Shooting Lasers

*The following is a recounting from memory.  Certain details may be inaccurate due to faulty memory or misunderstanding of medical lingo, etc.*

Several months ago I had lens replacement surgery for a cataract that had already existed but was burst into growth due to several eye surgeries for diabetic retinopathy.  As a complication after this lens replacement the artificial lens became encapsulated (developed scar tissue). Today I went in to have laser surgery to relieve my lens of this encapsulation.

IMAG0397
Note the dilated pupil and the whitish crescent on one side of the pupil.

The interesting thing here is that when I look in the mirror and shine a flashlight on my eye I can actually see the scar tissue.  It looks like a whitish crescent on one side of my pupil.  The scar tissue causes a number of issues, the two main ones being that it blocks light from entering my eye resulting in loss of vision. The second being that it hinders my pupil from shrinking, so my eye remains dilated at all times.

eye

The procedure was very quick and easy.  It was different from other laser treatments I’ve had for my retinopathy.  For this procedure they first dilated my eye…still needs to be done even though it was already half dilated due to the condition. And also numbed it.  After a half hour or so wait I was taken in to the procedure room where the doctor was already waiting.  They had me place my chin on the contraption with my forehead up to the band.  Then the doctor placed a tool in my eye.  Yes, I do mean in.  The tool was placed against my eyeball and hooked under my eyelids and then held in place by the doctor’s hand.  I don’t know what exactly it was for but I would say it looked like a magnifying glass.  Then he pulled a bar out from the side of his laser machine that had a red light on it and told me to focus both eyes on that light for the entire procedure.  I’m guessing this was just to make sure I didn’t move or refocus my vision much.

Then the procedure began.  My vision is very poor in my right eye due to the ravages of retinopathy, and the oil currently in there to keep my retina flat, and the scar tissue on my lens.  So I couldn’t see much of what was going on but occasionally I saw a red laser beam moving around.  I would hear clicks from the machine that coincided with a popping feeling in my eye.  There was no pain in this procedure like there is with the retinopathy laser treatments.  The only time I felt the slightest bit uncomfortable was when the doctor moved that eye tool over to my sinus side and pressed in.  That hurt my delicate sinus a bit.

The treatment lasted fifteen minutes tops. The doctor examined my eye after he was done.  He informed me that they do not like to do too much laser at any one time because of the danger of damaging the eye.  Because the scar tissue in my eye is so thick I will need a second round in a couple of weeks.

Yay me…

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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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