Saturday, July 27, 2013

My experience with LASIK surgery

LASIK surgery- does it hurt? what exactly do they do? Is the procedure long or painful? 

Many people have asked these questions to me lately. I was also very curious before my surgery and couldn't find much information online. So now I share with you my experience and exactly what I went through pre, mid, and post surgery. 

Pre-Surgery- "The Consultation" Do I even qualify for LASIK?

Yes, you have to qualify for LASIK. Some people may not be eligible for one reason or another to get LASIK done. Personally, it kinda felt like a marketing ploy to me, waiting to hear if I qualify for the procedure. 

Who is a good candidate? Anyone with bad vision. 
However, your eyes need to be healthy enough to undergo the laser treatment. 

Luckily, "my enormous pupils and juicy corneas" passed the test. (These were the words of my eye doctor, Dr. Oldenburg. He was a little eccentric and full of energy!) The thicker your corneas are the better to undergo the laser treatment. 

After the consultation, I had one more extensive eye exam where he wrote down all my measurements for surgery. 

The LASIK Process- How LASIK corrects your vision. 

First, what causes blurred vision?
Glad you asked!
Simply, the light coming into the eye is not focused properly on the retina. The light either falls short of the retina (far sighted) or goes too far beyond the retina (near sighted). 

LASIK corrects this problem by allowing light to bend (refract) light rays to focus more precisely on the retina. The laser reshapes the cornea to allow light to properly pass to the retina resulting in clearer vision. (That's why my "juicy" corneas were good candidates. Haha) 

Day of Surgery:

I arrived at 7:45 and surgery was scheduled at 9:15 ( I ended up not going in for surgery until 10:30 but no big deal.) I was prescribed two medicated eye drops and a Valium to take right before the surgery. I decided to not take the Valium since it was only a ten minute procedure, I figured I could get through it and stay relaxed. ( If I could stay relaxed during child labor, this would be a piece of cake. ) 

I had my surgery at the Novus Center in Tallmadge, Ohio by Dr. Beyer. He and his staff were wonderful! They operate like one big happy family and make you feel a part of it. It was nice to joke around and talk to the nurses while they were preparing me for surgery. 

Before surgery, a nurse went through five different eye exams with me double checking my doctors work and making sure everything was still on tract for surgery. When they did the eye exam with me ( you know when they ask " Better one or Better two? Three or Four or the same?") I was nervous! Talk about an eye exam of your life. One wrong answer and there goes my chance at perfect vision! Okay, not really. But I still didn't want to answer wrong. So after that was all done, they took me in a room where I got to put on a pretty hair piece and shoe covers. 

Pretty, I know! I was a bit hyper (maybe my way of not being nervous) so I found the hair piece to be enjoyable. 

There was a man in front of me who was pretty nervous but stayed pretty relaxed with his Valium. The woman going after me was totally slumped over from her Valium, it worked a little too well. I was happy to be awake and alert. I did my best to keep the morale high and calm their nerves. When it was my turn, I walked into the room and laid down on the table. 

The nurse asked me my name and birthday, so I told her. Then she asked me what kind of surgery I was getting done, and I smiled and said foot surgery. She wasn't laughing...apparently she took a Valium too. So like a good patient, I said LASIK eye surgery and she was satisfied.

 They swung the table under the laser and then my heart started to race a little. Now I was getting a little nervous. I knew The Lord had calmed my nerves thus far and would help keep me calm. 

(Dr. Beyer, also a concert pianist, played his music for me to listen to which was nice and relaxing.)
 And just when I thought they were ready, they had to change something in the laser since my eyes are smaller than the person before me. (Big pupils, little eyes- sheesh I'lll be self conscious for the rest of my life. ) 

While I was waiting, One of the other nurses asked me if I was nervous because he thought I was shaking. Then he realized he was shaking not me. Very reassuring.

After everything was all set up they began. 

They taped open my right eye and he was about to cover my right eye when one of the nurses asked, aren't we starting with the right eye. 

Again, very reassuring. 

So he covered my left eye, and put lots of drops in my eye causing it to go numb and blurry. There was a blinking light, I was suppose to look at. Then they put something in my eye which felt like a contact lens then there was a little pressure and everything went dark for about 6 seconds. (which I knew was going to happen). Then the laser started for about 10 seconds and shut off. Then it seemed like he was polishing my eye with something like a nail polish brush. My eyesight was blurred the whole time so I couldn't really tell what was going on. Then more eye drops went in and they were done with the right eye and did exactly the same thing to the left eye. I could feel a little more pressure or discomfort on the left side but nothing painful. I kept reciting verses in my head and trying to relax my body. I also sang a couple Russian songs in my head to help keep my mind elsewhere. After about ten minutes, it was all done! 

They sat me up and put on these awesome goggles to protect my eyes. 
Today was not a day for family photos. :) I had to wear them the rest of the day and could take them off in the morning.

 I felt super light headed and began to feel nauseated after we left the clinic. My eyes stung just a little and were very sensitive to the bright sun outside. Even closing my eyes didn't help with the brightness. It drove me crazy to have my eyes burn a little and not be able to touch them. Most people take a four hour nap after the procedure since the Valium makes you sleepy, but it took me a little while to fall asleep. 
After I ate some lunch and got home, I was able to fall asleep. My eyes felt much better after I woke up. I wasn't allowed to text or be on the computer all day but watching tv was allowed. 

The next day, taking off the eye gear was awesome! Since the eye gear had holes all around it, I couldn't see perfectly out of them. But now my vision was perfect!! Everything was in focus, my son looked even cuter and my husband even handsomer. The only down side to taking off the eye gear was getting the medical tape residue off my face. My husband recommended eye make up remover and it worked! Definitely beat scrubbing my face for hours. :) 

The end result- clear vision! 
I went to my eye doctor the next day and my vision was already at 20/15. He said my vision will continue to get better as my eye continues to heal. 

In the end it cost me around $3000. We were quoted $3250; but somehow it ended up a little cheaper. We were recommended to get this surgery done since we will be moving to Russia to start missions work soon. It's hard to keep up with prescriptions over there. 

We are very thankful The Lord opened this door for me to get this done. I would highly recommend this surgery and my doctors to anyone interested in getting LASIK done. 

Hope this informed you a little bit about LASIK and all it entails! 

Friday, July 5, 2013

Together Tomorrow

As some of you know, our family has had to say goodbye to a very special little boy, Gabriel Michael Pranger. The world was blessed on June 10, 2012, with his arrival. And early on June 29, 2013, the Lord saw fit to call him home to heaven.

Lately, I have been reading a lot about the promises of God.

Promise "ground for hope, expectation, or the assurance often specified of eventual success." or "A declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that guarantees that a particular thing will happen."

II Kings 8:56 "...there hath no failed one word of all his good promise." 

 The Bible is often called God's Word, in other words it can also be called "God's Promise". God always keeps His word, He can not lie. Simply, what He says, He will do. I'm so thankful that God keeps his promises. It's from His Word, His book of Promises, we find hope and strength in our daily needs. Our family has definitely experienced God's grace and strength in a mighty way this past week. We have clung to many of His promises this week, that have given us hope and peace. 

Gabriel was born with a genetic disorder called Nonketotic Hyperglycinemia. (NKH) is an inherited condition in which the body is unable to breakdown and process some of the building blocks of protein (amino acids). Gabriel and his daddy, Amos Pranger, went to Cincinnati Children's Hospital in hopes to find out some answers as to why he would go a few seconds without breathing. His sister, Annabeth, also has the same genetic disorder, and it wasn't uncommon for them to make trips to the hospital. We had all thought, this was just going to be another trip to the hospital and then he would be back home. 

The doctors concluded Gabriel was having small seizures but they couldn't find out what was causing them. By Saturday, the had him stabilized and he seemed to be doing better. However, over the next 48 hours his little body took a drastic turn for the worst. 

His brain activity had gone down to almost nothing, and he wasn't able to breath on his own. When we heard the news of his sudden decline, we began to pray even harder for his healing. We knew God could heal our little Gabriel if He choose to. 

Tuesday came, and I was praying so hard for our little nephew. His mommy, Liberty Pranger, was on her way to be with her son. He was making some improvements, but not much to make a difference in his fragile condition. The doctors were clueless as to why he was declining so quickly. They could only assume one of the seizures had lasted longer than a few seconds and caused the brain damage. 

By Thursday, his kidneys and liver were shutting down. We were losing our little Gabriel. My in-loves, Jim & Laura Pranger, were on a flight back from Hungary in hopes to see Gabriel before God called him home. Their plane was scheduled to land on Friday. (Unfortunately, a bad storm kept my in-loves from making it on time to see him.) 

Friday came, and we were told if we could, to make our way to Cincinnati to see Gabriel one last time. James and I immediately packed up the car and headed to Cincinnati. I had hopes to take some family pictures for them and to capture little Gabriel's last few moments. 

We pulled into the hospital, and went up to Gabriel's room. There were many friends and family gathered around and nurses in the room. One of the nurses was making "sweet memories" with Gabriel and his three sisters, Annabeth, Deborah, and Breanna. They made some hand prints, and molds of Gabriel's hands and feet. And she was finishing up by taking some photos of the family all together. I was right behind her with my camera. When the nurses all left, the kids were a little restless, so we agreed to take more photos in the morning. I went about taking candid photos of everyone with Gabriel. 

His oldest sister, Annabeth
Breanna, Jacob and Deborah

I got to have some time with Gabriel, kissing his sweet face, holding his hand and talking to him. James came over and was playing with his ear, as he loved on him. Later that night, I went back in the room with Liberty and her sister, Bethany. Everyone else was now gone or in the waiting room. I wanted some photos of Jacob and Gabriel, like the ones we had taken back in December when they first met. I'm so thankful I did, because the opportunity to take more photos in the morning never came. 

As we left that night, I said good night to Gabriel and kissed his sweet face. I told him Grandma and Grandpa were on their way to see him, and to hang in there. 

That was the last time we saw our sweet Gabriel. A phone call later that night told us Gabriel had gone home to be with Jesus. 

My heart felt relief and peace when I heard he had gone home to heaven. Relief in knowing he was no longer suffering, his body was now made whole. Peace in knowing that we would see him again in heaven.

When Gabriel took a turn for the worst, the Lord flooded my heart with promises from God's Word. With those promises I found hope, peace, and strength.

One of the verses God gave me on Tuesday was from Isaiah 40: 29, 31

He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 

In our darkest of days, we don't have to have strength- God will be our strength. I know this has been true for Liberty and Amos as they said their goodbye's to their son this week. How can someone go through a trial so hard? With God, that's how. 

"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is the victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God!! (this gets me excited) which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:55,57

Death has no victory over God's children! Death is merely a stepping stone to heaven for all those who have put their faith and trust in God. God has given us the victory over death through Jesus Christ. How?

"But God commendeth his love toward us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Jesus Christ paid the penalty of death for our sins so we can spend an eternity in heaven. 

"...I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

"Every good gift and perfect gift, is from above..." James 1:17a

Our Gabriel was truly a special and perfect gift from the Lord. He is now experiencing life more abundantly with Jesus Christ. He has whole and perfect body now and is leaping on the streets of gold. Sure our hearts still hurt from losing him here on earth. "...weeping may endure for a moment, but joy comes in the morning." Psalms 30:5b 

We rejoice in knowing that we will see our Gabriel again in heaven. We will get to spend an eternity with him which far outweighs any time here on earth. Gabriel along with his mommy and daddy would want nothing more than for his death to bring about life more abundantly. If you have never placed your faith in Jesus Christ, won't you make sure of that today? Gabriel's short life is a testimony, that we are not always promised tomorrow. Death may come at any moment. Are you ready for eternity?  

We would love to share how you can know for sure that heaven is your home. Please feel free to email me or message me. 

Lastly, this is my favorite promise. 

" day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day." 2Peter 3:8

It's because of this promise, that we can say to Gabriel, We sure do miss and love you but we will see you tomorrow. 

Together Tomorrow. 

Here is a post I wrote about when little Gabriel was first born. May it be a blessing to you.
Gabriel when he was just a couple weeks old.