Archives for January 2011

29 Shots

This was, by far, the easiest surgery I’ve had. I’m not sure we were at the surgery center for a full hour. Since there was no general anesthesia, it really only seemed like a doctor’s visit albeit in a different place, with some strange questions, and my vitals being checked before and after. Oh, and a higher copay.

After waiting about 15 minutes, we were called to check in and pay. That took about 10 minutes, then we went back into the waiting area for a few minutes before I was called back into the room with the laser. The nurse asked me some questions, like what are you having done today and on which eye. She took my blood pressure, which seemed a little high for me as of late. It was 131/78. She told me she was going to give me four drops – two to dilate, one to reduce my IOP, and one to numb my eye. Before she gave the drops, I asked if I could take a pic of the laser machine. She laughed and gave me a second to take the image (see it below.) After she put the drops in, she told me to close my eyes until the doctor came in. She left the room.

I grabbed my iPhone and opened the app for Absolute Radio (since I use the VoiceOver setting I didn’t need to open my eyes.) Absolute Radio is a station based in London that is my favorite. Geoff Lloyd’s Hometime Show was on. I usually don’t like listening to him while working (he’s on noon to 3.00 ET, 5.00 to 8.00 in the UK,) because he is so funny I end up listening and not getting any work done. As it turned out, I only listened to him for a minute or two, then a short newscast by Tania Snuggs, and then about half of a song by Manic Street Preachers before the doctor came in and I turned the radio off.

Dr. Ayres gave me another numbing drop, then lined up the machine. Before he started blasting, he put a lens with a lot of goo on my eye to help focus the laser. Then he started shooting. Besides seeing the flash of the light from the laser, I heard these pops in my ears. It was a weird sensation. After a bunch of shots, he paused for a few seconds then took a few more shots. He took the lens off my eye and started filling out some papers. That was when he said he took 29 shots. The nurse put a couple drops (Pred Forte, a steroid) in my eye. Dr. Ayres told me to take a similar drop twice per day until I visit him in a couple of weeks. I’ve been on the steroid drop since the endothelial transplant back in December 2008, but have only used it once per day for the past few months. That was it, I was done.

It’s now about 12 hours after the surgery and my sight is still weird. We went out to dinner tonight (Carrabba’s, it was just okay) and lights really bothered me, especially car headlights. Hopefully it is just the drops. I’ll know in about six hours when I wake up.

YAG Laser machine used on my left eye.

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Sweet Sixteen Tomorrow

Let’s hope it is sweet, or at least it doesn’t make things worse. Tomorrow at 12.30 I’m having what is called YAG laser capsulotomy, a minor surgical procedure (my sixteenth) to get rid of some clouding that has developed since the cataract extraction last April. I’ve been told that it is very quick procedure. In fact, the women from the office who phoned me today with the time of the surgery told me there were no restrictions (as far as eating or meds go,) and, get this, I could drive myself to and from the procedure. Uh, if I tried to drive myself to the procedure, I’d never get there. If I tried to drive after the procedure, Action News and NBC10 News have a 50-50 shot at being the news since the surgery center is about a block away from them.

I won’t get into what I hope I can do after the surgery, because even the doctors I’ve talked with about it tell me that I will probably only pick up a very slight increase in vision. Risks associated with this surgery are also pretty small, with retina detachment the primary complication. While I am hopeful of getting back to the sight I had for the 10 day period following my cataract extraction, and staying there, this surgery will not get me there. My sight has been so poor as of late that any positive outcome will be greatly appreciated. The dream of significantly better sight will have to wait for modern medicine.

So, we’ve got a busy day ahead of us tomorrow. At 8.30, we’re touring the high school at Friends Central where Jane would move on to next year (she’s currently in eighth grade there now.) After that, we’re heading down Lancaster Avenue to make a delivery. Then on to the Main Line Surgery Center for the surgery. (I’m hoping we can fit a Starbucks stop either before or after the delivery — though maybe I should wait until after the surgery so the caffeine from the Apple Chai Infusion doesn’t make me too jittery… After the surgery, a delivery or two over in Ridley, and, if it’s in, a trip to Newark to pick up our Clairol order. Wow, I’m tired already.

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