The Fourth Go ‘Round

This was originally posted to my old blog on August 13, 2014

*As usual, the following is written from my memory of the events.  Some things may be inaccurate due to faulty memories.  In any case, this is how I remember it:

You would think that the fourth time having eye surgery on the same eye in a little under six month span would be quite painful.  Believe it or not the surgery itself was the second to least painful one.  The after portion so far has been the most painful, but even that isn’t bad.

As my regular readers already know, but newcomers need to know, I have diabetic retinopathy and have been undergoing several surgeries and treatments to try to save what is left of the sight in my right eye.

This most recent surgery, on August 12, 2014, was to do a lens replacement for a cataract, clean out a hyphema (collection of blood) in the front of my eye, and fill my eye with oil to help keep my retina flat because all this time that has been the main problem, they have tried everything they can to fix my retina but it just wont stay flat.  So this time, which is the second time they’ve put oil in, it will stay in for at least a year.

The prep for surgery was as it always is except for two notable things.  The normal prep is a quick eye exam followed by a ton of eye drops, BP, temp., a pregnancy test, and then being hooked up to the BP monitor, IV, and air, and pulse ox.   The two differences this time around were that before everything was done my retina specialist did an ultrasound on my eye to make sure nothing had changed in a week.  It hadn’t.  The second difference was that for some reason I was completely unable to give up any urine for the preggers test, not even a tiny amount.  This is the first time this has ever happened.  Perhaps I was dehydrated, you do have to fast before surgery.

Once all the set up is done I am knocked out for a short time and when I awake I am in the operating room and they are just finishing up the numbing process and about to start on the surgery.

I had two surgeons this time around.  The first was the cataract surgeon.  A very nice doctor who has been in practice for many years and knows his stuff.  He took care of the cataract portion of the surgery.  It went very quickly with no issues.  The second surgeon was my retina specialist.  A kind, compassionate, gentle doctor whom I have been working with since the beginning and has done all the surgeries on my eye.  He has been in practice for over ten years and knows his stuff so very well.  I feel completely safe in his hands.

Although the cataract portion didn’t take long, the rest of the surgery took awhile.  Fist they cleaned out the hyphema and then the doctor wanted to get a look inside my eye before putting in the oil, to make sure everything was OK.  I guess my cornea is in bad shape and made the view difficult.  They changed out viewing tools a few times and finally the doctor was satisfied and got his look around.  Finally, the oil was put in and they made sure my eye pressure was OK.  Then they sutured me up.

Usually with these surgeries they use quite a bit of the IV pain meds which leave me feeling nauseous and sleepy after surgery.  This time around I felt so little pain that they didn’t have to use so much medicine, so I felt mostly good after the surgery.  The only part of the surgery that hurt was at the very end when the doctor was suturing my eye.  The local decided to wear off right then and the suturing hurt.  I shouted out in pain and said, “That really hurts.”

“Just hold on, only three more sutures and we’re done.”  The doctor said.

I think they gave me a bit more IV meds because although the pain continued it was lessened enough to be tolerable.  Tears welled in my eyes, but I didn’t feel the need to scream or squirm.

They finished up and patched my eye then after the normal few minutes of waiting to make sure my BP stayed stable and removing the IV and all that, and talking to the doctor about how the surgery went and what post-op instructions were, I was sent home.

That evening at home I felt fine at first.  A couple of hours after surgery my eye began to throb quite a bit and then the pain spread to the entire side of my head.  I took 1000mg of hydrocodone and went to bed.  My doctor called me that evening to make sure everything was OK.  He asked if I had pain and I told him about the throbbing but that the pain meds took care of it.  He gave me his cell number and told me to call him if I needed anything.  He’s such a caring doctor. I’m really lucky to have ended up under his care.

The next morning I went back for my post-op appointment.  It was quick and easy.  After removing the patch and cleaning the eye and checking the pressure, the doctor examined it and said everything looks great.  He asked if I was having any more throbbing.  I told him no but I was having some stinging in the front of my eye on and off.  He said that should go away in a day or two.

Hopefully it continues to heal well and all will be good from here on out.

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Author: Tamra K. Garcia

Stephen King says to "Write what you know." I know diabetes, I know me; so this is what I write about.

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