A long overdue update on my eye.

Never thought I’d write a blog post about my own eye but here we are. 

The quick read:
Just over one week ago there was a major complication during a routine eye surgery to correct my vision and as a result I have lost my vision in my right eye. 

The real story:
I want to start off by introducing you to how I even got here. 
Just to be clear I’m not the kind of person that jumps into elective medical procedures (having been through enough of the non elective ones already) or even likes doctors appointments. I often to spend way too much time researching all relevant aspects of pretty much anything I take part in...including something as basic as a hydrating facial. No joke.

Two years ago I went for a corrective eye surgery consultation as I wanted to live my best life glasses free. I had been wearing glasses since age 14 and for those of you who wear glasses and contacts, you know that travelling, swimming, hot yoga and sports or just enjoying a sunshine filled day can be a nuisance.

At the time I could not clear my schedule and it just didn’t work out. That was likely my intuition that held me back but I told myself I was to busy to commit.

This past Christmas the universe sent me some people who had recently had laser eye surgery, including many people who I knew closely to remind me I wanted that freedom from glasses too. Don’t you love when things become unavoidable...

I went for another consultation, retested my vision and found myself booking my surgery just in time for some exciting things... a trip to South America and the beginning of my 200 hour yoga teachers training (I’ve since had to drop out of). 

I decided it was my time to become glasses free....

Four seconds into the surgery on my right eye and everything went black. I was laying on table with a big laser hovering above my head...I started to panic. 

I told myself to just relax and trust the process... that was my mistake, I never trusted the process. I never just surrendered and here I was surrendering to everything just trusting that the universe would bring me through this simple surgery and I would get up and walk away I would open my eyes tomorrow do a little yoga flow and move on with my life. 

“There’s been a complication and we cannot continue your surgery”.

The moment the surgeon uttered those words shit got real. So did my anxiety. 

lasik eye surgery complication laser eye correction

I was alone. 
In a room. 
How could this happen?
What even happened?
There were more emotions than one person could possibly process

It was all terrifying and surreal. They gave me medicated drops and sent me home with my friend.
I laid down on my couch and cried. 
I begged my partner to fly home from his work trip in another city. 
I was alone and in more pain than I had anticipated. My eye had a pulse all it’s own.
I could not see. 
I could not breathe. 

In the following days (with daily visits back to the surgeon) things went from bad to worse....

  • The complication I had during surgery was actually a thin flap (they cut a thin flap then use the laser to correct your vision they lay the flap down again). My flap was cut so thin that there was a hole right on the middle of it. 

  • Around 48 hours later a further complication arose called diffuse lamellar keratitis (DLK) which is accompanied by lots of inflammation in my eye. If not treated aggressively it can lead to scar tissue formation and loss of vision. DLK affects between 2-4% of patients undergoing this type of surgery.

Complications are rare, they seem like something we can all get around with a little “what are the odds” and positive thoughts. One surgeon said (I’ve seen 6 surgeons now), “the problem with complications is it’s not complicated until it happens to you.” He’s not wrong. More on them here.

For now, I have lost the vision in my right eye. There is a possibility in 4-6 weeks I can undergo another surgery to try to correct this loss. It may be my best’s my only option. Obviously with no guarantee and it’s own set of potential complications.

I share this story with you, like I share most stories, because knowledge and awareness are what we take away from hard lessons and heartaches. Plus I will just sleep better knowing that me going through this can save someone else this pain and loss in their own life. 

I’ve lost a lot of things in my life including other body one gets through life unscathed but your vision my friends is something we all take for granted far too often. So thank your eyes for all the tireless work they do everyday...

Also thank you for being here in my community and sharing this beautiful thing called life and all it’s complications with me.
Thank you for your kind messages, prayers, support and endless love.

Ashleigh Norris Autoimmune Nutritionist Hahsimotos

It’s my fuel right now.

Much love,

Ashleigh Norris Autoimmune Nutritionist Hahsimotos