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Friday, August 4, 2017

The "My Monthly Surgery!" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Staring at myself in the mirror, looking at my left eye and wondering if the pupil is supposed to be as large as it is.  The blackness in the center of my eye reaches the edge of the iris and, to tell you the truth, is scary looking.  I had just had cataract surgery two hours before at a local surgery center, done by my eye doctor.  He assured me I had a successful surgery to correct the blurriness and foggy condition I had experienced for the past year or so.  I know what I'm viewing in the mirror is probably exactly what it's supposed to look like, but it's still scary.  I have had surgery on many parts of my body, many during the past ten years, but to me surgery on my vision always worried me.  I had complete trust in my surgeon, Dr. Jones, whom I have been visiting since he entered the practice known as Eye Doctors of Lancaster.  I remembered him as a student at Manheim Township High School where I taught while he was a student there.  He knew I was very apprehensive and tried to tell me what I was to have done is a surgery that is performed thousands of times every year.  
LDub displaying his Ray Charles look after surgery.
A surgery that is fairly simple and one that has an extremely high success rate.  Told me not to worry about it since I would be able to see much better in a short time.  Well, what you have just read happened a few days ago and he was right.  My eye is beginning to look normal once again and I am definitely able to see better.  I no longer need the plastic shield over my eye at night which was a preventative measure to protect the eye.  I no longer have to wear the dark plastic glasses to protect my eye from the brilliant sunlight.  For those who are contemplating cataract surgery, I can tell you that I certainly didn't enjoy it, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I am the kind of person who can't stand to touch my eyes, could never wear contacts due to having to put them in my eyes and even give myself eye drops if needed.  I'm lucky I have a wife who understands and helps me with drops when necessary.  The operation was very easy.  I didn't even have to change into a hospital gown.  I had an IV in my arm to give me medicine to calm me to help me remain still during the surgery.  
Parts of the eye.
I could see what was being done, and I'll tell you I was terrified before the surgery that I would freak out.  Didn't happen!  Dr. Jones spoke to me as he did the surgery and made sure I understood what was happening.  I felt very little; just a slight pressure during the surgery.  The surgery consisted of making a small incision in my cornea to remove my damaged lens by using ultasound waves to soften and break up the old lens and then suction it out of my eye. He then replaced my damaged lens with a new clear plastic lens (approximately 5mm in size) that had minute extensions on it that held it in place while the incision heals.  
I am holding a lens of the exact
size I had placed in my eye.  You
can see the extensions on it that are
necessary to hold it in place.
I now must have daily eye drops quite a few times a day.  One is an antibiotic solution while one is a steroid used to reduce swelling.  I am not supposed to bend over if possible so I don't place extra pressure on my eye.  Not to touch the eye or rub it or get anything in it for about eight weeks.  If I find it necessary to use a power saw while cutting framing at the gallery where I work, I should use goggles to keep the sawdust from getting in my eye.  As I type this the day after surgery I have no pain, but do have slightly blurry vision due to swelling in the eye.  I do notice that my vision is much better in the eye and wonder why I didn't do this long ago.  I even find that I can give myself drops if necessary.  I'm looking forward to a new pair of glasses with correction in my right eye only.  If you are reading this and have put off cataract surgery due to worry about what can happen, I can tell you I was one of you and find the procedure to be easy and with very, very little pain or problems. Go for it!!  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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