Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Oh Boy! My Eyes Are Going

Had cataract surgery on my right eye Monday and , thus far, it is not the "cakewalk" everyone said it would be.  In fact, it was downright disconcerting.

The prep involved 3 days of  2 prescrips of eye drops 3x daily (try remembering THAT) and the damn drops were $119!!!  My first clue.   Then no eating past Midnight, no liquids next AM & the surgery wasn't til 1:30pm.  I was starving. 

Pre-op was fun (not).  They put a little gown & hair net on me, hooked me to a heart monitor (HEART MONITOR??), stuck an IV in, ouch, and sat me in a weird looking chair, like an old barbershop chair, very uncomfortable.  The nurse proceeds to tell me I'm their "pediatric patient of the day." 

I looked at her and said, "What does that mean?" 

"Oh, you're so young!  We usually have patients in the 70s & 80s!"

"How many do you guys do a day?"  I queried, now irritable. 

"On an average day, twelve.  Busy day, sixteen."

Holy shit!  I was in a factory! 

They wheeled me into a freezing cold room adjacent to the OR.  Yes, this place has an OR.  There I sat freezing my ass off til they put a blanket over me.  I waited a good (or was it bad?) 20 minutes more til they took me into OR.  The IV was attached to a sedative, the chair was tilted backward to an uncomfortable (for me) position and the doc proceeded to go to town.  Sometime in the midst of the procedure, which was very uncomfortable & nerve wracking, the dr starts yelling (yes  YELLING)

"Get more anesthetic into her!  She's wiggling all over the place!"

Okay, now I'm really nervous.  WTF is going on?  I'm trying to talk & he tells me not to. 

By the time it's done, I'm a veggie from the extra anesthetic and I can't see anything.  They wheel me back to the Pre & Post Op room & my husband comes in and the doctor proceeds to tell us the surgery did not go off without a hitch.  That hitch being he pierced the vitreous fluid sac and it's his fault, hasn't had a mis-step in a long time an the worst case scenario is I get a "detached retina" down the road.  He's very sorry.  He said I wasn't anesthetized enough.  I will get a different anesthetic for the next one.

I am not feeling the love here.  In fact, I'm pissed.  But, I'm too gorked to be pissed so I let my husband deal with it.  They give me the old person sunglasses; the ones that wrap around every conceivable space light might enter and a clear plastic eye patch which is taped to my eye.  I'm to wear it the rest of the day and every night for a week.  I look absurd, I really cannot see and I'm unsteady on my feet. 

Next morning we go back, the doc examines the eye & says " looks like a normal post op cataract eye."  They give me more eye drops, instructions to now use them 4x per day and off we go.

Right now, I'm headed back to see him again.  I have all kinds of swirlies, my vision still isn't clear, I'm not driving & I feel pressure in my eye.  I wasn't supposed to see him again for a week but he said "Come on over." 

Speaking of over, that's what I want this to be.



Grandmother said...

Wow, what a nightmare story. Usually the more procedures a place and surgeon does the better they are (practice makes perfect and all that). Are you a redhead? I've read that redheads need 20% more anesthesia than others. Anyway, I hope this turns out okay for you and your eyesight!

Judy said...

OH! so sorry to hear you had a BAD experience. My surgery was a cake walk. DARN, I hope you will be OK!

Baino said...

God that sounds awful. "Sorry" doesn't quite cut it but I'm glad the eye is normal. I'm sure it'll settle eventually but what do you do? Go back to the guy who might have botched it or seek a more experienced opthalmic surgeon. Tough one.

California Girl said...

GM: hahahaha! no, not a redhead...well, in my dreams sometimes!

Judy: I KNOW. It's the "cakewalk" part that really gets me.

Baino: Just saw the doc & he measured the pressure in my eye & says it's normal and the whirlies & scratchy feeling are because he "roughed" me up so much during surgery. He says I'll take longer to heal. I see his partner next week.

Angela said...

Oh God, poor you! You`ll survive, though, and at least you have a good story to tell! These doctors should not be allowed to yell.

Star said...

I almost wish I hadn't read your post! Now I am feeling so sorry for you and dreading if I have to go through with it myself! and you've still got the other eye to go through? I shall pray for you tonight. That might help.
Star x

DJan said...

Oh, ICK! So sorry to hear it went so poorly, and that you are going to take so much longer to heal up. Hubby had the cataract surgery and has never been happier with his eyesight.

I don't have any cataracts forming... yet. When I do, I'll ask for the name of your doctor, to make sure I don't get him. :-)

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Well, that doesn't sound like fun at all! Too bad they didn't start a drug to relax you while you were waiting. Hope your eye is better soon.

Marguerite said...

Oh, that's terrible! I had cataract surgery done on both eyes, (separate surgeries) in my forties, and it was a cake walk, both times! The procedure only took 10 minutes and an hour later, I could see perfect! The drops were a drag, but not bad, considering that I would have gone blind, without the surgery. Then 2 years ago, I did develop a tear in the vitreous fluid sac and a retina specialist repaired it with a lazer. Now that hurt like hell! I was seeing lots of floaters and feeling pressure, which is never normal. If I were you, I would see a retina specialist, just to make sure, because if the retina detaches, then that is a whole other ball game. And that way, you could always file a law suit against this doctor, if the worst case scenario happened. Hope it all turns out well. Hugs!

California Girl said...

Angela: the yelling really shook me up...apparently enough to cause a mistake.

Star: don't let my experience scare you; read everyone else's. I am, apparently, an anomaly.

DJan: I'll send it to you but he's in Portland, ME. I don't think you have to worry :)

Bliss: yeah. he's all about a "different anesthetic next time." Don't think there will be one.

Marguerite: there's that word again! (cakewalk). Yes, I did expect it to be easy because that's all I had heard. Didn't work that way for me. The floaties are so annoying but not as annoying as the ongoing blurry vision. Thanks for the advice about the retina specialist. If this continues, I'll do that.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

You did have quite an experience, didn't you? Ouch! So sorry! I'll be wishing a speedy and complete recovery for you.

Stephanie said...

Great heavens - what an awful experience. The very idea of eye surgery so creeps me out...

Friko said...

O blimey, I've been told I have one forming. That is so not what I want to have done.
My husband had one eye done and he had no problems at all.

He's the lucky one in this household, there's none left for me.

injaynesworld said...

He sounds like a real jerk. So sorry you've had to go through this. I hope it's all better and over soon.

Too bad it wasn't glaucoma. You can just smoke grass for that. Or so I've been told. ;)

Minka said...

Hope you feel better soon ... Is your husband patient and nice? Sounds like it...

Susan said...

Oh, geez! That sounds like quite an ordeal. I hope your eye is back to normal SOON! Not having clear vision is terrible and makes you so dependent on your loved ones. And I'm pretty sure you hate being dependent on anyone. :)


Linda said...

Do you have the option of going to another doctor? I would not want to go back to this one. Who says that you can't change doctors in mid-stream?

I will keep you in my prayers for healing and a better second surgery.


by Cole Scott