Author Archives: 6176746f6c6c65

About 6176746f6c6c65

Attorney; graduated from KU, 1972, 1979; widowed; two adult children, one grandchild.

First Cataract Surgery: Final (Planned) Report

I had the one month (and last planned) follow-up today about the cataract surgery on my right eye. I learned a few things (more on that later), but the news was all good (at least to me).

Healing has gone well. No need to continue the Prednisone eye drops (which, per instructions, were discontinued after Monday’s application). Pupil has returned to its prior recalcitrance, not dilating with the first application of the drops designed for said purpose. Pressure in the eye itself is “normal”, as is the case with the left eye. Eyesight measured at 20/25 (last time it was “measured” in these terms, it was 20/850 before cataracts happened ), may actually get to 20/20 over the next six months. All good.

Now, for things I learned. Due to the size of the cataract, it was necessary to make an incision in the sclera, rather than in the lens itself, to remove it. As several students got to see (with my readily granted permission; as you folks know, I’m all about education), there is a suture there (in good shape and will eventually dissolve) which explains the bloodshot appearance of that part of the eye. Due to the size of the cataract (and will be true on the left eye, too), iris hooks were needed to position the iris correctly when the artificial lens was being implanted. Finally, as I suspected, the 14.5 power of the lens relates to its strength. Given all the above, it was pronounced by the resident and students present that I was quite fortunate to end up with vision so near 20/20, it being a high probability the vision would not recover so well.

So, fnord and PP, you now know my experience, which was a bit atypical in parts, but totally “normal” in other ways. If either of you has this surgery to consider in the near future, I hope my tale has relieved some anxiety.

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Ten Days and Counting

May 22 was the “one week” follow up appointment. All is healing well, the medical types tell me all is well, and as I posted late last week, the vision in the surgery eye is greatly improved. My enthusiasm for the improvement was amusing to the nurse and physician who examined me.

I feel it appropriate to caution readers that not every surgery for cataracts will be so successful. In fact (although there is no current indication to the contrary existing), the outcome of surgery on the left eye may well be different. The primary factor involved is the underlying health of the eye itself pre-surgery. Thus, if there is macular degeneration in its nascent stages; heretofore undetected glaucoma; or damage due to undiagnosed or untreated diabetes, to list a few, the outcome will likely be not as positive as my experience. Also important are observation of the post-surgical orders as to eye drops, etc., any infection which might arise, and complications of surgery.

All that said, the eye drop regimen has changed from 3 separate drops 4 times a day to 2 separate drops 3 times a day. I continue to wear the shield from time to time at night, although the instructions say I no longer need to so do, due to allergies causing itchy eyes (I really do not want to rub my eye during sleep which might dislodge the implanted lens). Oh, and I continue wearing the funky shades when outdoors, much to the delight of the younger kids around who are fascinated (one thought I was blind, due to the glasses plus the cane; with her mother’s permission, I explained as best I could to a five year old what was going on) or simply very, very curious. Oh, lest I forget; light (from whatever source) no longer has this yellow tint.

More later, as appropriate.

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Cataract Surgery: the Next Day

First, it is not easily believed how quick the procedure is. Even with a more complex procedure needed, due to the maturity and size of the cataract, I was out of recovery at 10:30 a.m. after surgery which began about 9:40.

When I checked in, the normal process ensued. Good news: weight, fully dressed, 222.2 lbs, down four pounds from ten days earlier. Anyway, in pre-op, got settled in, eye drops administered (several times) while nurses giving me a hard time about my eyelashes getting in the way. IV hooked up, sedation administered, all is right with the world. Discovered that right eye became totally useless for sight, had good discussions with nurses and anesthesiologist, then off to surgery.

Warm blanket brought, which I didn’t need as it made me too hot. Draped, surgery began. B-98 on, everything goes well. When finally able to see from the eye, it bothered me that the first thing was Dr. Gangadahr happily stitching the new lens in place. Eye shield applied, taped down, back to recovery, where I was delivered into the custody of Miss Bobbie (I called her ma’am, to avoid her picking me up and breaking me over her knee, which she could have easily done). After checking all things out, she had me stand up, walk a bit, and rip this thing that had been put on my back in pre-op. She then reads me several things about what I will do (the way it sounded, I had no option if I wished to continue to live) for the next four weeks, gave me a written document containing all my orders, and told me to get dressed. Once I completed this task, she gave me a roll of tape (to put eye shield on at night for four nights), and those funky dark glasses that one gets after such surgery, telling me that I WILL put them on when going into the sunlight. She then escorted me to one of the other folks, told her I had been her best patient, and could go.Relieved to get out in one piece, I did just that. My neighbor got me home, at which time I ate a rather large breakfast. At 8 p.m., I took off the eye shield, and administered the first round of eye drops.I note how bright everything is, some double vision, and that my current prescription (glasses) will need to be changed once all is done. After a second round of drops, eye shield in place, to sleep I go.

This morning went to follow-up exam. All seems to be well.High point of this is being able to see the E at the top of the chart with the surgery eye, and read the second line (using the pin hole setting), all without glasses. First time I’ve been able to do this in 30 years (either eye). I was told the double vision would resolve in a day or so, and if it did, could begin driving myself next Monday. Drops continue, eye seems to open up more as the day progresses, and double vision decreasing. All is well.

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Cataract Surgery: Prologue

On 9 May, I went for my pre-op physical. As I am in good shape except for the deficiencies due to the stroke, this took little time.

While each of us will have a slightly different experience, there are some things that are apparently common to this procedure. These are:

1) Two days before surgery, administration of two different kinds of eye drops four times a day begins. One is an antibiotic, administered on a prophylactic basis; the other is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory.

2) The day of surgery, at some point subsequent thereto, a third eye drop is introduced to be administered along with the other two four times a day. This is Prednisone. When it is time to administer the eye drops for the first time, the patch comes off the surgery eye. I am told improvement in vision will be noticeable at this time.

3) That night, and for three nights following, an eye patch is to be worn to bed. This would amuse my wife, were she living.

4) There will be a follow up appointment. In my case, it will be the next day. At this appointment, I will be advised the length of time to continue the eye drops.

5) There is no need to wear the eye patch during the day after the day of surgery unless advised otherwise. Sunglasses to be worn if going outside.

That’s about it. My second surgery is now scheduled for June 24, when we repeat some or all the above. Hope this is helpful to fnord and PP, as well as anyone else facing such surgery.

Almost forgot: a driver will be needed the day of surgery and for the follow up. 

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Some News

Cataract surgeries scheduled for May 13 (right eye) and June 24 (left eye). Looking forward to being able to see, read, and generally get on with normal activities when this is completed.

DJ12_1327a_____p5181183776835

Above demonstrates Spring has arrived in Central Maine, so it surely will be here soon.

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Got Snow?

Going to class in the snow.

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by | January 25, 2013 · 5:33 pm

Assistance, Please

I’ve been mulling what follows over for 48 hours. Arriving at no easy answer/resolution, I turn to my fellow PPPers for any thoughts, suggestions, recommendations or other input you might offer.

As many know, I reside in a townhouse situated within an apartment complex. Given the length of time here, my walks, and general interaction from sitting on the front stoop, I meet many residents. Some, I know by name. Most, I recognize. As the property manager (newly hired, relatively) said last week, most know who I am.

One of the latter is a young man I’ll refer to as W (he’s a writer). W and his spouse (“S” hereinafter) reside in a townhouse in the building to my South.I’ve not met S.

Thursday evening W knocked on my door looking to bum a cigarette. No problem there. As we were standing outside, I asked W how things were as it was apparent he wanted to talk. He responded with a not very good. He then told me that in early November, the little boy (about one year old) that I had met earlier this Fall had died suddenly. My head reeling, I made the appropriate noises and told him about my wife’s death four years ago. As we talked, it became clear that even though the boy was not W’s child (biologically), W had been very attached to him. W then mentioned he was in counseling with an appropriate individual whose name I recognized. We continued to talk, with me listening and offering such bits of learning I had to offer. During this time (about an hour), W’s cell phone rang multiple times, irking W. He finally answered, and after that conversation, he and I continued. W was quite agitated.

W acknowledged he was working through his grief, having moved recently to the anger stage. W then went on to tell me S refused to get any help, preferring to habituate various bars nightly for the purported purpose of becoming and remaining numb. Further, S had locked W’s car and taken the keys (which is why W was out of smokes). The rationale was to prevent W from potentially harming himself. I think otherwise, but whatever. Then, S calls again, and got most disturbed by the fact W was not home, but rather out talking with a neighbor. S kept getting louder and louder, finally terminating the call. W said S doesn’t like their next-door neighbor, who has been trying to help. The feeling is mutual; I’m acquainted with the neighbor (who has an adorable 15 month old daughter).

The next day, W and S’s neighbor came by. She related that there had been a terrible argument after S had returned from the bar (“shit-faced”, she called it), and S had threatened her earlier that day. After she clarified that W hadn’t been talking to her, S went ballistic and wanted to know with whom W had been talking. She didn’t know, but had a feeling it was I involved. So she could stay truthful, I neither confirmed nor denied. Her parting comment was that anyone who had been talking to W needed to be on their toes.

The question(s): If W comes back, I intend to do my best to help in any way I can. Should I refuse to so do? If S shows up shit-faced and threatening, 911 gets called by me. No further discussion on that. However, if S comes by and just wants to talk (without W) about the boy’s death, should I listen or suggest S find another outlet? If I was still practicing, the answer would be easier.

Any advice, etc., offered will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

N.B. Full disclosure: W’s mother (single) has seen me during my excursions and has bugged W about who I am. I’ve told W the bare details, and he wishes to introduce the two of us. If his mother is the woman with whom I had a conversation two months ago utside W’s front door, I’m interested.

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