MY CATARACT SURGERY JOURNEY II continues. I blogged the first part of the journey with diagnosis and preparation for this event in my life. I thought I would take you through my surgeries and recovery today.
On January 24 th the day of my right eye cataract/correction surgery, we woke up very early and after fasting the night before, I was captured by the smell of the coffee Greg had prepared for him. I thought how we as humans don’t seem to appreciate the little things of life until we have to do without them. Greg drove and while I was a passenger in the vehicle I was aware that I could not read the road signs until we were almost in front of them. It was a little frightening with the affirmation my sight had been shrouded by the cataracts. It was time; it was past time so it gave me confirmation the surgery was not only necessary but overdue.
We arrived at the surgical center in Valdosta and proceeded to enter the doors. I took a long breath and concentrated on how I had been assured I would not need glasses after the surgeries were completed. Step 1 and moving. The staff was so helpful and calming. I could tell instantly, they perform these surgeries like clockwork and have it down to a science.
After some quick forms of release, I was called to the back. I will always remember Greg saying I love you as I walked toward the surgical ward door. I told him I love you and the door closed behind me. I was on my own (I am never truly alone and all of you who believe in a Higher Power understand this statement). I was mixed with emotional excitement and concern which is normal when it is our eyes. I felt confident in their knowledge and experience, but it was my eye that was about to be operated. I said my prayer and listened to their instructions. The IV was inserted and the many eye drops began to be dropped.
The prep took a lot longer than the actual surgical procedure. My right eye which had the densest cataract didn’t dilate as much as most people’s eye would dilate and after many drops to dilate it, I thought how it would feel to have a normalcy about me but then I may not experience the uniqueness of my character either and I smiled. The ophthalmologist came over again and said to all of us, nurses too “This eye has dilated all it is going to and we will take her back in a few minutes.” Trusting him, I was then fully ready to get to the next step. One of the statements the anesthesiologist nurse said to me was a very important one to remember, “You will hear us talking and you will feel a slight pressure of the doctor touching your eye, and you can answer the doctor if he asks you a question, but what we give you to relax will keep you from caring.”
I was wheeled on the same stretcher to the surgical room and one of the most dramatic feelings was the drop of the room temperature. Sterility at its finest. I saw the doctor and the same nurse who validated my non care attitude that was coming shortly when she said I am going to add the comfort juice to your IV. I had my head and shoulders taped down with explanations and nothing seemed to alarm me at all. I understood what she meant by “You won’t care.”
The next part of my journey may not appeal to many of you, especially if you are squeamish but with my curious, non caring soul at the time, I was fascinated that I could see what the doctor was doing. It was as if I was watching a movie of sci-fi and I was glued to the screen (might be that taped would be a better description since I couldn’t have moved if I had wanted to move). I saw the base with the broken cataract lens and it looked like tiny mountain formations which disappeared in a few seconds and returned the “land of my eye” to a smooth desert. I was asked by the doctor to look at the red light and tell him when it disappeared which it did quickly. He then said “You will feel a light pressure” which I felt and then what I consider a WOW moment, I saw a tiny tool bring a folded piece of material inside that flat desert which was my corrective lens. I watched it quickly unfold and then with a few tasks, the doctor said, “we are done.”
I was pushed back to the same area and given some water (could have had other drinks) and some pretzels. I was thirsty and even ate a few pretzels and then I saw the most beautiful sight, Greg coming toward me. It was only a few minutes and we walked out to our vehicle and believe it or not, my first cataract had been removed and my vision in the right eye had been corrected.
I don’t want to say this was a joy ride but worth every minute of putting the drops in several times a day and wearing the shield for the first 24 hours and then each night for a week after each surgery. My recovery is great and even though I had to have an additional drop for some pressure in my eyes. I have 20/20 in my left eye and my right eye is very close with a 20/18 and good hopes that will improve even more. I have one more follow up and then will be dismissed.
What should you expect during cataract surgery recovery? http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataract-surgery-recovery.htm via @AllAboutVision
I hope if you have to have cataract surgery you will seek a professional, caring ophthalmologist like I have and keep a positive mind as the inconvenience you encounter is well worth the end result of seeing this world with all of its beauty.
I am attaching a photo showing my eyes a few days after the second surgery:
“SEE” what you can look forward to seeing after your surgery.
(C) Copyright 2012-2018 Arline Miller with all rights and privileges reserved. Third party material if known is sourced to original location. Photos are not exclusively the property of Sipping Cups and sourced if known to original location for credit.