Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Just what it looks like

I'm sitting here looking blearily at my computer screen with one eye dilated and the other covered by a mesh screen that I can't remove until tomorrow. Probably a good thing right now because I'm not supposed to rub my eye and it's bothering me as an eyelash was stuck in it. Maybe I'll take some tylenol in the near future.

Two hours ago, they took the lens out of my right eye and replaced it with a new one. The old one had a cataract to the point where I was having some trouble seeing out of it and a new lens in my glasses would have weighed 1.235 pounds or in that neighborhood. So the cataract had to go.

It is a ridiculously easy procedure these days. About 50 years ago, give or take a couple of years, my dad had cataracts removed from his eye. As I remember (and I may be wrong, memory is, after all, only memory) they had to take his eyeball out and clean out the cataract by removing his lens and then put the eyeball back in and sandbag him on both sides of his head so he couldn't move for three or four days and then let him out with warnings not to lift anything heavy.

Today I went in at 1:30 and was walking out at 3:15 with a new lens and a window screen on my right eye wearing dark glasses. After what seemed like forever getting drops in my eye and having the nurses and technicians and doctors peering at the eye to make sure they were getting the right one (which was also the correct one), the procedure took about 20 minutes or so. I spent my time lying on my back with my left eye closed staring up at these myriad colors floating around above me. First there was the bright, bleary light, then some yellows, reds and blues (the primary retina cone colors), and then I could make out a few shadows when they moved on the periphery. The doctor leaned on my forehead a bit (I was glad I'd kept the left eye closed because he also stuck a finger against that eyelid) and I could see the lens coming in the eye that was taped open.

Then it was done. I was helped off the table into another room where I was given my marching orders (sleep with the patch for a couple of weeks, come back tomorrow, etc.) and was done. Like falling off a log.

Some people say they would like to go back to what they call "the good old days." I think there were some good things back in those days, particularly when I didn't have any responsibilities, but I don't think the "good old days" were that good, particularly after what I went through today compared to how it was done in "the good old days.l"


Blogger KarbonKountyMoos said...

Hi Chuck - I'm so glad to see you blogging!

I hope that all goes well. Isn't it amazing what is possible these days? Even 25 years ago - heart surgery meant an extended hospital stay. Now folks can go in and have quadruple bypass & be home within the week. Many things that were death sentences no longer need to be.

I'm not thrilled that the insurance companies seem to want more out-patient surgeries though. I had a few that felt like I was being pushed out the door before I was ready. Fortunately, when I had a PE - I was still in the hospital after emergency surgery.

I hate to go to the doctor - but I'm thankful for the ones who have saved my life a few times!

6:59 PM  
Blogger Chuck Rightmire said...

I hope to be at in a big way again. I also hate to do the doctor thing but I'm in my golden years (I get the years and the doctors get the gold) so I guess I have to put up with it. But this has not been fun and it's been a lot more stressful than I expected. I've had some heart problems as well that probably would have killed me by now if the doctors hadn't been there with nice new tools.

3:24 PM  

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