Friday, June 11, 2021

Cataracts, Day Three

      Yesterday, the eye doctor did my right eye.  They load you up with Versed, which starts erasing memories as it wears off.  So about all I can really recall about the surgery itself is that the nurses and eye surgeon were nice, and the entire process was smooth, professional and felt unhurried.

     That last thing is no small accomplishment.  It's essentially a production line; patients are tightly scheduled and their process of evaluation, preparation, surgery intake, surgery and recovery shows every sign of careful time-motion analysis -- but analysis by an actual eye surgeon, someone who knows how long things ought to take, and why you ought to add ten or twenty percent extra time.  As a result, waiting rooms aren't crowded, patients don't spend a lot of time in them (and the longest waits are after you've been given dilating eye drops and they're taking effect) and everything just keeps moving.  (In fact, the firm is owned by an eye surgeon.)

     As a (almost certainly intentional) side effect, it's as good a cure for worry as can be had: everyone you deal with is relaxed.  They're not fighting the clock; they know patients will arrive and move though the system in good order.  That level of confidence comes though clearly to the patent, or at least it did to me.  Every single person you interact with begins with a name/birthdate check, and the same eye surgeon who does your pre-operative check (and pen-marks your face next to the eye they're working on*) does your eye surgery.  It appears they run in batches of five or six (or more), with at least that many prep positions outside dual operating rooms.  There are a pair of nurses per patient (and possibly pair of positions), timed so that nobody's hanging around waiting and nobody's trying to juggle more work than they can manage.

     This is a profitable specialty, and one that is highly reputation-driven.  The two factors appear to have resulted, for this practice, in a remarkably well-run end result.

     As for me, I am now less nearsighted.  My vision is still sorting itself out and I'm definitely going to need new glasses, but I think it'll be workable.

     I had been skeptical of the people telling me about yellowing vision and all the depth of color I would see afterward.  Surely not me -- I was seeing colors just fine!   Um, about that?  You were right.  I had no idea.  Whites are brighter, colors are deeper, shadows less impenetrable. Gas flames are a shade of purplish-blue that I don't think I have ever seen before!  I'm going to need stronger sunglasses for outdoors, too.  Why, we haven't had summer sun like this since I was a teenager (or so it has seemed).
* I'm told that the simple step of marking the area to be operated on, universally adopted over the last 30 years or so, has made a huge difference in "Oops, not that side" surgical mistakes.  Yes, in hindsight it seems like a no-brainer, but it hadn't been SOP and by the time someone's all prepped and draped in the OR, who and where is not always obvious.  Ditto the practice of always verifying which patient you are in every interaction -- it might be annoying, but it's enormously helpful in making sure you don't get the treatment intended for someone else, or vice versa.


Blackwing1 said...

It certainly sounds like everything went well; keep up with the post-op antibiotic drops (but you know that) and it'll be fine.

The new brightness of the world is still with me 6 years following having both my eyes done, and since I now only need dollar-store cheaters for reading and close-up work I can drive without glasses for the first time. I've got a pair of (very dark) sunglasses in each vehicle and in my motorcycle jacket. Heck, I've even got a couple of pairs of safety goggles with the bifocal chip at the bottom in very dark plastic for doing outside work with power tools.

If you still need glasses for driving and for riding your scooter I'd suggest a pair of those big googly-goggle sunglasses that go right over your prescription glasses. Get 'em as dark as you can find. My wife carries a pair with her everywhere since her trifocals are required whenever she's awake.

Congratulations, and here's hoping that everything continues down the path of a complete success for you!

Ritchie said...

Glad your misgivings are largely dispelled. I had some nice Halcyon, which is noted for it's fast on-fast off behavior. I got along almost a year without new specs, just cheap readers. I finally did get new specs for the final correction, eye protection, and convenience of the bifocals. Without the glasses, a red dot sight yields an unruly blob. A 1-4x scope gives better results for all occasion use.

rickn8or said...

Now see, that wasn't so bad, was it?
(Runz, er hobbles away...)

Seriously, I'm glad you got 'em done and at a place that's got the procedure down. The professionalism impressed me a lot when I got mine done, too. I went from 450/20 and 250/20 to pretty much 20/20 for anything further than a yard away. Like Blackwing1, I use dollar-store reading glasses for anything less than a yard away.

And that's a 10-4 Roger fer sure about the sunglasses. I got a pair of dark safety glasses that I wear whenever I'm outdoors because of a windshield strike/penetration several years ago.

You can decide whether to get prescription sunglasses later when your vision settles down; you might discover you don't prescription glasses for driving/riding the scooter.

Mike V said...

My cataracts were tinted as well. It got to the point I couldn't see to drive at night, especially in the rain.

I'm glad it went well, your doctor's system sounds very similar to the one mine used. maybe they teach that somewhere.

Enjoy being able to see again!

RHT447 said...

Glad to hear all went well. More sunglasses. I got a pair of these--

Very light weight. My nose bridge is a bit narrow for most of the one-size-doesn't-fit-all stuff out there, so I wanted something with adjustable nose pads. The wrap on these fits me perfectly with no leakage from the side. Kinda gives me that "Neo" look. Goes well with my grey hair. Polarization is about right. Dark enough for bright sun, but bright enough that you don't feel like you have to suddenly take them off when a cloud comes over. Glare points are blue. Not sure why that is, but it was easy to get used to.

redclay7 said...

Just to add a couple things to the folks above who gave good advice and best wishes: I had severely myopic vision for 55years and when my eyes were done in a similar fashion back in 2013 (I was a working newspaper photographer then, now retired) when I returned to work I had to reset all my digital color balances and readjust to working camera settings with different modest power glasses. Yes, the colors ARE brighter and whites are white. How dim the windows of our lives become over time. Eye drops can be a pain to administer (ask my wife about me). I would advise having multiple correct low power reading glasses stashed in vehicles and various places for when you absolutely need them for close up work and tiny reading. Those ungainly wrap around dark sunglasses they give you when you leave the clinic - get a second pair if you can beg them for another. They will come in handy. One other thing - car/truck headlights will be much more blinding to you now, esp. those expensive LED headlamps all the new vehicles have. And you will cuss those truck/car drivers much more for leaving their high beams and running lights on day and night. Congratulations Ms. Bobbie - you have been given a gift - make good use of it. best, redclay7 in NC

RandyGC said...

Glad to hear things went well.

Kristophr said...

When you get perscription shooting glasses, besure to tell the optometrist you need sharp vision at front sight distance.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you want to invest in a welder’s mask for summertime sun. Lol Heal well!

Ulises from the People’s Republic of Kalipornia

ScribblersDad said...

I'm on the wrong side of no less than twelve eye surgeries (don't ask...) but the most remarkable was the first cataract. Because of the condition I have, I was totally blind for the first week or two after the procedure. As the vision started to clear, it was like seeing a late Monet painting - truly startling colors! Monet actually had dense cataracts removed, which is why his paintings went from realistic to brownish red and faded to vivid and distorted.