Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cataract Journey: Countdown

As part of my preparation for cataract surgery, I’ve begun talking with my eyes. Or rather, talking to them. I say, “Eyes, something exciting and perhaps a bit perplexing is going to happen to you. But don’t worry, it’s like a hip replacement. It’ll help you see even better than before. I’m going to make sure you are safe (antibiotic eyedrops) and comfortable (steroid and anti-inflammatory drops). And we will have such fun seeing bright colors and sharp detail for many years to come.”

They don’t have a lot to say in response. But…

A week or so ago, I started dreaming about the surgery. It was the usual showing up without clothes or without having attended class or without having memorized your lines. In this case, I arrived at the surgery center, having forgotten I was supposed to fast. There was much hoo-ha and calculation of what I had eaten how long ago.

This last weekend, I drove our van down to LA to help my older daughter move in with us. The drive down was in daylight and the only visual problem I had was seeing the street signs while looking for hotel and then her apartment. But (for various reasons, you know the drill) we did not get started back until 7 pm. I am normally an early-to-bed person and ended up consuming as much caffeine as I usually do in a year, I’m sure. I was painfully aware of how stressful and difficult night driving has gotten to be. Almost all the freeway driving was in darkness. I have never appreciated trucks so much – all those lights made them easy to discern, much more so than the lane markers. Daughter and I took turns leading as we caravaned along, too.

I could imagine my poor eyes saying, “We’re trying, mom! This is the best we can do!”

“I can’t ask for more, eyes. I’m going to get you some help real soon now.”

So now I am taking my pre-op eyedrops four times a day. Fortunately, I’ve been using lubricating drops for so long, I’m used to putting drops in my eyes. After surgery, I’ll add two more. I have to wait two minutes in between each medication so it doesn’t wash out the one before. Other surgeons may have different protocols. I’m observing this one meticulously. I’ll be taking these for a while, because I’ll still be on some of them when it will be time to start full doses prior to the second surgery. 

I am considering dubbing this season The Summer Of The Eye Drops. 

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