Sunday, 26 July 2020

Cataracts PART V


And, we are done. I'll cut to the chase. Surgery was Friday, July 24. It was really difficult for me, but I made it through. It was cloudy the first day, Saturday better, and today, Sunday, this is what I saw outside my bedroom door.

I mean, I could see hubby walking his morning walk. I didn't have to put on glasses to see him. I am still automatically reaching for my glasses in the morning. 

I still cannot read, and will have to get some reading glasses, but my regular reading glasses do not work! I have been enlarging the text on the computer, but it is tedious and tiring. 


Lots of protocols. They phoned Monday, July 20, to say surgery was Friday. What the heck. My August 20th date was cancelled for some reason.


These drops began two days prior to surgery, on Wednesday. There was major pre-op stuff to do.

I got it all organized. The drop will continue for 4 weeks.

The instructions are excellent. This is a clinic who deals with a multicultural clientele, iCare, in the heart of Nepean. This sheet shows the images of the labels of the three sets of eye drops. I really liked that. Some clients come in with interpreters. This is my Canada!

There are lots of things not to do. We were supposed to have the gradies, but in the situation, we switched them up.

Friday Morning

Someone was up in the night, 2 and 3 o'clock. I heard sighing. I wasn't exactly sleeping, either. Wide awake, I asked what was wrong. "We've no water." The well pump wasn't working. Great. I cannot lift tomorrow, although the pool is full, and so are the rain barrels. We'll deal with it later.

We decided to focus on one crisis at a time. We left the house at 6:45. I had coffee, but no breakfast, since in these times of crisis things go right through me. 

As we left the driveway (6:45 a.m.), there were deer by the side of the road. It's far more dangerous driving in dawn or dusk. The deer are on the move. We're in the middle of a forest ecosystem, and they try to ignore the road the humans put in the way. 
(Now, as I re-edit this post, I realize the deer are not in focus. It was a drive-by, obviously. But since the operation only corrected my distance visions. I haven't been able to figure out if they are in focus. They are not. But they are evidence!)

Back to the tail. Deep dark forests hold our friends.

We went around Manotick. I kinda messed up the route. It was a nice drive, anyway. Soybeans, corn, buildings popping up everywhere.

There is a new gas station in Kars, a town where I used to work.
The lakes and rivers are lovely.

Lots of traffic, on renovated roads. We nestled in and let the yahoos pass us on gravelly roads at twice the speed of sound. 

Everyone was off to work for the day.
Bee hives!

This mansion was quite the thing. Near Manotick.

Yes, it was a red light. The truck driver used the yellow as a guide only!

I shouldn't have sent us across the bridge. I did, though, following the GPS. I am dumb. I'd looked up the route on Google, and trusted Gillian GPS more than what I knew.

This is why I get stressed. You never know what people will do. This driver kept going across the white line, driving on the shoulder. It was worrisome!

Traffic eased up for a turkey! Can you see it?

We were in the city, now.

I always liked Little Italy. Great restaurants! My girlfriend and I used to attend the theatre here every couple of months, having dinner prior to the show.

8:30 a.m.

Making it into downtown Ottawa, to the Lasik Clinic, we signed in. 
The COVID–19 protocols were really well done in the clinic. I was a basket case, with my history of anxiety. Everyone was amazingly supportive. Lots of TLC. They let JB stay, even though they were short spaced to keep people 6' apart, according to Ontario protocols. We signed in, swearing we hadn't been out of the country (although that ship has sailed, er, been grounded.) They gave you a number, which you placed on your seat. They would call you to various machines for tests, or another room to sign papers. You let the number on your seat. I was one of the younger people there, told I'm young for cataracts. Some had trouble walking, or hearing. The number on the chair saved your place. It was quite clever. When you were done, you flipped it to the X, and they cleaned off the furniture. 

We watched the protocols, gowns, hair nets, several eye drops to numb or enlarge. They were so patient, kind and caring with all the clients. Some were quite frail. JB elected to stay, which was good, as the hours passed, I was getting more and more wired. 

It was a very comfortable waiting area, with rooms around the side. Several intake areas, JB paid for the costs of the day. I was in having a test with another young woman, who sensed my stress. You have to sit very still, and that was tough. She began asking me what was my favourite activity for after surgery. Reading, for sure. Then photography. That will be good. 

She complimented me on my hair. I explained that I'd been cutting it myself since COVID. She told me I'd done a good job! You know, it's the small things...

The nurse, R, came and told me it'd be another hour. Some are nurses, some technicians, but she had the manner of a nurse. She could tell I was having anxiety, and she suggested I talk a walk. It was really too bright out, and I couldn't see well, so after we talked about it, we elected to stay put. She then took me outside the clinic, into the mall, and said she suggested I get a magazine. I explained that I'd left my wallet at home. She paid for a magazine for me. R explained that she's had anxiety, and knew how I was feeling. 

Mental health issues are quite something. There were all these people ahead of us, much older, who seemed really calm on the outside. I was feeling crazy, but it is what it is. I decided to just accept it, and try to manage it. They brought us some water. I think the problem was that they didn't give me the right time to be there, and they were taking people in order of appointment. 

My new friend, R, found me a stress ball. It looked like an eyeball! She apologised, giggling.
The surgery itself seemed to go quickly. I was escorted into the surgery, carefully donned in gown, mask, hair cap. I sat on the chair and there was my doctor. He asked, "How are you feeling?"
     "Nervous," I replied.
     "Yes, me, too!" HAH! My surgeon does about 15 of these a day. 
Now, you have to understand the tone of the clinic. TOTALLY professional, and efficient. This made me relax. He's a nice man, with a sense of humour. He understood how much we needed this surgery done, yet how nervous I was. The nurses inside the OR were terrific, checking in on me, taking my BP and pulse.

We'd arrived at 8:30, and left after 12. It was a marathon. It was alright at first, as the sedation in my eye stopped any pain.

We were home about 3:00. I was in pain. I took some Tylenol. I nestled into my chair. Still in a bit of shock.

The broken well pump 

JB began phoning for plumbers. The company that installed the well pump one January (2015) no longer owned that franchise. The new owners didn't come out this far out, to Perth. They recommended someone else. JB phoned them, they said they'd get back to us. The company that installed our new A/C said they could come Monday, call back if we didn't need them. 

I was sitting there, feeling sorry for myself, dabbing my eyes. I couldn't see much. Things were cloudy. Suddenly, there was a knock at the garage/kitchen door. PLUMBERS! It was a loose wire. Who knew? We were back in business. What a relief, as JB cannot lift  water with his pulled shoulder tendon. 

We watched a VERA video (BBC), and by 7:30 I was fatigued. I couldn't read, which is how I usually fall asleep. I put on my ear buds, and listened to the radio. JB woke me up at 9 for my final eye drops of the night. There are antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and whatnot.


I arose and went to put on my glasses. Now, any of you who wear them know the necessary habit. I thought twice, and my left eye was still cloudy, but I could see out the bedroom window into the backyard. I Can See! For the first time since 1963. I got glasses in gr. 4, and I'd continually walk to school,  forgetting them at home. I'd walk home through inner city Toronto, and get them. It's going to be a habit to break.

Caitlin sent flowers! And both Caitlin and Jesse phoned to see how I was.

The cats slept with us. I slept until 5:30 a.m. They seem to know when you aren't feeling well.

My vision is better today, still not perfect. My surgeon phoned Saturday morning at 10:30 to see how I am. Some pain, but not in my eyebrows. Follow up Monday, and, again, in two weeks.
It's been a journey...

Cataract surgery: non-progress report from July 2019 to February, 2020. COVID–19 shut it all down.
Cataracts II – July 7, 2020 a referral.
Cataracts III – July 17, 2020 a consult with a private clinic.
Cataracts PART IV – Pre-op visit July 20.


Tom said...

...things should clear up!!!

DUTA said...

"All's well that ends well".
Congratulations! Things will get better every day.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
it can only get better each day!!! YAM xx

eileeninmd said...


It is great your vision is better, the surgery is done. YAY!
I am glad your well pump was to a big deal, that is great news too.
Take care, have a great new week!

The Furry Gnome said...

Sounds like things went pretty well! I am pleased for you. 3 1/2 hours doesn't seem long to me. I had one done a few years ago and I was certainly in the hospital longer than that. It must've been nice to wake up and find you could actually see! Be patient, it will take a few weeks before things settle down.

Rain said...

Wow Jenn...what an adventure...and the damn well pump. I'm so glad that wasn't a huge problem! I'm happy that you can see! I hope your recovery is quick! I met one of my neighbours yesterday and he'd just had cataract surgery in both eyes three weeks ago and was walking around with sunglasses on, he said he could see better than when he was a kid. I'm happy for you!

RedPat said...

Glad things seem to be under control! Hurray for the pump working!

Nancy J said...

Bravo, dear friend, They needed to give you a shot of " Jungle Juice" like they did for Hugh, it takes away any anxiety. Did they do both eyes or just one? This is great news, think of me waiting till next July, son-in-law ditto till we do not have to take anti clotting meds. But I would rather have life than a blind eye.Too much risk of a huge bleed if they did it earlier. You will be seeing things that were just a distant blur, keep upright, no lifting or bending, drops installed on time, you will be a whizz at all this before you know it. LOL from a cool 5C this morning.XXXXXXX

Red said...

Sounds like a full time job. Things seem to be going well.

Anvilcloud said...

Well that was thorough, and you seem to be doing really well and pretty quickly too.

Christine said...

Thanks for the update continued good wishes as you heal. Interesting about the clinic.

Linda aka Crafty Gardener said...

Things will improve, take it from someone who has been through it, it is easier said than done but relaxing will help. An I remember the vigil of the drops, yuck, but keep doing it. It will all be nice and clear soon. Take care

Lowcarb team member said...

It's certainly been a journey ...
So pleased it's done, and I am sure things will get better every day.

My good wishes.

All the best Jan