Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonders of Medicine

For most of this year I have know I would soon have cataract surgery. My distance sight, in particular, even with contacts was getting fuzzier and fuzzier and my ophthalmologist in NYC said the time was coming although there was no sense of rush. Once I had moved I began looking for a surgeon and did not have far to look. Visits and exams and waiting for surgery openings, etc. all pushed the date back. But yesterday was the day for the left eye, which is my dominant eye and the distance eye.

All information was positive and the doctor very experienced [does nothing but cornea surgery]. I did not expect discomfort and had none. I was give a tranquilizer which I suppose helped although I was not feeling nervous. A lot of prep took place, monitors of all kinds and such so on. The surgery itself, done under a microscope, the incision very small, and all the while I saw only colored lights which were quite pretty.

Rachel was in the waiting room. She told me on the way home that at the other end of the room a teenage boy, with a loud voice, was watching a TV monitor which was showing eye surgery and he was sounding grossed out. A bit later she discovered that he was actually watching my operation, in real time, seeing approximately what the surgeon was seeing. So I became a star! Of course my face was draped; he saw nothing but the eye.

When I removed the gauze patch at 8:00 as instructed, I could see some thing sharply but, in general there was a blurriness. And I was tired so I put myself to bed about 9:00. This morning I discovered I could see each and every car in the parking lot with great distinction. It was marvelous and amazing. I had no bruising anywhere around my eye, no redness, just pressure marks from the plastic shield I had been told to wear to sleep to protect the eye. That of course, went away. Cori came and drove me to the nearest clinic for a post-op check by the surgeon. All was well. I was given drops and instructions and will look forward to having the right eye corrected sometime in the course of next month.

For someone who has been myopic since the age of 12 this is astonishing, almost miraculous. Some people sometimes need reading glasses. I don't know if that will be true for me, possibly not. I can forget the glass and for now can wear a contact lens on the right eye and see well for reading.

I know many people have had bad experiences of medical procedures. I have been remarkably lucky and had good outcomes. This is being paid for my Medicare, I imagine there will be extras, check up visits, maybe that are only partially covered. But it will not cost a lot -- probably less than a new pair of glasses would have cost.

No comments: