Tuesday, February 01, 2011

CATARACT SURGERY before and after

Finally after years of diminishing vision causing snowflakes and halos around headights and tailights of cars at night. Not being able to read street names. Seeing double and blurred letters on the hazy computer screen. 6 and 0 having the same rounded look as number 9..

The instrument panel, back to road refocus while driving, was non-existant. Not recognizing my wife waving from a distance in stores really got her upset. The cellphone screen was a blur for several long seconds of refocus and concentration.

Having trouble reading small print on containers, while checking the actual ingredients for bad stuff, like 'High Fructose Corn Syrup'. No longer enjoying reading books before bed. TV images not clear, with failure to recognise 'the Bad Guy' from the good guy. Handgun firing range scores, not anywhere like in years past.

All of the above and more, convinced me it was time to get the old worn out cloudy lens removed from my left eye. My hesitation was justified by my own mother's failed procedure many years ago. A woman eye Dr, who has since left the state of NM and moved to Washington state, incompetantly blinded mom's eye.

During the failed operation, Mom heard Dr Betty H. say the equivelent of 'Whoops' and panic set in. After meeting a dozen of that woman Dr's failures while working for a senior center, mom was relieved to meet Dr Cannon and Dr Wienstein. The two Dr's saved mom's remaining eye.

My eye Doctor verified that it was time to remove the cataract lens, so I made an appointment with Southwest Eyecare
  • The day came quickly and they confirmed through their further tests that the lens was truely cloudy and needed replacement surgery.

    We set up a day, one week later for consultation and computerized measurements for the correct lens curvature. I was given a prescription for the two different anti-bacterial eyedrops ($150) and told to start them every two hours the evening before surgery.

    During consultation, Doctor Paul Sanchez
  • had me hold out my hands with thumbs touching and forefingers together. I was told to look through the spade shaped opening at the wall switch. He then covered my right eye.

    The light switch dissappeared. He said my right eye was obviously dominent for distance, as it is on most right handed people. He recomended that I have the implanted left lens curvature set as an intermediate distance to include fairly close vision. Reading glasses will most likely be required for closer work.

    My right eye was the primary distance vision. He said that it would fool my brain if the lens was set for distance in the left eye. We don't want to fool our brains with technology. Not a good idea. When the right eye is done next, it will maintain it's job and even improve as the distance champ.

    A small kit with the proper eye shades and firm taped night cover, including instructions, were my $10 requirement. All was going as anticipated according to friends that had sucessfully gone through the procedure at southwest Eyecare. No food at least six hours before. This morning my wife accompanied me as the neccessary driver, to the eye surgery facility at the Presbyterian North medical facility, AAESC 5901 Harper Dr NE Alb NM 87109.

    We left during the early morning snowfall from the big storm that was crossing the nation. 6:45am arrival was nice because no traffic was clogging the streets. Sign in at front office, verify suplemental insurance and Medicare, Identity sticker placed over left eyebrow to ensure no mistaken surgery. My blood sugar was even tested by Karen. How much more caring does it get? :>)

    Leave all valuables and coat with my wife in pleasant waiting room, and quickly I was whisked into the prep room. Anna with her 40 years of experience, set up the 'eye lid open' retaining system and inserted the IV into back of my hand for administering sedative.

    Within minutes, the gurney was rolled into the Operating room and Doctor Paul Sanchez began his procedure. The anesthesiologist started to inject the mild sedative through the IV.

    I could clearly hear the team talking while the bright light was focused into my eye. Doc told me to hold very still, don't wiggle feet, don't talk. The light had a focal point of three small squares with some blurred striations.

    He then used a hollow needle to suction out the old lens he had broken up with an ultra sonic vibration. No vibration was perceived through the desenitized eye. The old lense was a little darker and firmer than he anticipated, but no real problems getting the lens chamber cleaned out.

    With a wetting solution periodically applied, Doc inserted the rolled up Intraocular lens
  • through the one mil opening. It then opens like a tiny two winged galactic disc, to fill the sack where the old worn out crystaline lens had once been.

    I was watching as the three small blurry squares in the center of the bright light, became well defined cubes with little stacked sections like a bisquit. Already the images were improving.

    After declaring success, Doc set a temporary contact lense in place to cover the one millimeter opening that he had worked through. It was to make the tiny hole less scratchy during the healing. The nurse applied a perforated metal covering to the eye, as I quickly regained limited vision.

    Excellent coffee was brought to my hand. My wife was called in to return my personal effects. Walked out to waiting car by Anna, wife drove me home where breakfast was welcome. After eating and checking the computer for whatevers, I crawled into bed and slept for a couple of hours.... No Pain.

    Doctor Paul Sanchez called me this evening to ask about my condition. "All Excellent" was my response. He told me that he sleeps better knowing that all went well. He did eight surgeries today. Most days he does ten, but had two 'storm' cancelations. He gave a reminder that 7 AM tomorrow is the day after follow up, for any problems.

    Doc said to take off the perforated metal cover and try out the new eyesight tonight. Keep up the eyedrop routine for one day. Place the firm cover for sleeping. No adverse pressure or wiping of eye with fingers. No soapy bath water in eye for a week. I don't like soapy water in eyes at any time..

    Amazing how things are so clear now. Arabic numerals on the clock across the room, are not blurs. The computer words are seemingly surrealistic and in 'Bold' appearing print. A slight 'rosey' tint is to be expected for a time. I can now shift my gaze from the screen to the keyboard and back, with no refocusing problems.

    The formerly ivory tinted background on the 'confuser' :-) screen, is now brilliant white...through the left lens. The partially cataract blurred right eye lens still sees the screen as Ivory. On this black backgroound blog, the type is silvery white now, Whereas before and through the right eye, appears a dull ivory. The old original lens was crystalized and yellowed and in need of replacement. Reminds me of the car headlights that get aged and yellow.

    Have not yet tried out the night vision. Over the counter, lubicant eyedrops are a temporary regimen to maintain the clarity and comfort. I will let you know about any changes. so far it is a drastic improvement. Over 8 various people were involved in the process. I will further document any up dates and get back to post them :>) Cheers my friends.. BTW I make far fewer errors while typing...Far Fewer. I Was practically blind........

    In order to break the increasingly blurred images, I often had to shift my gaze around the room and return to the screen every few minutes. Contrary to before, the ambient light from the flat screen is now enough to clearly illuminate the keyboard.

    The two prescription drops are now being put in place every four hours. One following day of treatment followed by three more weeks of care, should then have eysight settled into focus. After that, any lense corrections can be made on glasses.... if even needed. At this particular early point, with 20-25 in left eye according to the tech, I see better now than at any time 'In My Life'. Eyesight is a marvelous 'Gift'.

    Today 2 Feb 2011, I also met Dr Cannon
  • who initiated this procedure in New Mexico years ago. After 20 years, I finally met one member of the team that saved mom's remaining eye. Thank You Dr Cannon. Thank you also for a lifetime of upholding your family tradition of traveling to South America on Missionary trips to save eyesight of those living in depressed areas.

    One week later:
    My appointment with Dr Sanchez at 7am went less than perfect. I had been handed a schedule as I left the surgery center. On it was a line drawn through the third day referring to the continuation of the eyedrops..... Bad interpretation.

    Thinking that the drops were no longer important, I reduced their dosage to once a day for comfort. Dr Sanchez examined my eye and said OK re-start the schedule to four times a day and keep it up for a week. After that week, discontinue the one type of drops and continue the other type for three more weeks.

    I had narrowly escaped getting an infection. My eyesight suffered a setback on the vision test. The other rule was to not lift anything over 25 pounds. Our house flooded from a frozen pipe and I had no options.

    Again I did the wrong things. Hopefully the eyesight will recover from my indescretions. Rule: eye drops, eye drops, eye drops and NO lifting. Eye seems to be recovering vison now that the restarted regimen of drops is being followed. Vision is getting clearer each day.

    Eye drops are doing their job. At $255 they should be pretty potent. One tiny botle ran out almost immediately requiring a refill. I complained to the Costco pharmacy mgr. She called the company and they agreed to replace the bottle. I am getting the right cataract removed and replaced this next month so it will be used then. The recent $27 billion dollar 'extortion' from the pharmaceuticals by this present administration under Obamacare, of course has to be passed on by added costs to the paying customers..

    What an amazing health care system was currently in place in this United States of America. The dedication and attention to detail of my entire team of approximately 10 friendly people, was second to none. The Presbyterian North AAESC facility was simple yet immaculate. Their overall service and devoted attention was Excellent.

    The latest high technology apparatus used in this state of the art procedure, required expert skills which this experienced team had in abundance at every stage of the testing and surgery. Their dedication turns this modern marvel of science and engineering, into routine, resulting in eyesight far better than I ever had in my entire life. Dr Sanchez is now scheduling my other eye. He says with the restored vision, I willmost likely not require glasses for the rest of my life. What a miracle.

    Even the attractive receptionist at Southwest Eyecare was great to the previously cloudy lensed eyes of this old Geezer. Bet she looks better each next visit.

    Health Care 'Change' and 'Hopeiness' under this new president was mentioned with trepidation by my team... 'after' I mocked the 'presumed' neccessity for it.

    We all desire to see the number of states that are questioning this ponderous newly 'Socialized' program, increase in vocal agreement to Abolish it. The 2010 elections have now sent an earthquake through this current power base now presiding. 2012 will further shake up this present regime's 'Agenda' of lowest common denominator...sub prime performance.... Socialism.

    Another wonderful day of Exceptionalism in presently 'world class' Health Care, while living as a legal Citizen in this United States of America, "One Nation Under God"

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