It has been a week since Cataract Surgery on my Left Eye, and my vision is making progress.
You will have noticed that posting has been kept up on a daily basis.
Up thru yesterday most of those posts were set up before my surgery so as not to stress my eye for the 1st week.
So what's the story of my Surgery, and it's aftermath?
It was a very interesting experience.
For 4 days before my Thursday Surgery I had to put drops in the eye, 4 times a day, to help sterilize it against infection.
The morning of the festivities, an hour before getting to the hospital, I was supposed to put drops in the eye to begin the process of Dilation.
Since No relatives were available to take me to the Hospital I rode the bus, and got there an hour early ( 1045am ) so as to use the Drops.
I know, I know... What a Genius! ;-D
Well, I got sidetracked by the only confusion of the day. ;-D
Seems the paperwork at the reception desk said I was still supposed to be getting one of the more expensive surgeries, and lenses, and so the Clerk asked me for $1000 up front!
Well, after 30 minutes of checking the records, and onsite supplies, and making phone calls, the confusion was settled, and it was determined that, yes, they DID have the correct surgery, and lense set up, and ready for my procedure.
Ok, NOW can I go put those drops in my eye, Nursey???
I then had to convince them that I received the OK from my Surgery Co-ordinator to take a Taxi home afterwards, but they didn't go along until they consulted the Anesthesiologist assigned to my procedure, and got HIM to ok it as well.
I spent some time filling out various bits of paperwork, including a form regarding wishes in case of complications resulting in my being unable to communicate.
Filling out such a paper tends to focus your mind on what's important... trust me.
Overall, everyone was helpful, and understanding, of my concerns, and questions, throught this confusing 1st hour.
Finally, about noon, I was let in to the Inner Santum.
Let's get this show on the road! ;-D
What IS a Cataract, anyway?
It is a "Clouding" of the lens in your eye.
The lens, made mostly of protein, and water, can become clouded so much as to prevent light and images from reaching the Retina.
90% of such cases are the result of natural aging, but the rest occur due to other factors.
I have been severely nearsighted all my life, and have worn glasses since I was 5 years old.
The procedure I underwent gave me a lens that, coupled with a new prescription for glasses, will increase my vision by half in that eye ( the same with the right eye when that is done in 2 years ).
I did NOT get an Astigmatism removed, however, since that was not covered by my Insurance and I would have had to pay anywhere from $750 to $2800 per eye, and I wasn't willing to finance that ( anything could happen in the next few years, and then where would I be? ).
So there I was in the prep-room, being asked to lay on a nice, comfy, gurney while cute, talkative, Nursey's hooked me up to various monitors, and dropped a dozen more drops in my eye over the next hour.
I entertained them with stories about my job, and about the prank I played on the Doc, and Nurses, who did my recent Colonoscopy ( A sign taped on my Ass, as described elsewhere on this blog ).
The Anesthesiologist appeared, and explained to me that I was NOT going to be completely knocked out.
You see, it seems they needed me to be aware so as to follow any instructions the Doc may have regarding movement of my eyeball.
The Doc appeared to go over with me the procedure, and assure me one more time that the confusion of earlier was cleared up.
Cataract Surgery is what they call an Outpatient Procedure. this means I am free to leave a couple of hours after the fun.
My eye was numbed with Anesthesia, and I truly did NOT feel anything more than a little bit of pressure at certain points in the procedure.
Finally I was ready to be wheeled into surgery.
As the attendant drove me away I waved at the pretty Nursey's and, smiling, said "Eye'll see ya on the Flip Side, Ladies!"
In addition to the devises needed for the extraction, and insertion, there was a tray with my lens on it.
And, no, I did NOT look up at the the Doc, smile and, in the best Ronald Reagan Tradition, say, " Hey, Doc, I hope you are a REPUBLICAN!" ;-D
I mean, who gives a hoot?
The guy has been competent, professional, and upfront with me ever since I 1st appeared in his office, and THAT is all that matters when your eyesight, or even your life, is on the line.
It's a simple operation:
A tiny incision was made in the eye.
Through the incision the Doc inserted an Ultrasonic Probe.
The probe is about the size of a pen tip [ fine, or medium? I didn't ask ;-D ]
The Probe broke the cloudy lens into pieces, and then vacuumed those tiny pieces out of my eye, in a process called, in its entirety, Phacoemulsification ( Phaco to its friends ).
Once the capsule was emptied of the clouded lens the new, artificial, one was implanted after having been, I presume, given its marching orders regarding how it would be doing the work of the old, dearly departed, natural one.
The experience of being aware of the festivities was a curious one of being "involved".
I saw this extremely bright light above my head, and occasional dark objects as the Doc inserted the probe, removed the old lens, and inserted the new.
The Doc told me what he was doing at each step, and told me when he needed me to refocus my eye on the center of the light.
The procedure itself took an hour, though it felt like far less to me.
The next thing I knew I was in the Recovery Room, with a patch over my eye, and without knowing how I got there after the procedure.
A new pretty Nursey asked me if I wanted anything to drink.
My request for Scotch resulted in nothing but a laugh, and an admonishment that all they had were diet sodas, and fruit juices.
I settled for a Sprite, and a small pack of cookies. ;-D
I spent an hour resting before the Taxi was called.
I felt I could have taken the bus home, if I was careful, but it was not allowed, so I was resigned to the upcoming lightening of my wallet.
My Taxi driver was a chatty, friendly, Muslim chap, who looked at me and asked me how I got hurt.
After getting a chuckle when I told him "You should see the OTHER guy!" he was very interested when i told him the truth.
The 25 minute ride was a study in how to do one's part for Cross-Cultural Relations.
You see, the man, whose name was Ali, had a Talk Show blaring from his radio.
We bonded over our common enjoyment of Tom Leykis. ;-D
My ride cost $37, and I gave the driver a $3 tip.
I spent the rest of the day relaxing at home, and watching a movie, and checking my e-mail thru my one good eye.
In the morning I took the bus to a follow-up appointment with my Doc.
On the 1st bus the Driver looked at me, and I smiled, and said, "You think I look like hell? You should the BUS!"
She laughed, and the passengers laughed, and the same line was a hit on the 2nd bus as well.
Too bad I would lose the patch, except for while I slept, after my visit with the Doc. ;-D
Imagine the possibilities if I went to The Yard House, or the popular hang out, The Gypsy Den, and some friendly young thing got curious. ;-D
Anyway, the Doc gave me little bottles for 3 types of eye drops, and a sheet of instructions for the next month.
I can still use my old glasses, and will get a new prescription made on the 24th ( Frame and Lens covered by insurance ).
The doc was pleased with my 1st eye tests, but told me I could experience a temprary drop in vision as it fluctuates during hte 1st week.
Based on the instructions I was given it's best that I did arrainge to tak time off from work.
I work in front of a computer 8 hours a day, 6 days a week, and aside from the stress put on the eye, I would not have time, during breaks, to put in the eye drops all the times I need to.
During the 1st 7 days after the surgery my instructions are as follows:
1. Don't rub the eye.
2. Wear the eye patch when I sleep.
3. No heavy exercise, or exertion, though walking, and stair climbing is ok. No heavy lifting.
4. Close the eye when bathing.
5. Take the drops 4 times a day. Each drop is put in 3 minutes apart.
During the 2nd week:
Follow Steps 1, 2, and 4.
Exercise, and exertion, can be resumed.
Take the Drops 3 times a day.
During the 3rd week:
1. Don't rub the eye.
2. Waer in the eye is ok, but ry to avoid.
3. No need to wear patch while sleeping.
4. Apply the drops 2 times a day ( morning, and evening ).
During the 4th week:
1. Do not rub the eye.
2. Apply the Drops once a day, in the morning.
I hope my story proves informative to anyone who reads it, and reassures anyone with concerns about the safety , and benefits , of undergoing the procedure.
I encourage you to do your own Google Searches for more information.