed the full-depth experience on the way in. I still have it pretty much now as I sit here. The effect is starting to get more subtle when I do have it, so I think I'm more or less just getting used to it, or integrating it into my old-school view. It does still kind of come and go, and thus it being more subtle and less of a big-bang like it was day one is a bit confusing to me. If I ever have any doubts I can look down my shirt front to confirm whether or not it's there. And even that is not 100%. The bus was very cluttered and busy, and people who were close to me felt even more "up in my grill" as usual. I also again felt very boxed in, as the sides of the bus are much more prominent now.
One interesting note - I was standing by the back doors, and there's a bit of plexiglass right in front. As I looked out the side windows, I mistook the reflection of the door on the plexiglass for another window, due to the fact that I was interpreting depth from the reflection.
I have been wearing sunglasses outside as I am a bit more light sensitive now, and am thus wearing NO corrective lenses. It's quite remarkable that depth can come even without that correction - there's enough information (even with my really lousy left eye) for my brain to interpret depth.
Oh yeah, my vision stats when optimally corrected - 20/80 right eye, 20/200 left eye.
I do wear glasses like right now when reading, but I actually prefer to not wear them right now as I get my full peripheral view (improved since surgery) and depth is much more dramatic. My prescription is such that even with the super snazz Carl Zeiss lenses I splurged on in the last year (a third the thickness of my old-skool coke bottle glasses) the view is still a bit distorted. I will not be able to resume wearing contact lenses for a month, and apparently that will be another full wave of adjustment for my brain. But I reaaallly can't wait for that. I lurve my contact lenses.
I didn't have depth yesterday except for very subtle cues. I hadn't slept well the night before and was in my head about the whole thing yesterday, so found myself again very depressed and afraid that I had lost it forever. I know, I really need to get my head around that.
I talked to my surgeon yesterday, and asked her what to expect of depth and hearing in general. She said that retaining / obtaining depth from the surgery is in fact very rare, and the fact that I got it at all is a testament to the flexibility of my brain. I've always considered myself highly adaptable so this was good to hear. She did say that in cases where depth was obtained, she found that it did stick around, so that was very comforting. However she said there's not a lot of clear information about why and how the brain works to retain it, and she for one does not have a lot of faith in "vision therapy", though admitted that was a bit of a polarized debate, and she sat on one side. I'll discuss that in more detail in a future blog as it's pretty interesting. She did say that if I wanted to pursue vision therapy, that it would not hurt my eyes, so I should do whatever made me feel productive.
She also reminded me that my eye may drift a bit as it heals up, and that what I see today may not necessarily be its final position. However, she did also say that they were generally very happy with the position of my eye and that this surgery tends to have great durability. It is however also possible that my eye will drift back over time and that I might in fact need this surgery again. I sincerely hope that won't be necessary, but only time will tell.
My conversation with her really reinforced the fact that this whole adventure is in fact a process and not a big-bang. She said there will be another round of adjustment when I resume contact lenses, and that it may take weeks for my eyes and brain to sort each other out anyway. So I will try again not to get depressed or anxious, and accept that this all will take patience and time to figure out. I also remind myself that I am exceedingly lucky that this works at all. It has been hard for me to wrap my mind around, as the acquisition of depth DID feel like a big bang - BOOM, it was THERE. And then in the days following, it's come and gone and gotten more subtle, and the uncertainty has caused me some anguish and struggle. It is very hard to have something so miraculous come and go. I wasn't ready for it and I haven't handled it well. But I must maintain perspective. I have people in my circle who are dealing with REAL uncertainty in their health, where things do not look good and they need to exert strong mental and emotional effort to remain calm (or so I imagine). And here I am struggling between the uncertainty of things being more or less awesome. I don't presume to know what these people in my life are dealing with in terms of this real uncertainty, but I definitely have a bit more empathy for the position that they are in, and how important it is to maintain a sense of perspective and strength. I also don't want to start a pity party, or diminish other peoples' true problems with what kind of feels like navel-gazing in some ways.
I realize in the end I am focusing the least on the most apparent and obvious benefit of this surgery - the fact that I can lock eyes with someone and really lock eyes with them. That is what brought me into the surgery room in the first place. The rest will take time to sort out, and I am coming to a place of acceptance for that.
On the other hand, I went to a yoga class yesterday and the instructor said "oh, a friend of mine had that surgery last year and now he's driving!" and all i can say to that is "bwahahahahahahahaaaa". As a note, my balance is still really wobbly and I got light-headed a few times, but I really wanted to go to CHILL OUT, and that helped. I had a great night's sleep last night and things are looking much brighter today, literally and figuratively.
This is going to me my last direct-to-facebook posting, as I have indeed started a blog to track this journey over time, since it will clearly be an ongoing thing. I will update facebook when there's new posts to show, but I hope you will all join me for the ride.
Now it's time to STFU and GBTW. :)