Enucleation is when you have an eye surgically removed.
My left eye was removed August 10, 2011, after an 8 year battle as detailed elsewhere in this web site. I lost my eye to cancer but refuse to give any further ground to this killer.
This post contains two copyright images of my enucleation for you to view. Please don’t steal them, if you’d like to use them in one of your projects just ask nicely.
I was put under full anesthetic for this surgery. As my doctor put it. it’s a simple operation: snip six muscles and the eye comes out. Create the space for the back portion of the prosthetic and attach the muscles to it to allow for regular movement of the eye once the complete prosthetic is in place (anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks later depending on surgery and estimated healing time. It takes a while, several weeks in my estimation (as of September 3) for the skin around the eye and the eyelids to get close to the bruising going away.
I was allowed morphine for the two remaining days in the hospital (yes, only two nights in the hospital and out you go!) and it just barely took the edge off the pain. I’m sure you’ll have a better time of it, if you’re researching this for your own research on an upcoming enucleation of your own. I don’t have a high tolerance for pain, and I think it’s a great idea to tell the nurses you’re a wimp around pain, but other pain killers I was on for another health issue (small fiber progressive neuropathy) helped during this time as well.
The upper image was taken one day after my surgery and this picture on the left was taken when I was home, four days later. (I’ll post more images of my daily healing at a later time).
What to expect after the surgery
I was quite tired for the first two days after the surgery, after effects of the anesthesia and the trauma to my head. I wasn’t up to speed of even going down the stairs in my apartment building (3 flights, no elevator) until more than a week later, August 11, and even that was a huge effort that ended my day once home again after a 45 minute excursion to shop for supplies.
Driving myself, for me, remains a non-issue. I had lost so much of the vision in my left eye that I noticed no difference at all in watching for “blind spots”, depth perception, etc.
I do walk with my left arm extended just a bit off my body, a little more than pre-surgery, just to help me to not bump into things. I haven’t fallen, tripped, stubbed toes or had a car accident (knock wood) and plan to keep things this way, using care and being careful about the type of furnishings that surround me. I’m using my “Spidey Sense) more than usual these days.
I’ve kept my good humor, it’s really needed these days, and i think that even now I have a more defined idea of life and purpose. Look-out world I’m planning something!
More to be posted later – really sooner than later, just not now. LOL