Friday, August 19, 2016

'Twas the Night Before the Night After

.... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse ('cause no eating was allowed after midnight, not even mouse-like nibbling on a cheese stick).

I started writing this the night before my eye surgery, like the wimp I am. Hey, who is not a little unsettled knowing the surgical people early in the morn are going to test you every which way, stick an IV in you, have the anesthesiologist explain what kind of sleepy or happy juice he/she is going to shoot you up with, roll you in the OR (or in this case have me walk in -- a first for me), and then let the surgeon proceed with altering with knife or laser the agreed-upon body part in need of remediation? I didn't finish the post, figuring I could use whatever pre-op rest I could grab. So I am finishing this the night after the night before.

Some folks are stoic about their health challenges. They do not open up about them at all. Then there is me -- constantly blog-blabbing about every little thing health-related (well, some big things, too). At least no one is forced to read my ramblings about the need for various bodily and functional repairs during the senior years. So if you don't wanna, don't. As for me, I have found it fascinating how one physical challenge after another has come into my life shortly after hitting 60: spinal stenosis, major heart surgery, laser-scoping of one knee and total replacement of the other, and now cataract surgeries on both eyes -- with both being accomplished now within this month of August. A 15-year tiptoe through the tulips of seniorhood. To me it is helpful to analyze the challenges as they come along, and take pride in overcoming them as best one can (with a lot of help). Who knows? Maybe discussion will help others as well.

So son snapped pre-op photo: ugly huh?
It was either have the eyework done or gradually go blind. Going for consultation, I had no idea it could be about anything more than preventing a bad outcome. To my surprise, my surgeon, Dr. Kathleen Leone, explained that with current technology she could not only remove the cataracts, but implant a teensy lens that might vastly improve my sight. I could choose between being able to see well at a distance just walking around (as with my dawg) or seeing well when reading. Naturally this steadfast dawgwalker chose the first option. As a result, just 4 or 5 hours after surgery, a technician at my follow-up visit was enthusiastic about my sight testing 20/20 in both eyes. Wow! On the other hand, reading words up close is hard if not impossible to do unaided; however, a pair of drugstore reading glasses takes care of that problem, at least until prescription reading glasses become available.

It was a good trade-off. I don't think I've ever had 20/20 vision in my entire life. It is a late-inning blessing. And I am immensely grateful to my son Bobby for driving my wife Allyne and I to the out-of-state surgical center where this miracle happened. (And especially driving us back, of course, because I sure couldn't have.)

The day after and approaching the night after, I find myself a bit wobbly. The doctor had advised me to take it easy for a while, maybe a week or so, but that is hard to do around here, especially with an Incredible Walking Dawg training those begging eyes on me. But I have cut back in favor of more recliner time. Maybe this kind of happy juice did not agree with me as much the Percocet that was dispensed with my aortic root/valve replacement back in 2005. Everything should settle down and offer clear vistas for enjoying, especially if we get the lower temps and humidity the weatherman is promising for next week.

In short, fellow geezers, if cataracts are limiting your sight, perhaps to the extent of causing double or triple vision when you drive at night, I would recommend checking out the options with your eye doc. There may be a way to bring more clarity to your life, which means having more to enjoy.

                                                 © Robert G. Holland Sr.

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