Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Arrrr! (A Post-Surgery Follow-Up)

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So the cataract procedure was yesterday. 

We arrived at the surgery center ahead of the appointed hour of 7:00. After half an hour or so they called me up and told me that some of the paperwork hadn't been faxed over and I needed to fill out some forms again. It was the "what are you allergic to" and "have you ever had surgery before and if so, problems with anesthesia" stuff. Yeah, that would be handy for them to know.

They finally called me back and started to prep me. I put my glasses in my cargo pants pocket. Goodbye, perhaps forever. The nurse made a mark above my left eye with permanent marker. 

To say I was nervous would have been an understatement. I'd been pretty cool about it until they got me on the bed and started to prep me. Without glasses I couldn't see much, and that kind of added to my apprehension. I quoted a line from "Airplane!" and the nurse looked at me like I was nuts. She hadn't seen the movie. Needless to say, I was given the really good drugs. That was after the anesthesiologist marked above my eye yet again. 

Everyone who saw me asked me my birthdate and which eye they were supposed to work on. I suppose that's a safeguard.

Then, as I was floating off on a sea of something good, a nurse and the anesthesiologist both walked by and called me Julie Barnett. I get that all the time, but mild moment of panic set in. What if the paperwork was wrong? "It's Barrett," I mumbled. I probably sounded like Hyacinth Bucket protesting that her name was pronounced "Bouquet." So I took a look at my bracelet, just to be safe. 

I remember the nurse doing something on my eye (though it had been thoroughly numbed by then), getting more good drugs, and being whisked off to the procedure room.

I was awake. All I could see was three little lights. The doc and the nurse were discussing implants in general. That was kind of odd. I did feel just a little bit as they sucked the cataract out. (They broke it up with ultrasound first.) Then the put the new implant in and I was done! I'm guessing at some point during all that they did the astigmatism procedure.

They pulled all of the protective covering from my face and put a clear shield over the eye, then wheeled me out. I could read the exit sign. You have to remember that I'm in the sonar-assisted vision club and didn't have a contact in my right eye, so reading the sign was a really big deal. Then they helped me into the recover room and brought Paul in. I could see his face! And yeah, I cried. 

Spent the day in and out of sleep and keeping up with eye drops. This morning I'm able to go without the shield, but I'll have to wear it at night and I guess I'll be wearing glasses to protect the eye. I'll get more info on that this morning.

The vision in my left eye is still blurry, but oddly enough, I can see pretty well far away if I wear my reading glasses. I won't be surprised to get some vision correction in the right eye today. I've been going with a modified mix of progressive vision and sorta monocular vision because they don't make progressive contacts in my strength. That will have to change now.

I'll leave you with a pair of pictures. Don't worry. Nothing gross, except my ugly mug.


Those re the markings on my eye.


Behold the Dread Pirate Julie! I know your timbers are shivering. 

I'm off to the follow-up.

Tags: Life

Filed under: Life   Surgery         


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