Over the last few years I have noticed my eyes not seeing as well as they used to. Par for the course at 51 years old, a pair of reading glasses seemed to help. But then another weird eye thing starts happening with my right eye…..Uh Oh.
This eye has had a rough journey thus far already and I prayed it wasn’t conking out on me. Old Righty was just perfect until that fateful day in 1986 when someone pulled the blind shut on the whole outer half. My retina had detatched and I needed surgery to repair it. A silicone band was affixed to my eye and after a few weeks it was…Well as good as it could be. I had lost about 30% sight on the outer edge peripherally. But eyes are amazing organs, and I couldn’t even tell the difference after a while
Jump ahead to 1993, I am pregnant with my Twin daughters and the doctors are concerned that I could pop that band off my eye during the grueling pressures of Labor. I am scheduled for a laser procedure to seal the band to my eye more securely.
Life goes on until 2006, when I go to the doctor to see if there’s anything she can do to remove what I believe is scar tissue from the inner corner of my eye. Its been bothering me for sometime. When I clean around my eyes , it would seem to pull from the back of my eyeball when I went near the area.
The doctor examines my eye and seems surprised. She tells me that the band on my eye has come loose, slid away and is poking out the corner of my eye. Gross!!!! My retina has healed, it no longer needs the band and another surgery to have it removed.
2015….I have started to notice a change in my right eye. It’s cloudier and hard to focus, and sometimes when driving I re-orientate the eye with something bright in color. I decide to see the eye doctor in early 2016 and am consulted to a surgeon.
I couldn’t take any chances with my eyes….I have a whole world to travel and see!!!
That brings us to now, June 2017. I finally have a meeting with the surgeon and he informs me that I have essentially developed a cataract. This sometimes happens with eyes that have had previous trauma and surgeries. Also very common in people over 40 lol
Surgery is scheduled to remove and replace the lens in my eye. I am given two options Hard or Soft Lens. One is covered by insurance and the other is not. The soft Lens will cost you about $300 CAD. The choice is yours
I fill out the paperwork and await the date
The day arrives I change into my Johnny shirt, blue booties and hair net and I am brought into a room with about 10 other people lined up in Jerry chairs. I take a seat and answer the nurses questions, have my vitals checked and an IV inserted, I am given a few rounds of eye drops, some sting….don’t touch your eye! Only allowed to dab cheek with tissue. I Meet with anesthesiologist and inform them I prefer nothing if at all possible….cool.
I sit for a long time watching patients come and go until it’s finally my turn. I walk into the O.R. and lay down on the table. I’m a little nervous about doing this without any sedation. It is My eye….
More eye drops…….nerves
The doc starts swabbing all around my eye with iodine and says open wide while letting it drip into my eye. Nope…don’t like this so far!
Still looking up and keeping my eye open, a thick blue rubber sheet moves toward my face. It pulls my eye wide open while completely engulfing my face. It’s literally stuck to my face, holding my eye open, and my head to the table. Wet, a Lot of wet….splashing into my eye, running down my face. What’s That!!??!! Again it happens …. shouldn’t there be a warning? It’s cold and wet and splashing into my eye like its being poured out of a bottle.
Easy the doc says to whoever is pouring water in my eyeball. I guess this is where Cataract gets the name aka Waterfall!!
The Lens is made up of mostly water and protein…..and with the water portion taken care of, I was a bit worried about the protein part. The protein is arranged in a specific way keeping the lens clear so light can pass through.
But before I could finish that thought , the brightest light in the world shone into my already sensitive eye…..OMG, My Eye is Burning!!
“I’ll take a little of that sedative now please!”
I’m not sure if I got anything ….But it didn’t take the edge off at all. I was fully aware of everything and it was so not pleasant…..I should have taken the drugs.
If you are having this procedure, Take The Drugs!!!
It wasn’t painful, my eye was frozen. It was wet and uncomfortable and bright. I could see the little claw like tool moving toward my eye. Like a miniature reacher-grabber. It was so frigging freaky.
The procedure was fairly quick and I was finally released from the sticky blue tarp…..not enjoying it being peeled off my face and pulling towards my freshly operated, wide open eye!!!
Okay, It’s over!
I didn’t like it but It is Done….
I’m helped down off the table and wheeled back. I quickly change and sit back in my chair to have my IV removed. I’m given a few instructions and prescription for drops and a follow-up appointment for the next day. My BFF is here to take me home as I’m not allowed to drive, Not sure if it’s because of the sedative or the giant patch covering my right eye.
At home I follow my drop schedule and keep my patch on. The eye drops are a steroid and an antibiotic taken 4 times a day. Mine are Prednisone and Ciproflaxin. I am more than concerned about the Cipro as I had a reaction to it the last time. But am informed it is taken through the eye in much smaller dosages and I should be ok, but monitor. Oh I will!!
I have some discomfort in the eye but do not need to take anything.
At the follow-up, My eye is examined and I read some letters off the wall. I am informed that my eye is looking good and given these instructions
1) Don’t stop the eye drops until the doctor says
2) No work for a few weeks
3) No lifting, pushing, pulling over 10 lbs.
4) Protect the eye with glasses or sunglasses at all times to protect eye from injury and debris.( Tricky for me as I do not have glasses and had to wear sunglasses inside…Like a movie star)
5) Wear the eye patch at night
6) No shoveling, Gardening, or swimming. (Dirt is full of bacteria as are Pools. You do Not want bacteria in your eye)
You are ALLOWED to
Bend over to put on your shoes, Walk, Read, Watch TV, Shower and Bathe
See you at the follow-up and the next patient is called in
He has not mentioned driving and I had maybe forgotten to ask…….I started Driving myself when I felt comfortable.
Another appointment is booked in 2 weeks.
At home alone I struggled with a lot of “Should I do this?”
So I found the Answers
Can I wear makeup? No, Not for at least 1 week to 1 month following surgery (All makeup)
Can I get Tattooed? I could find any data on this other than Black ink can sometimes cause Uveitis in some people. So Yes ?!?
Carry Laundry basket up and down stairs? Not for 1-2 weeks
Take out garbage and compost Bin? Not for at least a week
Sweep, Vacuum, Mop? Ok as long as no strain
Can I Cook or BBQ? Not for 1 week ( or very carefully with safety goggles)
Can I have a fire outside in the evening? Not for 1 week
Can I play with my grandchildren? Probably Not for 1 week (No lifting, and pokey germy fingers)
Can I go to the Beach? Not for at least a week
Can I dye my hair? Not for at least 1 week
I am now almost 4 weeks post surgery….
My eye is doing nicely according to the surgeon who has now discharged me from his service. I am to continue the eye drops for 4 more weeks and see my optometrist for a new prescription for my glasses in 6 weeks.
Jokes on him, I don’t have glasses….Yet!!
So now I wait for my eyes to start working together as a team again and I am off to see the world!!
TAKE CARE OF YOUR EYES!!