August 19, 2016
Today, Den will have his first cataract surgery. I have to work today, it’s homecoming season. So Roberta, Den’s sister, has offered to take him and bring him home. Other than phone calls that the two of them, I didn’t have any idea of what was happening. I tried to keep busy to keep my mind off of all the things that could go wrong, but that proved more difficult that ever.
So I will now turn this over to Den so he can tell you the story of his day.
Pardon my sloppy tale telling, but here goes…… Beth wasn’t here and I don’t remember how the day started except Roberta and I went to the Hospital ready for an experience. As we approached the Hospital It began to rain, no it was pouring rain. Roberta navigated the narrow street calmly and did a u-turn at the end of the center island, pulling up in the valet parking area like a champ. We went in and made our way to area 2-D, ambulatory patient room and registered. After a wait, seems like seconds now but probably wasn’t we waited for the moment of truth, they called my name. I felt myself sink into the chair in disbelief, I was going to have eye surgery. I really wasn’t afraid, really I wasn’t, but here I go. Where I went is a blur. Is was asked to step up and lay down on the table. There wasn’t a lot of busy work going on around me, just a warm blanket and a form of some kind to lay my head in, to keep me immobile. Moments went by and up steps Dr, Reidy, my Knight in Green clothes. He reassured me all was going to be fine. Easy for him to say, I’m on the table, slightly shaking, but determined to get this done. It should be known that I was really screwed up sight wise. Little black “things” kept roving through my eyes and lights all (light bulb fixtures) seemed to glow in 3-D and there were always several of them. And here we go! Doc started by cleaning the eye surface and the eyelid covering it. A few incidental actions and I could see and feel him going to work. I felt nothing but an occasional touch of my face. There was a steady stream of “How you doing Den, everything OK” I tried not to nod and feigned for a easier “Yup”. Soon, and I mean SOON, it was over. Eye cover in place I was done and it seemed like the right time to say “NEXT” as if we were in a market where others were waiting to be served. My eye itched, but I attributed it to the operation. I could see, blurry, but at this time no need for a white cane or big dog.
It’s Beth, again! I have some of Roberta’s notes that she took for me that day. They had arrived at 1030AM and Den was called back to get undressed and prepped at 11AM, so it really was a short wait for them. Den was given numbing drops several times to make sure his eye was completely numb and he would not feel any pain or move the eye while the doctors worked on it. He was all done by 130PM and the two of them were on their way home. (He had a little bit of a wait to get into a room since Dr. Reidy was not really on the schedule, since he had just started at the hospital.) The procedure took all of 45 minutes once he was in the OR.
I got released from work early, at about 3PM. When I got home, Den, Roberta and my parents were all sitting in the back yard talking about how Den’s procedure had gone. My parents had both had both eyes done in the past. They had told Den that he would be amazed at how much he had been missing the last few years. Den saw me come around the corner and smiled at me the biggest smile I can remember seeing from him in quite a while. He was so happy to finally be on the road to good eye sight again. After some chit-chat, Roberta went over all the eye drops that Den would need over the next few days (4 different drops, ranging from once to 4 times a day) and gave me the discharge report with the follow up appointment information for tomorrow. Then she said goodbye and headed home. I thanked her again for all her help.
Later in the evening, Den said that his eye itched terribly. I kept telling him not to touch his eye…that was doctor’s orders. When he said that he couldn’t stand it any more, I got him a cold, wet cloth to hold on the eye. He sighed with the immediate relief it gave him. Tomorrow would be an early day so we all went to bed. Den slept pretty well. He woke up a few times from the itchiness in his eye, but we had the wet cloth ready on his nightstand.