Don’t Get Thin — Get Healthy!

Site Navigation

Don’t Fear Cataract Surgery

After a routine eye exam I was told I had cataracts, probably from normal aging not because I hadn’t worn sunglasses for many years while climbing mountains. Last winter I was scared driving in the rain at twilight. I had to drive slowly and trust instinct to make the correct turns to get home. I tested my eyes by winking each in turn. While looking with my left eye, on-coming headlights were a blurred glare. With my right eye the lights were distinct.
Several friends had told me that the operation was no big deal. However, my older sister who lived many more years than I did in Colorado said the surgery on the first eye went okay but the old lens was hard to remove from the second eye. She still doesn’t drive at night.
It took months to schedule cataract surgery for the left eye. First I needed another test from my optometrist. This time he did extreme dilation that caused only a thin rim of my blue iris around the large black pupil. The piece of dark plastic I was to wear behind my glasses made it hard to drive home even in early afternoon. Days later I had to go to another clinic where a technologist made accurate measurements that would help the surgeon. Weeks later I met the surgeon who again had to dilate my eye to see the lens more clearly. He said I needed to use a series of eye-drops before surgery and others for a month afterward. I would have to pick them up later.
For three days before surgery four times a day, I used two types of drops: an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory drug. The day of surgery I had to wake up at 4 a.m. take these two drops 5 minutes apart then take two other drops: a dilator and an anesthetic. After thirty minutes, before leaving for surgery, a good friend put the second two types of drops in my eye then again after we arrived at the medical facility.
After a short wait, I was placed in an operating chair and an I.V. tube was put in my left arm. I was awake during surgery. At first I noticed two aqua-blue bars of light. Later I saw orange and red flashes and soon the operation was over. I was given orange juice and coffee in the recovery area by a friendly staff. My eye had been covered with an aluminum protector with small holes in it. This was taped to my head. I could see out of the pinholes as my friend drove me home. She drove me next day to see the doctor again. All was well but I still had to take the antibiotic drops, the anti-inflammation drops and a cortisone-like drop for a week. I would use the last two for three more weeks.
I now saw bright colors and clear printing on my computer screen. When I drove the next Sunday to a strange neighborhood, I saw street signs more clearly WAfter a routine eye exam I was told I had cataracts, probably from normal aging not because I hadn’t worn sunglasses for many years while climbing mountains. Last winter I was scared driving in the rain at twilight. I had to drive slowly and trust instinct to make the correct turns to get home. I tested my eyes by winking each in turn. While looking with my left eye, on-coming headlights were a blurred glare. With my right eye the lights were distinct.
Several friends had told me that the operation was no big deal. However, my older sister who lived many more years than I did in Colorado said the surgery on the first eye went okay but the old lens was hard to remove from the second eye. She still doesn’t drive at night.
It took months to schedule cataract surgery for the left eye. First I needed another test from my optometrist. This time he did extreme dilation that caused only a thin rim of my blue iris around the large black pupil. The piece of dark plastic I was to wear behind my glasses made it hard to drive home even in early afternoon. Days later I had to go to another clinic where a technologist made accurate measurements that would help the surgeon. Weeks later I met the surgeon who again had to dilate my eye to see the lens more clearly. He said I needed to use a series of eye-drops before surgery and others for a month afterward. I would have to pick them up later.
For three days before surgery four times a day, I used two types of drops: an antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory drug. The day of surgery I had to wake up at 4 a.m. take these two drops 5 minutes apart then take two other drops: a dilator and an anesthetic. After thirty minutes, before leaving for surgery, a good friend put the second two types of drops in my eye then again after we arrived at the medical facility.
After a short wait, I was placed in an operating chair and an I.V. tube was put in my left arm. I was awake during surgery. At first I noticed two aqua-blue bars of light. Later I saw orange and red flashes and soon the operation was over. I was given orange juice and coffee in the recovery area by a friendly staff. My eye had been covered with an aluminum protector with small holes in it. This was taped to my head. I could see out of the pinholes as my friend drove me home. She drove me next day to see the doctor again. All was well but I still had to take the antibiotic drops, the anti-inflammation drops and a cortisone-like drop for a week. I would use the last two for three more weeks.
I now saw bright colors and clear printing on my computer screen. When I drove the next Sunday to a strange neighborhood, I saw street signs more clearly WITHOUT glasses. Later the optometrist confirmed the left eye had 20/20 vision. Surgery had been great but all those clinic visits and eye drops are a chore I don’t look forward to if I have to go in for my right eye.

Tags: , , , , ,