Thursday, October 08, 2009

Surgery Day

Not sure how clear this post will be, but I had the surgery this afternoon. For the first few hours, you have usable vision, then you are pretty much blind for a few days.

I got to the surgery center and after filling out all my consent paperwork, they started sedating me and putting about six different types of drops into my eyes. They were mostly antibiotic and anesthetic. As I was waiting in the pre-op area, dressed up in my hair net, shoe covers and smock (to avoid bringing in germs) I asked the nurse for another Valium because I was not sure the first kicked in. She laughed and said that it had taken effect and she wished that I could hear myself speak. Because of my body weight, anymore than what they already gave me would be dangerous. I have never taken Valium before, but the effect is similar to nitrous oxide. You are aware of what is going on, feel like you are a part of it (you actually are not) and do not really care what happens. After all these drops, my eyes were sufficiently numb and I could not keep them open. The most unusual thing about these drops is that they get into your tear ducts, then flow into your sinuses and irritate your throat. The nurse used betadine to cleanse my eyelids and all away around my eyes. I would have liked to have seen that (betadine is a horrible yellow color) but they would not let me. I had to keep them closed.

They took me into the surgical suite and into a reclining chair. The chair had a headpiece that would not allow me to move my head. Totally necessary if there is a laser involved. Wouldn't want to slip! I was surprised at the number of people present for this surgery. Dr. A, a tech that ran the machine and two nurses. When the chair rolls under the machine, you look up at a flashing red light. At this point, they bandaged one of my eyes and put this horrible suction device around my eye. I wanted nothing more than to clench my eyes shut. No pain, just unbelievable pressure. There were more drops and rinsing of the eye with cold fluids. Horribly uncomfortable. Dr. A used some sort of tool to scrape off my top epilethial cells, then more rinsing.

The laser itself came after this, which was surprisingly loud. I had to keep focused on the blinking red light, which at this point looked like I was being sucked into a vortex from a cheap science fiction movie. Lots of flashing lights, looking down a tunnel. The worst part of this experience was smelling the tissue burn. I used my years of yoga and meditation to breathe and send myself somewhere else. Then it was onto eye number two. Not quite as bad because I sort of knew what was coming. I guess the valium really did kick-in because I laid there, rigid on the operating table and did not really care that I was smelling my cornea being cauterized. Funny. Both eyes got protective contact lenses and now I get to wear really HOT goggles. I have to sleep in them for a week.

Nicole took me Qdoba for dinner, then home where I crashed. I cannot tolerate light, so I am sitting in my dark condo wearing my sunglasses with my screen resolution as low as possible. I am not in pain yet, although I can feel it beginning. The anesthesia is wearing off. I am hoping I can make it through the night without any pain pills. There is always an eye surgeon on 24 hour call on surgery days, so if I have an issue, they can take care of it.

My eyes are really swollen right now, but I have been given steroid drops, Pred Forte, to keep that in check. I hope that my night will go okay and I am headed to bed to rest my eyes.

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