There is a strange phenomenon at Kaiser Hospital at Rancho Cordova. It's the sight of men wandering around with purses. These are not "murses' (man purses)...these are regulation women's purses. They belong to their wives, whom they have accompanied to the eye surgery center and who have gone off to have their cataracts removed! I left Walt in the waiting room with my purse and my cane and the poor guy had to carry both around while he went off in search of food, since we had to leave so early this morning he didn't get an opportunity to have breakfast.
It all went well and none of the complications that could have happened with this weird eye happened. This morning I have my post-op exam and have the bandages removed, which will be wonderful because my glasses don't quite fit over the bulk of the bandage and I have to wear my glasses perched on the tip of my nose, which is uncomfortable. I am actually going without my glasses unless I need to see something clearly.
As the last time I had cataract surgery, 6 years ago, I described it as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I shared that with Mannie, the guy who helped me through everything. He said he had been to Disneyland for the first time a year ago and he understood my description.
When your name is called, you are taken to a room full of cubicles set off by curtains, each of which was filled with someone with hair nets, paper booties, and covered with blankets. I changed into a blue hospital gown. It is called a "Bear Paws" and apparently it is rigged so that if you are cold, it will also warm you, but I wasn't so they didn't plug it in so opted not for that feature.
They set me up in my little chair, which is not unlike a dental chair, but with more protections. I was reclined, pillows put under my head and knees to make me as comfortable as possible. Then a saline drop was started in my left arm and a blood pressure cuff attached to my right. Both arms were fit into kind of a slot into the side of the chair. I could move them, but the slot kept me from disturbing either the drip or the cuff.
Eventually the Disneyland part of the "ride" started. I was moved to a cubicle where there was a door in the back of it and given Versed with Fentanyl, which provide pain relief, relaxation, and amnesia. The purpose is to prevent pain and anxiety during the procedure, and if there is any discomfort or stress, the patient is likely not to remember it. The page I found describing Versed said "Versed is a benzodiazepine, a drug that causes relaxation, sleepiness and can cause a partial or complete loss of memory during the use of the drug." Considering how much I have slept in the last 24 hours I think that is a fair statement!
Then it started. The door behind me banged open and my chair began to snake across the room ending up in another smaller procedure room. All I could see was the ceiling racing by. During the procedure, my good eye was covered and the cataract eye was held open while Dr. Qiroz began working on it. As they remove the cataract and the lens all you see are flashes of different colors of lights. There is no pain but this time I had a weird sensation that "scenes" would pop up in my head as if I were watching TV and my eye would automatically try to follow the characters on the "screen." I don't remember most of them, but one was a Victorian era family dressed like little Downton Abbey on the Prairie. Very strange.
I could see the new lens as it was inserted and very briefly, before the eye was bandaged, I could see my doctor. The first time I had vision in that eye in about 2 years, so I knew it worked. Then the chair snaked back through the room again, the door banged open again, and I found myself back here I started from, having had a very nice wild ride indeed.
They put me in a wheelchair and took me downstairs, where they had directed Walt to drive up.
It was 11:30 when we left Kaiser. I had not eaten since 8 the night before, so we went to a place in Sacramento that we like for Mongolian BBQ. The hostess was very nice, seating me close to the buffet line so I didn't have far to walk (seemingly unaware that I still had to walk the length of the restaurant to load up my bowl and then back to the table after I had it all cooked!
But it was delicious. We always skip the chicken, pork and beef options and head right for the lamb, mixed with all sorts of noodles and veggies and sauces to be cooked on that big open griddle.
And then home. I went right to the recliner and was asleep very quickly. As I write this it is 6:30 a.m. and, except for waking to eat the half of my BBQ dish, watch Jeopardy, Amazing Race and Gwen Ifill, I have pretty much been asleep since I got home!
I see the doctor at 9:45 this morning and see what I can see! I'm so glad it's over and that there were none of the complications that we had discussed. At least as far as I know with the results still under a bandage.