Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My (Right) Eye Surgery Story

My (Right) Eye Surgery Story

Missing only a trench-coat and an eye-patch!
I had to wait about eight weeks to get my right eye operated on after my left eye was done. It was originally scheduled for four weeks, but the Saturday before my surgery, as I was dripping dry in a Harveys from a rainstorm and trying to figure out what on the menu that I could safely order so that they didn't throw me out the door to float until I found a stray Ark, my cell phone burped so that Dr. Galic's nurse could tell me that I would have to wait some more.

I wasn't terribly surprised. This was my original appointment date for my second surgery. My initial appointment for my left eye had been scheduled and then pushed back three weeks, so I wasn't surprised that history repeated itself, but as I squelched under the withering eye of the Harvey's cashier, I thought to myself that her timing could have been slightly better.

See, I make this patch look good!
While I had one good eye and one terribly bad eye, I found reading and working on the computer very difficult and a bit disorientating because frequently I could read better up close with the terrible cludy eye than I could with the non-cloudy operated on eye.

Finally, came the day of the second operation. I would say that I got up early, but that would imply that I spent a lot of time sleeping the night before. Even though I had gone through the eye operation once before, I was still a bit of a nervous wreck.

Which might explain why I got to the hospital forty minutes early instead of only fifteen minutes early like I did the first time around.

Steve Nash makes this look good too!
The first time, I was the last man in a line of about twenty patients. Even with one clerk at long-term admissions and one at day surgery, it took so long to go through the line that the nurses from the eye clinic were calling to make sure that I was there. This time around there was only one clerk at the long-term admissions, but he processed me while the waiting room gradually filled up.

I was scheduled to be operated on third, but the first and second patients were trapped behind everyone else in the waiting room. I saw them both but by the time they joined me on the 4th floor, I was processed, in a gown and ready to go. That, and the fact that I am diabetic allowed me to jump the line.

The Even Gayer Pirate!
The other thing that made me a bit of Nervous Nellie is that compared to the last time, this time I could actually see where I was going. The time before, the cloudy gauze of cataracts insulated me from my terror a bit. Everything sounded the same, but now I could match images to sounds.

The first time they had sedated me. This time around, they set me up for sedation but never followed through. The surgery itself was unnerving, but not painful. I was soothed a bit by the banality of the conversation between Dr. Galic and his Saudi Arabian assistant who was complaining about having to go back to Saudi Arabia to work for a hospital there, as part of the deal where his government paid for his medical education. To be fair, what he was complaining about wasn't going back to home to serve, but going back to work for a hospital that was only willing to schedule for 4-5 operations in a month, when he was used to doing 4-5 operations before lunch!

Doll-Man: Eye Enemy!
After the first operation, I could see better seconds after the operation was over. This time around I was slightly disappointed that my vision was still fuzzy - if better than before.

Over the next 24 hours, my right eye got stronger and stronger until it was hard for me to tell the difference between my right eye and left eye. I guess after the first operation, the left eye was dramatically better than my cloudy right right away and I never noticed that the left eye got even stronger as that first day wore on.

I mentioned this to Dr. Galic when he was inspecting his handiwork the day after surgery and he grinned and commiserated sarcastically that I could only see 20/20 out of right eye. He gave me a clean bill of health eye wise, two weeks later, so other than a visit in six months to follow-up with him (and keep a preventive eye out for diabetic retinopathy), my eye surgery odyssey is virtually over.

The only hurdle left for me is to go visit my optometrist after my birthday on Canada Day to have her check what kind of reading glasses that I will need. Dr. Galic's assumption (and mine) is that I will probably only need pharmacy reading glasses, but I will still visit my optometrist to be sure. After all, it was her suggestion that started me on my eye surgery odyssey in the first place.


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