Cataract surgery is so routine that they have it down to a well oiled machine. They take you into the big prep area. There are lots of cubicles with lots of patients. They ask your name, check your arm band (the band is put on the side of the eye that's to be operated on), give you a gown and hat and send you off to disrobe from the waist up.
Then they settle you in a chair not unlike a dentist's chair and the questions start: What is your name? What is your birthdate? Why are you here? Who is your Doctor? Which eye is being operated on? I will be asked this set of questions at least six more times before the surgery begins.
They take vitals, take blood, get my glucose level, start a Versed drip (when I can read again, I must remind myself what Versed is--I am writing this part of this report before the bandages come off, and can't really read any thing!)
"Do you have anyone at home to take care of?"I am asked. "Do puppies count?" I answered. We start talking about the puppies and they tell me what a good person I am.
Then they start the eye drops. The nurse tells me that other patients say that the worst part of the whole procedure is either the eye drops or the waiting. I didn't mind either. They administer eye drops about four times, asking me to keep my eyes closed in between drops. Before the first drops, they ask me to look up at the ceiling and there are two pictures up there--one of a couple of Weimeraners and one of a maltese puppies, I feel good about this.
After the drops have taken their effect, my doctor comes in, almost unrecognizable because of being gowned and masked. He puts in more drops and tells them I'm good to go. I am to keep my eyes closed.
That's when Mr. Toad's Wild Ride starts. A door somewhere behind me opens and my chair begins moving backwards, snaking from side to side across a room. I can't see where I am going. When I get to wherever I am going, a cloth is put over my face and it all begins.
I've often wondered why it is that you see colors and patterns when you close your eyes. I don't remember what music was playing when I got into the room (and I vowed I would remember becuase it seemed to me it was significant), but it caused red patterns to play behind my closed eyes. Then the music changed and I saw brown diagonal lines.
I wondered how it would feel, and I felt nothing. No pain, no pressure, no nothing. But I could through my eye, a psychedelic experience. It was a large point of light that changed as he worked. I thought I would be able to see the cataract being removed, but I couldn't tell when that happened. I did, however, see the newe lens (I think) being put in.
The nurses told me that my doctor was one of the fastest and it ceretainly didn't seem to take long before it was all finished and I had been bandaged. I didn't even see him when it was over, but the nurse did all the post-op stuff that you do, brought me my clothes (I wore my Obama inauguration shirt) and read me the post-op instructions, since I knew I couldn't read them myself. Then she guided me out to the waiting room, since not only can I not see with glassese on with this bad eye, but without glasses on it was impossible.
When it was over, Walt guided me down to the cafeteria where I got something to eat, since I hadn't eaten anything since dinner. Then we drove home. I took a picture of myself with the eye dressing and managed to e-mail it off to Jeri and Ned. Jeri called me and asked if I wanted her to post it on Facebook, and I said that yes, she could do that.
It was good to have the inauguration to watch when we got home. I had recorded the whole thing and so it was like watching it "live." I dozed here and there, which was probably good. It was weird that I was having a sensation of sparkles in my eye as I sat there. It was like the colored sparks you see at the very end of a fireworks display. Those disappeared eventually.
By dinner time (Walt went and got Chinese food), I was going into internet withdrawal, so managed to send myself the sae picture I'd sent to Jeri and Ned, managed to get on line and to pick it up and post it to facebook. It's really weird--this right eye is NOT used to seeing and my body is not used to being blind on the left side instead of the right side. It's a struggle, but I'm finding ways to compensate. A magnifying glass is a godsend.
I've decided to post this this morning before I go to the doctor. I can't spend much time at the computer. I've been here about 30 minutes and my "bad" eye is starting to really be affected by the glare. But at least I wanted to get this chapter of the story done.
And I'm very proud of myself for posting this while still half blind!
Anyway, bottom line is that all the medical people said that the procedure went well and we'll find out in a couple of hours if they're right or not!