Dos ojos son mejores que uno.

Yesterday I had a cataract removed from my left eye. I didn’t meet the surgeon until I was in the operating room. That is because the ophthalmologist I had previously spoken with was on leave due to a new baby in his family. I ended up having an equally apt surgeon. Or hopefully it will be the case.

Any sort of surgery is imperfect. Saying, ” … having a cataract removed,” is kind of half of the work performed in 30 minutes or so in the operating room. During the surgery, one’s lens is removed from the eye. And a new artificial lens is implanted, As we age, the lens in an eye often is made opaque. The result is what can be described as a “cloudy lens.” Vision is hampered and colors are less brilliant. In my case, I also see so-called “starburst” halos from light including those from automobiles. I have driven too many times more than I should have with this condition because your depth perception is shot to hell.  Driving becomes dangerous with this condition.

This is what I see at night, plus hundreds of even more lights glaring as such. Hopefully cataract surgery will reduce “starburst” halos.

Cataract surgery is one of the most common surgeries these days.

Most doctors use a technique known as Phacoemulsification. In very general terms the surgeon makes a tiny incision then uses tools to break up the lens and cataract followed by the implanting the new lens.

Different eye drops are used during and after this surgery. Eye drops and a numbing “gel” which enables the surgeon to anesthetize the eye were used in surgery. I was given a little kit at the VA, where my surgery was done Wednesday, that contains an eye shield and three different eye drops. These eye drops are applied for a month or more.

The amount of tape the surgeon used on me could prompt a commercial for whatever company where the medical tape is purchased. I had an IV inserted on top of my hand and it was taped. As the surgery began, my surgeon said she was going to tape head to the bed.

“This is for, in the event that you doze off, you will remember you are on the OR table, she said.

The attending surgeon told those personnel, however many there were, that they and I should not talk when she began to do her thing. And I could only talk if experienced pain. I was given some kind of sedative, I was pretty loose but not knocked out. I must admit when I was rolled into the OR, I felt a small measure of panic. That soon diminished. Although, I was again freaked somewhat when she looked down at me on the table. Perhaps her brown eyes provided perhaps equal parts strangeness and the rest perhaps a bit of attraction. I know that sounds like something George Constanza from “Seinfeld” would say.

After the surgery, the tape was removed on my head. An eye shield was then placed on my eye, held into place by more tape. This was after the other tape holding my head to the table was ripped off and seemingly took skin or hair. Just kidding.

I wore the patch overnight and had to return to see a doctor the next morning. The doctor I saw had been in the OR, but assisted with the surgery.

When she took the tape holding my eye shield, the doctor was careful to remove the tape. The doctor said she was in the OR, and remembered how annoyed I was the day before when that happened. But, I must admit I was pretty stunned when she took off the shield off and everything was, at least from my left eye, bold and beautiful.

“I can see,” I said. The doctor said that was kind of the whole point of all this.

The difference between my left and my right eye are quite stark. When I close my surgically-interventioned eye, the sight from my right eye appeared is if has a slightly brown tint. For some reason, it looks as if all I see from that right eye had been covered in nicotine. It is pretty strange.

My eyesight overall is much better, even using the right eye. I notice some instability in my left eye. But, I am hopeful that I can get that other eye fixed as soon as possible.

I thought about all the precautions given to me before and after surgery. Some of these are common sense such as having someone to drive you. Others were less clear. It is definitely a drag having to take three different eye drop. However, these drops supposedly help healing and preventing harmful infections. This is pretty important for someone like me who has Type 2 diabetes..

I remain helpful my improved and implanted new lens will continue healing and hope my right eye will join its eye brother. To paraphrase an old Mexican proverb, uh well — read the heading.

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