Third Time’s…A Pain!

This was originally posted to my old blog on June 12, 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:

I had my third eye surgery, on my right eye, a couple of days ago; for diabetic retinopathy.  There were some complications and it was so very painful, but i made it through without cussing or throwing things, so I guess I’m good.

The procedure started out as usual, getting my BP, pregnancy  test, answering questions, signing forms.  Then over to the staging area to get me in a bed and all hooked up to a BP monitor, IV, heart monitor, pulse ox, and those uncomfortable nose air things, and I asked and they agreed to put a rolled up towel under my left shoulder so I wouldn’t be in pain from my frozen shoulder..

Finally the doctor came over and said hi and examined my eye one last time.  He then told me what his final decision was for the surgery:  A scleral buckle, vitrectomy, removal of oil, air fluid exchange, membrane peel, and an iris synchialysis.  Then I was knocked out.

When I awoke I was struggling to get up and the nurses were telling me to lay still.  I told them my shoulder was hurting real bad and they gave me some pain meds.  I calmed down and settled into a comfortable position and the surgery began.

First things first, the scleral buckle.They have to move your eye around a lot for this part and you can see everything so I did get slightly dizzy and nauseous during this part because all I could see (and not control) was the room spinning.  The cutting and trying to fit my eye was kind of painful.  The doctor soon found that the size and type of band he was going to use was not going to fit, so he switched to a smaller nylon band/buckle and the procedure was soon done.  Apparently I have a very small right eye.  Go figure.

After the buckle they moved on to the vitrectomy, removal of oil, and the iris synchialtsis.  For the iris thing, he was fixing a couple of adhesions in the front of my eye that had been causing my iris to be misshapen.

Next was the most time consuming and painful part of the surgery.  Or maybe it just seemed to take forever because it was so painful.  The part of my eye they had to get to to do the membrane peel was behind my retina.  this means they had to go very deep into my eye and the deeper you go the more pain is involved.  He had some trouble with finding a tool long enough to reach the scar tissue he needed to remove, but he got it and in turn my retina flattened out well.  During this part of the procedure I was in so much pain they had to re-numb (nerve block) my eye and give me more IV pain meds.  They gave me so much I went into a bit of a “trip”, but it didn’t last long and I was in pain through out the rest of the surgery.

Lastly they did some cryotherapy which is to freeze everything in place to further help the retina to not ripple/detach/tear, etc.. Finally then they put the gas in my eye and sutured me up.

In the recovery room my BP spiked at 250/120 or so.  That is extremely high and shows how much pain I had been in over the last four hours.  I was given a heavy duty horse pill of a pain med with some water and crackers.  They went over my home care and meds and set up a follow up appointment for the next morning.

On the way home, my husband had to pull over twice so I could puke.  Once home I went straight to bed, waking up every now and then to puke, sip water, and have my husband force pills down my throat.  Finally I told him no more pills, they were just exacerbating the nausea, and I wasn’t in much pain anyway.

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The next morning I went to the doctor to have the patch removed and the eye examined.  More complications, the nurse got the patch off and cleaned the outside of the eye, but it was so swollen she couldn’t get it open to clean the inside, check my vision, or pressure.

The doctor came in and put in a retractor (ouch!) and then checked my vision and pressure and looked in the eye to make sure all was doing well.  I have a small bit of bleeding in the front of my eye, but it should stop on its own.

“I am hopeful this procedure will do the trick, but no matter what, you have been through so much pain and suffering, I am not willing to do any more to this eye.”  More or less the words of Dr Hunter.

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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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