A New Trail


I tried a new hiking trail this past weekend. It is a few miles north of my house, and had a few asphalt trails along with grass and dirt trails, so I thought it would be a good place to start out on the "wuss" asphalt trails and work my way up to the more traditional trails.

Um. Yeah. It was a beautiful nature preserve. But I think I figured out why hikers carry walking sticks. First and foremost, to tear down the spider webs covering the trail path. I would head down a trail, encounter a web right across the path, turn around, find another trail, encounter a web across the path, turn around, find another trail... You get the idea.

I think if I had a big long stick to tear down the spider webs from a safe distance, I'd be alright. Empty webs, of course. If the spider is home, he gets to stay no matter what, and I will be turning around to find another trail--walking stick or not.

Also, I thought a walking stick would be good to beat off any surprise wildlife visitors. Of course, my mom thinks it would be useful to beat the crap out of any would-be muggers or rapists, as well. She watches too much news.

Where the heck does one find a walking stick, anyway???

PRK: 6 week update

Yup, kiddos. Tomorrow is the 6 week anniversary of my PRK procedure. Hard to believe this much time has passed. Overall, I would say my vision is doing well. I was becoming sensitive to the preservative used in my initial steroid drop, Pred Forte, and switched to another steroid drop, Alrex, last week. I noticed an improvement in the quality of my vision within a day, and the burning and itchiness went away as well. At my follow up appointment on Monday, the doc said my prescription hadn't improved from last week, but my "line of vision" had improved. I don't really know what that means, and I haven't had time to Google it. My biggest problem right now continues to be the double vision for objects at a slight distance (10 feet away and further), but even that has improved somewhat the past couple of weeks.

The doc also clarified the healing process, which made me feel much better about the seemingly s.l.o.w. progress of my vision improvement, especially when compared to the more rapid improvements I experienced in the first two weeks. He approved me this week to transition from the steroid drops three times per day to two times per day. This will last for four weeks, and then I will do them once per day for four weeks. He said that my vision won't even out and reach maximum improvement until I've been off the steroids for at least four weeks. In case you haven't already done the math, that's three more months before I can expect to see optimum improvement; 18 weeks from date of surgery.

Which all makes sense, if I had stopped to think about it. The steroids slow healing (stop me if I've told you this before) so that scar tissue won't develop. Naturally, I won't heal completely, then, until I discontinue the steroids.

Meanwhile, my mom's coworker had LASIK on Monday and was back at work on Tuesday...

In other news, I may be trading in the Eh-scah-pay for something more fuel efficient within the next week or so. Details to follow.

Conquering Fear


Okay, so hat on head and bug sprayed up, I went to go conquer the hiking trail across the street after work today (see previous post); I've just returned from my adventure. I walked through the mown-grass path and walked straight into the forest without stopping. As I followed the trail, I kept my eyes straight ahead the whole time, looking for spider webs across the path. When I did look around me, I was almost afraid I'd actually spot something wild! Silly, right?

But it was okay. I came across a large pond of stagnant water. Mosquito heaven. Here's hoping my bug spray was effective. However, shortly after the stagnant pond, I came to a fallen tree, blocking the trail. There was a makeshift trail just off to the left. Seriously, it was a teeny tiny path worn into the brush, still semi-overgrown by brush.

Okay, ladies and gentlemen, I think I did pretty good just going into the trail to begin with. Stomping through the brush is not exactly what I've signed up for. I think this trail may be a little too advanced for a first-timer.

But I'm not giving up. I'll find easier trails and start walking those. And when I feel ready, I'm going BACK to the trail across the street, and I'll keep going back until I finish walking the whole darn thing!!

Gone Hiking

I have a new hobby. Well, okay, let's just say I'm in the development phase still.

I like to be outside. I like to walk. What do you get when you combine the two? Why, hiking, of course!

I've thought about taking up hiking for several years--probably going back to my days at Baker. But seriously--hiking? In the midwest? I didn't really think it was possible. I mean, my visions of hiking do not exactly involve a paved path around tennis courts and ball diamonds at the local park.

But a couple weeks ago I decided to take a serious look into the potential for hiking in my area. As far as hobbies go, it has a pretty low start up cost. I did a little googling and found a book called Hiking [insert name of town here]. I did the frugal thing and checked it out from my local library.

Oh! What a book! There are hiking trails ALL OVER the metro area. In fact, there is a trail right across the street from where I live. I honestly had no clue it was there.

I got a little excited over this past weekend, and probably bought more "equipment" than I needed, just starting out and all. I bought the book, of course. Also a couple of t-shirts and a pair of socks designed to wick away moisture, and some "trail shoes." Trail shoes look like regular tennis shoes, but they are sturdier/stiffer and have a more rugged sole for navigating terrain a little more natural than asphalt or rubber.

After my shopping excursion, I was ready! Saturday morning I geared up and headed out to the trail across the street. There was a wide path mown into the 6 foot tall grass (the parks and rec dept apparently didn't budget $4 per gallon gas into the park mowing fund this year--all the green park areas are overgrown).

I should mention here that I really do not like bugs. Or snakes. Just as I got past being in the middle of 6 foot tall grass, I got to the trail head. "Trail head" is hiker lingo for trail entrance.

And I should mention here that I have a smidge of claustrophobia.

The trail was a good ol' nature path. It was dirt, the path was pretty much worn in by years and years of previous hikers. It was about a person and a half wide. And the thing simply disappeared into the forest. In other words, it was an honest to goodness actual hiking trail...

I stood at the trail head and psyched myself up to go in. Bugs and claustrophobia aside, I really really wanted to check out this trail.

I took a few steps in. I stopped. I realized I was woefully unprepared to hike this trail.

Did I mention my dislike of bugs? Or the fact that bugs, especially the biting kind, looooove me?

As the trees closed in around me, I realized I had no bug spray for the mosquitos and chiggers, and no head covering for the ticks. (Ick. I know. I'm really going to have to get over this bug thing if I'm going to be a hiker).

I hesitated. I didn't want to use this as an excuse to give up on the trail. But then I recalled my effort to "fight through the pain" in NOLA and the horrid consequences of my bullheadedness. Being covered in mosquito bites and chiggers, and paranoia about ticks all night, certainly not worth it.

I believe I did the responsible thing by turning around and going home. Then I went shopping again (bug spray!!). Unfortunately, the issue with my eyes left me drained the past few days, and I wasn't able to return to the trail right away. But I was able to go back today after work (see my next post). I won't let the fear conquer me!!!

Another eye update


I was having some issues with my eyes that made me concerned I may have an eye infection. My eyeballs themselves felt really hot; I could actually feel the heat through my eyelids. They were also drier than usual, and the steroid eye drops burned when I put them in (that was new--they never stung or burned before). However, what prompted my call to the doctor was the stinging and burning I experienced Sunday evening. That was definitely not within the norm. I was able to get in to see the doc late Monday afternoon.

Good news overall. No eye infection, but he thinks I may have developed a sensitivity to the preservative in my steroid eye drop. I think that is fairly common, as steroid eye drops aren't normally meant to be used for long periods of time, and I've been on them for a little over four weeks. He prescribed me a new steroid drop, and already my eyes feel better.

Also good news, the astigmatism in my left eye has changed. If it were a leftover astigmatism that would require an "adjustment," it would be a static sort of thing. But because the astigmatism has changed, that means it is there because of the healing process. That is, the astigmatism is there because the layers growing back on my cornea are affecting my eyesight, and as the layers change as they grow back, my vision will change as well.

Sheesh, I hope that made sense.

Overall, my vision is still not so hot, and I haven't noticed much improvement in the past couple of weeks. But I am still in the "Be PATIENT" phase. Considering most wounds take an average of 6 weeks to heal (thanks for reminding me, Lori), and my healing is slowed because of the steroid (to avoid scarring), and I'm only at 4 1/2 weeks post-op, I'm doing my best to just chill. I checked out some blogs yesterday, and most experiences I read about didn't have satisfactory vision until the two month to four month mark.

Of course, I stuck a mascara wand in my left eyeball this morning. I'm sure that won't help matters AT ALL. I go back to the doc on Monday, so I guess I'll find out then if I screwed up the healing process on that eye.

On the positive side, I can:
read magazines and the Kindle
look at a computer screen several hours per day
watch t.v.

So when I say my vision is still crappy, I mean that it is nowhere near where I wish it to be (probably still fluctuating between 20/40 and 20/30--maybe 20/50 today after the mascara incident), but I can see well enough to function without glasses, darnit, and wasn't that the point of this whole thing???

Vision update


Just a small update. Since my last post probably conveyed my disappointment in my vision taking a step backwards, I just wanted to share that my vision was improved considerably when I woke up yesterday morning. Yay!! My guess is that my vision is back to what it was before it declined, and I am just fine with that! (for now--just as long as it keeps progressing)

Tight rolls? Seriously?


In the interest of blogging about something besides New Orleans and my eye surgery...



and AGAIN??? I know the 80's have been back for a while, and surely expected it to be on its way out. But is trendsetter Kate really trying to bring back the tight roll??


A Carefree Mind of My Own - Design by: Searchopedia convertido para o Blogger por TNB