Wednesday, 21 March 2007

I got new eyes!

So I got some new eyes! I'm not sure whether I like it yet or not. It's a major change from the way things were for the last 20 some odd years. I had cataract surgery in both eyes which involves the removal of the lens in your eye and an intraocular lens implanted. The artificial lens is made such that it provides the vision correction previously provided by my glasses. The unfortunate part is I lost my close up vision because the artificial lenses cannot be controlled by eye for close up focus. So I need reading glasses. It makes me feel old. As it turns out this is a major adjustment for me. I've always had close up vision and now it's just not there. There are many positives with the new eyes like being able to see when I wake up.

The surgeries were fantastically horrible. My major fear for the operations was the needles for freezing which I always say are in my eye but actually go around the eye. During the first surgery I got a nice lot of sedative and don't even remember the freezing needles. However, when I was in the surgery room I felt the first thing they did, which is to put something on my eye that I presume is to hold my eyelids open. I asked then if that was supposed to hurt, apparently it wasn't. then I lost it and started crying right there on the operating table. The doctor was holding and patting my head and telling me 'it's okay'. I got more drugs and then I was happy but I could still see out of that eye a bit, which was most bizarre. Mostly what I saw was just grey with squiggly things but I could also see where the incision was and the light coming through the incision and the instruments that blocked the lights. I also could see distortions in the grey when the new lens was implanted. This was all bizarre and interesting and traumatic but not to bad due to my sedated state. Aaahhhh, sedation! After the operation, I had quite the shiner, but I was excited because I could see, at least out of one eye. I could no longer wear my glasses. So, I had one good eye and one not so good eye. I could definitely tell now that I had a cataract in my right eye. I hadn't really noticed before because it was just the way it was now I could compare the two eyes. It was quite amazing the difference it made. The paintings at church are so much more vibrant now, it's like I hadn't seen them before.

I wasn't exactly thrilled about going back to get the right eye done. But I told myself it wasn't that bad. Who knew that the anaesthetising proceedure is not the same between people or operations. This time the anaesthetist asked me if I wanted to be sedated. I said "yes, please" with a smile on my face. So he decides to give me a sedative that lasts for 2 to 3 minutes because he likes it better because it doesn't leave you groggy. Fine, I think, that should cover off the freezing needles in my eye. Well, it was good for the first one (or ones) but then it wore off and there were two more to go. So now the guy says I have to open my eye for him to put the needles in so I do and there is a huge syringe there so I close my eye again and start to lose it. The guy asked what's wrong with me, uh duh you're poking a needle in my eye. And then he tells me I imagining things and it won't hurt. How the hell does he know what I'm feeling? And does it matter if I'm imaging things, I'm still freaking out. I bravely tried to keep my eye open but the syringe was always there. It will be an image that remains with me for the rest of my life. He managed to get all the freezing in. I'm sure he thought I was the worst patient of all time and I was being a big baby. Maybe, but he was being a jerk.

So, I arrived in the operating room, crying still, to find that I was completely awake and lucid. I was not thrilled with this. Where was the nice sedative of last time? I could see the tools out of my left eye, feel them on my forehead, and hear them. And I thought the first surgery was traumatic. This one wins hands down. It was topped off with feeling, if only slightly, the cauterizing of the incision and then to my horror something said about an injection. If I could have run at that point I would have. However much to my relief, I didn't feel anything if they were in fact talking about a needle.

The result of is that I can see except for close up which magnifiers from any drugstore fixes. I will probably have corrective glasses in about six weeks and they will be bifocals.

A bit of a long post but that is the story of my new eyes.


Jim Hall said...

That's worse than stories of the dentist!
I'm more grateful than ever that I have healthy eyes.
I pray I don't have to get such work done.
Still, it's amazing that they can even do such delicate work.
I know the recovery has been slow, and I pray that you'll be all better soon.

John said...

You are much braver than I. I would have passed out with the iv needle, let alone the freezing needles. Just the thought makes me queezy!