Monday, April 1, 2013


   Wednesday, MARCH 27, 2013.

   Anyone who knows my character knows that I'm not afraid of anything. I rush in where angels fear to tread (which is a trite saying, I know, because angels aren't afraid of  anything.  My surgery was scheduled for the above date, and I was given a portfolio of instructions as to what to expect. However, my Aunt Dot suggested I "go online" and look over the procedures on the videos I'd find there. So I did.
   Some of those were enough to make anybody back out. However, being the brave soul that I am, I watched: the first couple I hit were lazer surgeons who just changed the shape of the eyeball, so I had to wade around in the surf in my ignorance until I found some "surgeries". One was from a California man whose surgeon took a video of his work.
    Talk about a hacker: First off, his blade sliced into the corner of the eye and blood came out. All through his procedure he reminded me of a butcher slicing meat. He kept right on, never mentioning the bleeding, but I was not too impressed with his technique.
   Fortunately, two other surgeons did excellent work and narrated their way through the procedures as they did them. Most impressive was Dr. Paul Richardson with Harvard credentials, who not only used both hands at the same time, but very gently and expertly worked as he talked: A small slit was made into the edge of the eye to reach the affected lens. The laser was used to break up the hard film that covered the lens, then to suck it out--lens and all, as the lens has to be replaced. All the while the debris had to be slurped up by the tiny tool and moisture kept on the eye. Then the new lens inserted through the slit, and put into place and finally "polished", which was to prevent scar tissue on the retina later on (I think). His surgery took about a half hour, all the while the patient's eye is held open with a clamp.
    Then a Dr. David Wong also narrated and worked, but not quite as detailed as Dr. Richardson's surgery had been.
    Having seen all that and remembering the "butcher", I told Dr. Jungschaffer I'd watched these videos and what I'd seen, including the "butcher.".
    She told me not to watch any more videos.
     Come the day of the surgery I had a lot of problems. I was a little apprehensive about the surgery, knowing I had to have my eye open the whole ordeal (I thought of it as that) and not knowing how I'd react to the anhesthesia, but that was not my main problem, of which there were two.
   First, the instruction sheet said for after surgery "No Bending". Well, as I am the chief cook and bottle washer of my household of animals and Mom in her 90's, I did not know how on earth I was going to do my work without bending. I didn't know anyone in Port Orchard nor had I anyone to take me to the surgery or stay with Mom. I thought I had it all worked out. My brother was coming in from Denver and my son said he'd drive me to the surgery, also the post-operative visit in East Bremerton the next day.
    Well, Buzzard's Luck: When ya cain't kill nothin' and nothin' won't die---!!!!--a whole lot of complications set in. First off, my brother hadn't renewed his driver's license, his arrival was on a Saturday, so he couldn't get a rental car and had to take a taxi to my daughter's house., even after they got the license thing renewed, confirmation for the expiration date was unavailable  on a weekend, so he had to borrow my daughter's car and return it to her when he left. Which upset the applecart. He couldn't stay with Mom. the cart tipped over more: the son was called to work that day and couldn't be in two places at once.
   So naturally I got upset with all this badgering and toppling of plans, not knowing what the heck to do.
    I was in the prep room at the surgery. My son kept saying he needed to get to work and how long was I going to be (how the heck did I know)--(Never again!) Everyone at the surgery center was absolutely the kindest, most considerate surgury team I've encountered, all were great, and compassionate. But I had been honest and said I had experienced chest pains a couple weeks ago, so my surgery was delayed further. They gave me an ekg. The anethesiologist came in and I asked him how the ekg turned out. He said it showed "some stuff" that he didn't agree with. I asked him what stuff. That I'd had a heart attack at some time in the past. I said I'd never had a heart attack in my life--that I knew of--I'd had lots of chest pains, but I always attributed it to my clotting factor, like the time the bursa swelled and tossed me in the hospital when it was discovered I had clots in my lungs.
    I'd told them about the 4 times the clotting factor I have. They were very thorough. Each team member asked me the same questions to make sure I knew what was going on and that they knew what was going on. A spot put over my right eye, not once but twice. Did I know who I was and why I was there, and what were they going to do, etc. That part of it was kinda fun. They asked did I have antibiotics before my dental surgery, and I said yes. I told them to be sure and give me enough anhesthesia, and they said, oh, and even more than you'll need (with a smile).
     My son was upset about the work which upset me, but he stayed and since he had to go to work I didn't get to recover in the recovery room and get something to drink and eat, which was kinda disappointing, but he needed to get on with his day, as he works for himself and has to be there when the contractors call and need him.
    In the prep room you're put into this rolling chair which reclines. They have several, and they work like clockwork and are so efficient at getting people into and out of the rooms in perfect sync. I was rolled into the surgery and they reassured me it would all go well, and then my surgeon began and Dr. Smith was right alongside, being very kind and reassuring.
    At the surgery itself I was really amazed, as something happened I didn't expect. Of course I had prayed and asked the Lord to take care of all the problems. The staff had thought I was "afraid" of the surgery, but that wasn't it at all: I was apprehensive, yes, but not because I didn't trust the team: It all had to do with the "No bending" afterwards, which they informed me in pre-op  meant no strenuous bending, not ordinary feeding-the-cat bending, so that relieved that part. Of course the transportation problem and Mom's having to stay alone that long were both a worry to me, but, it all did work out in the end and Mom of course was ok and my son eventually did get to work, however didn't get home until 9 pm that night.
    Back to the amazing adventure: I could feel Dr. J working on my eye, but it was a pleasant feeling, and the most amazing thing happened. All throughout the surgery, I saw this incredible calaidescope
    of colors in glorious array--moving. Reds, yellows, green, blue, white, lavendar, all floating around in my vision. It was beautiful. And I could feel Dr. J. "polishing" the new lens when it was put in. What a trip! Wasn't an ordeal at all, but an adventure!
    Conclusion of this adventure will be forthcoming: It's the midnight hours and I've gotta hit the hay. another post op visit tomorrow. This is day 4, and vision isn't quite back to normal yet.

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