Thursday, May 12, 2011

One Down, One to Go

I’m back from cataract eye surgery #1, with excellent results. Thank you all for many kind comments and words of encouragement. I don't think the positive energy quite "took."

Cataract surgery is a booming business. The organization of these eye surgery clinics is fascinating to me -- I like the idea of the PROCESS. Patients come in one door, get processed, prepped for surgery, surgery is done in minutes, and out they go through another door, with a new lens in the affected eye, a patch over it, and instructions for eye drops, and then 2 more follow appointments. It is truly efficient and miraculous. No one has to wait long in the waiting room - waiting is inefficient!

I was stressed, anxious, fearful, despite many reassuring responses from friends and internet bloggers. The nurses were so helpful, patient, with lots of encouragement and touchy feely hands on, explaining everything they were doing (I think), they helped to keep me calm (well they tried anyway!).
At one point before surgery, I was on a gurney, with IV attached, and felt like taking a nap, so I’m guessing they had sneakily given me some anesthetic through the IV where I couldn't see what they were doing. Next thing I knew, off I went rolling down the hall to “the operating room” ...when I entered that room, what I remember, is "I wanted OUT!" although I was too attached to that gurney with tubes, IV, and blankets (even typing about that room now, gives me a stomach ache!) My husband was planning to watch the procedure through the VIEW window, and he said at that point, they closed his view window, but he saw me thrashing about, kicking, etc. through a gap in the window. Oh my, how embarrassing, but I have no memory of that. Next thing I remember, I woke up with a patch over my eye, sore throat, nurses hovering over me, giving me a drink of water, feeling a bit shaky, but I was done. As information eventually straightened out in my brain, I learned they had intubated me (correct word?) because the anesthesia was not working well enough to keep me calm. So that’s why I had the sore throat.

DH is having a great time at my expense, dropping true or untrue bits of my embarrassing reaction to the anesthesia, but the last straw was when he said I was snoring!!! He'd better straighten up or he won't be allowed to watch eye surgery #2!

The first 24 hours following surgery at home were slightly uncomfortable, with sore throat, some nausea and headache from the anesthesia, and minor discomfort of my scratchy eye. I didn’t sleep much that night, but the next day, after a cup of coffee, I felt well, and off we went for a follow-up appointment, where I apologized to the Dr. He kindly assured me I didn’t swear at him, nor call him bad names while in my agitated state. Jeesh – embarrassing, but he also said he would be prepared for me next time. Apparently, regular anesthesia does not work normally on me. LOL I am wondering if my name might be written on the surgery room wall, warning to the staff, "watch out for Elaine Adair!"

After the first follow-up appointment, (day after surgery) I went to work. My vision has improved greatly in that eye, but of course my glasses aren’t correcting my vision very well at this point. The work I did at my office on Wednesday was a breeze, but when I returned Thursday morning, I saw many, many mistakes. Apparently, I wasn't thinking so clearly.

I don’t know what percentage I fall in, in that my anesthesia administering wasn’t as expected, but they were ‘ready’ for such anomalies. I had definitely slowed up their production line with my antics! LOL

Eye #2 in a few weeks, and while I'm not eager to get is done, I'll be glad to know what to expect. The eye doctro will be really glad to know what to expect also.

(Absolutely NONE of these activities happened to my husband when he had HIS cataract surgeries. His WAS a breeze! )

My mother loves to remind me that when it was time for my routine kid innoculations before going to grade school in the fall, my folks called the VET to administer the shots, as he was used to handling uncooperative animals!


Nancy said...

Good to hear from you again. What a relief to know that you are feeling better.

Vic in NH said...

Welcome back, Elaine!
It was quite an adventure, but glad to know that it all ended well. Vic in NH

Lindah said...

Sorry you had such an experience, but as Vic in NH said... alls well that ends well. You know, we are each unique individuals. Our bodies don't always work as expected. I remember with my 3rd baby, I needed anesthesia, but it didn't work right. Instead of numbing my pelvic area, it numbed my arms. Fat lot of good that did! But we survive, don't we.
Rest up good for the next surgery. And don't worry! --They've got your number this time. :-)

Anne Ida said...

Happy to see you back! Sounds like you had quite the adventure, but glad all turned out well - and Eye #2 can hopefully only be easier :o)

grendelskin said...

In a week or two, when the eye starts to really focus well, you're going to be so happy! I, too, am a "difficult" patient - it's not a matter of choice as some may think. Next time they'll know what to expect to get you properly anesthetized. Still, I'd ban Hubby; he's getting too much good teasing ammo, how will you be able to return "fire" if he gets another motherlode in his stockpile!?!

Vivian said...

I'm glad to see you survived the first procedure! See, you'll get through it all (but will the staff and hubby?!?!)

The anethesia might not have worked because you were in such an agitated state to start with. That happened to me once at the Dentist - not pleasant at all especially when the anethesia took hold right AFTER the work was finished!

So from here on in, do some deep breathing and try to relax as much as possible before going in. You can do it!

Kim said...

Hey you did it!Now you are half way through, your vision will be greatly improved and soon this will just be a fun story to tell. I worry about people that take this too lightly....its serious stuff! You did your best and will try harder next time.

Happy sewing from a RN who has seen it all!

Elsie Montgomery said...

They fixed your eye and didn't do a thing to your ability to tell your story with a lovely sense of humor. I'm so glad!

Ivani said...

Good to see you back.I'm glad to know everything ended well.

Ruth said...

Everyone is different, but the main thing is that the surgery went fine and your vision is improved! Enjoyed the story! Especially the part about the vet giving you shots. Maybe I should give this tip to DS, as my DIL is afraid of needles.

Gari in AL said...

Funny, and then, not so funny. I am so glad that although you cut up a bit, the operation went well. My mother also doesn't do well with anesthesia and they always have to use more than they plan because she doesn't go under easily.

AnnieO said...

Glad you came through it without complications from the actual lens replacement! Everyone's body chemistry is different so what works on some won't work on others. Just like an allergy, comparatively. Hope you are up and running at full speed soon.

Helen in the UK said...

Glad to hear you are well and the eye is improving. Sounds like quite an 'event' ... but at least the Doc is happy to go for eye #2!! Actually, I'm sure he's had far worse in his time :)

suz said...

I'm glad all went well. I've been giggling reading your entry. I have horrible reactions to meds that are supposed to keep you calm. Four weeks after my son was born I had surgery - this was 30 years ago, when you got to stay in the hospital for some recovery. The surgeon had the nurses giving me "mood" pills to keep me calm because he felt I was upset about leaving my infant to go into the hospital (duh!). I ended up pretty much bouncing off the walls, crying at the drop of a hat - I was anything but calm. When my own doctor found out, he had them stopped immediately - I react the opposite of calm to tranquilizers! Your comments brought those memories back.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Oh, my I loved your comment about the vet! I think we all have a right to react to all things in our own unique's challenges, death and loss, surgery and anesthesia. I have bizarre reactions to medication of any kind, so when I slipped on black ice and broke my wrist in Alaska last January, I dreaded what I might say and do once I was medicated and prepped for surgery..and post surgery behavior, too! I even asked my surgeon if I did anything bizarre and he reassured me that I had not..but he had the hugest, hugest grin on his face. I shudder to think!

Many blessings for full recovery and excellent eyesight for quilting your beautiful quilts!!!