Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Last night I ran with Fleet Feet again.  It was hot but not near as bad as last Thursday.  I started with a group running 2/1 intervals.  At the turn around, a near half mile loop, I broke off from the group and made a second loop before heading back.  I decided to drop from 2/1 down to 1:30/1 and speed up the running portion to get a little speed work in.  As I came to the end, I crossed paths with the group and Karen, the owner of the store, noticed I was over-pronating pretty bad. When I returned to the store, the others in the group agreed that I was over-pronating.

Last year, when I started running again, I started in an old pair (old as in time not use) of shoes that I'd been fit for because of over-pronating.  It shortly became apparent to me that those shoes weren't right and I hit up the local Road Runner Sports store to be tested.  I was told I have high arches and supinate.  I therefore bought a pair of shoes designed for supinators.  The felt much better and I unsed them for nearly all of 2010.  Come Christmas, Jen bought me my Mizuno's and they've felt great.  I trained for and ran a marathon in them. They've felt like a good fit.  Everything was well, until last night.

Now I need to re-evaluate my  shoes.  Yes, a couple of months ago, I tried some custom orthotics and had a bit of trouble with shin splints, but it cleared up after stopping them.  I wonder if the shoes I have are keeping my shins in a weaker state but not enough to cause noticable problems.  I guess it's time to be re-fitted and buy a new pair. 

I wonder..... if I've been running with ill-fitted shoes, will my speed and efficiency increase with better fitting shoes?  Hmmm...

On the eye front, I came to work this morning feeling the same as usually.  A bit blurry.  However, when I sat down at my desk, I noticed my left eye ghosting was gone!  It has come back a bit since then, but still. It was gone for awhile.  Progress.... slow, but progress non the less.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Six Miler and Vision Update

It's been an interesting albeit uneventful week compared to the previous few.  I ran with Fleet Feet on Thursday and it was the hottest and roughest run in a long time.  On the way to the store, my car's thermometer read 108F.  Outside it was more likely around 101-102.  The high heat/humidity just zapped any bit of energy I had.  We went slow at a 1:30/1 ratio, but by the end I was out of it.  This week I'll be running with the group again on Tuesday.

Yesterday (Sunday), I got in a 6 mile long run in the evening.  It was too hot when I got up so I waited until the evening.  The heat was rough, but slightly bareable.  Same as before, the run zapped my energy.  I did 1:30/1 but took a couple of extra 30 secs to some of those walks.  I finished ok with an 11:45 pace but it felt more like a 13:30 pace.
There hasn't been much to report on the eyes.  The ghosting still remains. Vision fluctuates throughout the day with blurrines.  I've started using some gel drops, which helps. I'm still on the steroid drops and from many of the experiences I've read, there's significant improvement after they're stopped.  I've got another week and a half or so. 

I'm relatively happy with the results so far.  While I have some minor complications, I still beleive it's an improvement over pre-surgery.  Here's a simulation of my vision before and now. The "abc" best with glasses isn't the best example.  I was trying to show how the dots ran together with my glasses.  It didn't change the darkness or color though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Last of the Mid-Day Running

First run since the surgery and it didn't go well.  First, my running has been far and few this entire summer.  Yeah, I've had some legitimate reasons for time off, but for the most part I've just been unmotivated to put much effort into running.  Second, it's hot as hell out.  As I type this, it's 94F outside. 

I really needed to get some running in, and with Jen going to Zumba tonight, it wasn't going to happen until late.  Therefore, I went out for an attempted four laps. I could only muster up the energy for two.  Little Miss Sunshine stole the rest. 

I'm ten weeks out from my first-ever half marathon and I'm behind.  One thing I haven't done since the fall is to run with Fleet Feet.  Over the winter it was just too cold and dark to run in the evenings with the group and by the spring I was focused on the marathon.  Afterwards, I put a pause on intervals and that's what the running group does.  Now, I think it will help with motivation to get back with them, not to mention running in the evenings will be cooler. 

Jen is getting hot and heavy into her Zumba so we have to coordinate with each other for evening exercise.  The kiddos are too young to be let by themselves.  I believe she said that starting this week, classes will be on Tuesdays.  Therefore, I'm planning to start running with the group on Thursdays.

On the eye front, the weekend was great.  Still some issues, but they weren't too noticeable.  Yesterday and today I'm having some ghosting issues in my left eye for up close.  I have a ghost image in about the 2 o'clock position.  Last week is was around the 11 o'clock position.  It's not too bad, but does affect my reading/writing ability a bit.  I'm hoping it will start fading out soon.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Post Surgery Day Seven – One Week Follow-up

Today I FINALLY got my bandage contacts out!  It felt great.  Nice and cooling at first, but later came some irritation in the form of dry eye.  The doctor said things were coming along nicely.  The “scab” of epithelium cells is directly in my line of sight, hence the ghosting.  Before the contacts came out, I tested at a 20/50 visual acuity, but after they came out, it was 20/30.  Pretty damn good compared to pre-surgery.  The ghosting decreased quite a bit, at first, but was noticeable the rest of the day. 

This evening I attempted to drive, and after about a minute, I felt fine.  Sure, I had some trouble reading road signs, but I could easily see cars and other obstacles.  We took a short trip out of town and returned after dark.  I’d say my night vision is roughly the same as pre-surgery, but with the ghosting.  Still,, not too bad. 

As for the ghosting, it’s still there, but getting less noticeable.  I don’t know if I’m just more accustom to it, of if it’s truly started decreasing yet.  My vision was supposed to regress a bit after having the contacts removed.  So far, I haven’t noticed it, except when my eyes dry out. 

At this point, I’ll probably stop reporting on a daily basis, and only mention it when there is something worth mentioning. 

Shifting gears away from eye surgery, and back to running now.  The doctor said I can resume exercising now.  Whaoo!  I can get back on track with my half-marathon training!!

Since tomorrow is a scheduled day off, and the last week has been taxing, I’m going to just wait until Sunday for my long run before returning.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Post Surgery Day Five – Not Much Different

Today was better, at least for my sanity.  After talking with the doctor, my nerves calmed down some.  I’ve noticed the ghosting is fluctuating quite a bit.  I hope that’s a sign that it’s the epithelium layer.  We went out to Don Pablos for dinner and when the ghosting wasn’t in the way, I could make out words written on the other side of the restaurant.  At this point, it’s going to be a waiting game.  Tomorrow (Friday) the bandage contact comes out and initially I’ll probably have some regression, but it should start to smooth out after that. I feel everything except the ghosting is going great.  There is some irritation which is most likely because I’ve been wearing the same contacts for 6 days straight.  Many people notice a cooling feeling when they finally come out.  I woke up this morning (Thurday) to the familiar ghosting. It was comforting that it had shifted, and that if I squint slightly, it can go away some. Come on Friday at 2:30.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Post Surgery Day Four – Ghosting Part Two

I called the doctor and he said this is normal for PRK.  They leave a bandage contact in for a week.  Most accounts I’ve read it’s come out around day 4 or 5.  According to the Doctor, the new growth is underneath the bandage and grows in rough.  Once the bandage is removed, blinking will start to smooth out the new cells. I should start to see improvement at that time.  Makes sense to me.  Given that I had decent, albeit blurred vision for the first day without ghosting, I don’t think anything went wrong with the laser.  Some of my fears have been alleviated.  It’s still worrisome though.  Everyone says the mantra for PRK surgery is “patience”  I can’t wait until Friday for the bandage to be removed and the doctor to inspect my eye!

Here’s a picture of my left eye. You can see the outline of the contact bandage outside of the pupil/iris. 


Post Surgery Day Four – Ghosting

Today had really sucked.  I’ve discovered that most of my blurriness is due to something called ghosting. It’s where you see a second version of an object but faint.  Another term is double vision.  Well, I’ve got it, in both eyes.  Up close I can see decently, but anything more than a few feet out and it’s ghosted.  My vision hasn’t changed since Monday and it’s now Wednesday morning (day five).  I’m going to attempt to contact the doctor for his input.  The office I had surgery is closed on Wednesdays, but I think he works out of a different one on Wednesday.  From everything I’ve read,it could be due to a few things.  Inflammation of the eye, irregular regrowth of the epithelium layer, or astigmatism.  Given that I had pretty good vision on Saturdays followup, and my vision was decent through Saturday night, I’m hoping that it’s not astigmatism.  That would mean corrective glasses and hopefully a touchup surgery about 6 months down the road.  If it’s due to inflammation, it should correct it’s self once the inflammation goes down.  If it’s irregular regrowth, again it should correct itself, although it might take longer than the inflammation.  I’m hoping the Doctor can figure it out.  For now, I’m just feeling crappy.  I’m kinda freaked out by it.  My stomach has been queasy since last night when I realized what was going on.  I’m betting I’ll be taking a valium today.  Most likely I will not be going to work tomorrow or friday either.  I could be wrong.  I could wake up tomorrow and have clear vision, but with my luck it isn’t going to happen.  I foresee this playing out for at least the next several months.  Damn!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Post Surgery Day Three – I Vant to Suck Your Blood

Day Three was about on par with Day Two but with different symptoms.  Day Two it was tearing, tearing, and more tearing.  Day Three was it was all about the light.  I couldn’t see much of anything and any bit of light was annoying.  I spent the entire day in the basement darkness, again, listening to movies.  I couldn’t even have the movie on dark without annoying my eyes. I ended up turning the projector completely off. Lights from my alarm clock and router were enough to bother me. 

My vision was basically the same as yesterday.  Very blurry and I could only keep my eyes open for about a minute.  Today has started off well.  The light isn’t so bad, although it still bothers me. My vision is clearing up.  I still have a lot of haze and blurriness but I’m able to make things out clearer.  I’d say I’m near where I was on Saturday.  Off to grab coffee and rest more.  Today’s goal is to spend some time upstairs watching tv.

I’ll “see you” tomorrow!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Post Surgery Day Two – Blind Fury

I woke up this morning to horrible ghosting and blurriness.  Tearing was unbelievable.  Any length of time looking at something in the light caused the tearing to get worse.  My vision was terrible.  Mostly I spent the day in bed listening to movies.  I couldn’t watch them as I could on Saturday, so I would turn one on, the adjust the brightness and contrast to where I could barely make anything out.  Then I’d roll away and just listen.  This was all to be expected.  Today and tomorrow are considered the worst days.  I got through it though.

Currently it’s 9:15 on Day three and my vision is somewhat better than yesterday.  The tearing has been at a minimum, mostly after I put drops in.  I think I’m through the worst of it now. My vision is slightly better than yesterday, but not near as good as Saturday.  At times I’ve got some clarity, but more often it’s blurry.  The light sensitivity has diminished.  Still there somewhat but not enough to keep me secluded in the darkness.  I’m hoping to see some progression throughout the day.  I’ll report back either tonight or tomorrow morning. 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Post Surgery Day One -The Floodgates Have Opened

I woke up this morning to some minor burning/itching so right away I took a Percocet and Motrin.  My follow-up appointment was at 8:25 so not much time so ff we went.  After sitting there for about 15 minutes the doctor checked my vision and how my eyes were progressing.

I was at 20/25, very good for PRK surgery at this point in the recovery.  Typically, they expect around 20/40 the day after.  Sweet!!! 

Primarily, day one post-surgery consisted of tearing, catnaps, more tearing, movies, and more tearing.  Later in the day, I took a quick trip to Walmart with Jen and Connor, otherwise, I mostly stayed downstairs.  My vision seemed to fluctuate throughout the day. 

I would have put the days pain level at a 2 out of 10 until right before bed.  I had been laying there with my eyes closed and went to open them.  The left eye felt stuck together and I must have scratched something.  It hurt pretty bad!  maybe 5 out of 10.  I popped another Percocet and went to sleep right after the nighttime medicine drops.  Thankfully, I slept through the night and woke up without any pain.  Today and/or tomorrow are supposed to be the worse days, so far so good.  Wish me luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

PRK Surgery Day

This morning I woke up knowing that in a few hours I'd be under the laser, but to be honest, I was less nervous than I was yesterday. I guess the adrenaline was going or something. I got up, drove to Dunkin Donuts as Jen dropped the kids off, and relaxed on the computer for awhile.

Around 10:15 we headed out. Traffic was light so we got there about 25 minutes early and sat in the car a bit just talking. I was anxious but excited. There was another couple in front of us doing paperwork so we sat down and relaxed for a little while. The paperwork went quick then more sitting. A few minutes later, they took some photos and measured my eyes again, then back to waiting. Next I saw the optometrist and he checked my vision one last time, basically identical to my consultation visit. Then more sitting. Of course, I had a nervous bladder so I ended up peeing twice shortly before the procedure.

The doctor did notice I had some inflammation already so he decided to add a prescription for doxycycline as an additional anti-inflammatory. I found this quite funny as doxycycline is an antibiotic used for several arthropod-borne diseases (lymes, malaria, etc...)

We met with the Doctor, a nice guy, and he walked us through the procedure and made sure Jen knew everything to do from that point on. Then it was off to the surgery room. I had taken a valium roughly 10-15 minutes before but I didn't feel any different at this point. I laid down on the table, and before I knew it, my right eye was held open with the dreaded clamps. This was what I was concerned with more than the laser, but really, there was nothing to it. The one thing that stood out was that it felt like they were wrapped in a foam sheet. Some cooling drops then the scrub brush. I could barely make out the form of it and only felt some vibrations. Next was some scrapping of the debris and more liquid. The entire time I was supposed to be staring at a flashing red light. It was kind of hard with all the movement but I think I did ok.

The laser was actually pretty cool. I could hear the clicking sounds and vaguely saw some bluish light as it did its thing. The smell of burn flesh wasn't as bad as I was told either. After Jen's C-section, this was nothing. A faint smell, similar to burning a hair with a candle, but not as strong. More eye wash then on to my left eye. The one thing I could have used was a stress ball to squeeze. I'd read where other places give you one. It would have helped but not really necessary.

After both eyes were done, he visually inspected the eyes, told me it went well, then sent us on our way.

We had to pick up Jen's check, hit the pharmacy, grab lunch, then home.

I was supposed to take a three hour nap but it didn't happen. Not that I didn't try, I just couldn't get to sleep. I laid there with my eyes closed for two hours then figured it was too late to nap anymore.

Jen administered the first round of eye drops with little problem. I'm horrible about them, but we managed fine. Then she was off to get the kids while I rested more.

As for pain, I really haven't had any, yet. Before I took the Percocet, I felt some slight burning as the numbing drops wore off, but it was very minor. Otherwise, I've been great. Most of the time, I can barely even tell something was done. I'm sure tomorrow will be different though!

Lastly for my vision, it's fluctuated but for the most part it's much better than I was expecting it to be right now. Far from perfect, but at times I could almost swear it's as good as with my glasses. I've been told to expect haziness, halos, and possibly some ghosting as the epithelium layer starts growing back. Also, I'm to expect it to get worse for the next few days. I guess we'll see how this rollercoaster plays out.

I'd say it's definitely been tolerable and a pleasant experience thus far. I'll update more tomorrow. I'm trying to not use the computer more than 10 minutes at a time, hence the sloppy grammar.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Tomorrow morning I'm going under the gun, or laser in this case.  I've got everything squared away and ready to go.  Yes, I'm fairly nervous about it, but more anxious really.  I'm ready to get surgery over with and get started on the road to recovery.  The surgery I'm having (PRK) has a much slower recovery period than Lasik, so it will be slow going for a week or so, then gradually my vision will get better over the course of a couple of months as the eyes heal. 

Yesterday I got in a 2.5 mile run.  I basically did my normal 3 mile route at work, but instead of a figure * I just did a large rectangle around the parade field.  Who know that it would shave off half a mile!  Oh well, still a good run.  I've started back to intervals for my half-marathon training and did 2:1 yesterday.  I ended up finishing with a 10:16 pace even with walking 1out of every 3 minutes.  Not bad!  Well off to finish my last day of work before being off for nearly a week. I'll probably post here all about my recovery.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


No, it doesn't mean Knights in Satan's Service.  It means:


After my training for the Army 10 Miler and the Shamrock Marathon, I've learned that trying to plan out a thorough training program just doesn't work well, at least for me it doesn't.  After careful review of many half-marathon training programs, I've settled upon this:

It's simple and to the point.  Three runs per week, two are 3 mile runs, the other a long run.  I build gradually with a recovery week every 4th week.  Simple and too the point.  If, on any given run, I feel the urge for some speed work, I'll do it.  Otherwise, it's just another run.  Intervals vs non-intervals will be the same. 

Yesterday was the first run of training.  I did almost 4.5 miles at a 2:1 interval.  It's been months since doing intervals so they felt odd, and of course, my lungs weren't used to the constant start and stop now so it took some getting used to.  It was hot as can be and very humid, but otherwise a good run.

I'm having PRK laser eye surgery on Friday so I won't be getting a long run in this coming weekend.  I'm taking most of next week off work to recover so I'll try and get one in at some point.  It all depends on how I feel.