Monday, February 13, 2006

A Real Eyeopener

Yuk, I just got back from the VA. I had a blocked tear duct in my left eye, which had been sewn shut to protect the cornea because of the Bell's Palsy. So...the doc gave me shots of painkiller in the eyelid (which hurt like crazy and lanced the duct as well), took a pair of scissors and--snipped half the lid open. Horizontally. Eyelashes on the correct lid? Yep, I guess so. He said in a month he'd probably finish the job.

So, I have a mix of tears and blood (no sweat) in my eye now, but tomorrow I can play volleyball. How's that for fast healing? Apparently the docs don't think anything of such a simple operation. I have to use hot compresses (rice in a sock) and baby shampoo to clean the eye three times a day for the next week, and use antibiotic ointment. But I'm getting closer to being normal (or what passes for it with me).

It was April 2005 when the first symptoms appeared, followed by a May craniotomy to relieve constriction of the facial nerve #7, then eyelid sewn shut in June. At first you could only see teeth on the right half of my face when I'd smile; now you can be dazzled by almost the full set.

Apparently the titanium enrichment (screws) they used to put my skull back together after the craniotomy work exceeding well. Two weeks ago a vball teammate charged into me from that side and we met skulls: he was out cold for a second or two, while I wondered why he was laying down on the floor.

Healing is a slow process, but I'm grateful to the VA. They take good care of all us grizzled--and young--veterans. I hope Bush doesn't try to privatize that.

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