Monday, March 17, 2008

The Eyes are the Windows to the Soul

Due to deterioration, the windows to this soul will be undergoing an upgrade. The old people's problem has caught up with me and I need to have cataract surgery. Both eyes. One at a time, however.

The other day I started on the slippery slope towards this procedure by having my right eye measured for the correct intraocular lens (IOL) which will be implanted after the contents of the lens have been liquefied using sound waves, a process called phacoemulsification, and sucked out through a tiny incision.

Following this, the foldable plastic lens is inserted through the slit and once inside the eye it unfolds into position. Since the incision is so small no stitches are needed and faster healing is achieved.

Did you know that cataract surgery is the most commonly performed conventional surgical procedure done in America? So how come I am petrified to undergo this operation?

This is not a new procedure. The current method has been used for the past fifteen to twenty years and is far superior to early cataract surgical techniques. When I first started in hospital pharmacy the patients stayed in hospital for days, their mobility severely restricted so the sutures could heal. There was no replacement of the lens which was totally removed, capsule and all. Nowadays it is a simple daycare procedure done with the patient awake, in a clinic instead of a hospital and normal life resumes quite quickly.

So why am I petrified you might well ask? I first saw my ophthalmologist five years ago for this problem. He examined my eyes, yes cataracts forming in both eyes. He explained the procedure and said he had been using this particular technique for fifteen years or more. Doing his due diligence, he also told me that some people find no improvement after the surgery, some are worse and 1 in 1700 lose the sight in the eye. Now shall we schedule the procedure? he asked. I looked at him. You must be joking, I thought. Instead I said, I'll have to think about this and get back to you. Then I fled. I've continued to see this doctor regularly since then and now it's time to have the problem corrected.

Working in a hospital all those years brought me into contact with a lot of terrible illnesses that I am very grateful not to have suffered. Losing one's sight is right up there for me. After seeing a young woman lose the sight in her eye because she poked it with a mascara brush and developed a severe infection, I gave up using mascara and have not used it in more than 20 years. Yes, I know that 1 in 1700 odds are not that high, but I don't want to be that one.

Unfortunately I cannot put it off any longer. It's not a problem during the day but this past winter I have found driving at night more difficult and since we live quite far from public transport and shopping I cannot afford to risk losing my licence. So in mid April the right eye is scheduled to be done and I'm sure everything will be fine. After all it's the most common surgery performed in North America. Why am I such a wuss?

Here's one of those little quizzes we all like to take. I have some positive traits it's true but some of those negative ones are a bit nasty. However it's just a bit of fun. What type of eyes do you have?

Your eyes are the windows to your soul. What type of eyes do you have?


You have Raven Eyes!
Positive Traits: Intellectual, Wise, Experienced, Honest, Trustworthy
Negative Traits: Pompous, Condescending, Withdrawn, Pessimistic, Depressed
Take this quiz!

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Tom Paine said...

Mrs Paine had to have this operation in her thirties, for reasons unexplained. In consequence, she has perfect vision in middle age. I am sure all will be well. Worrying won't help (and may harm) so try to relax.

Good luck with it.

Casdok said...

I had Tiger eyes!

All the best for your ops.

sally in norfolk said...

sure all will be well.... :-)

rlbates said...

I'm with Sally, all will be well. Take care

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I can understand why you are frightened, jmb, but there is no reason why you should be the one in 1700! I'm sure it will all be fine. [You could always try Simi's pills, of course!] I have raven eyes, too!

Carver said...

Dear JMB,

I would worry about it too but I have know many people who have had it done successfully. I will be sending out good vibes that it will go perfectly for you. When it comes to statistics about the outcome of procedures or about prognosis with diseases, I tell myself there is no reason for me not to be on the good side of the stats. I am beaming out thoughts for JMB to be on the good side of the cataract surgery statistics.

I took the quiz and I am also a Raven Eyed person. Keep us posted when you can about how it goes. I realize you probably won't be able to use the computer right away so I won't worry if it takes a while but will be relieved when you post a, "it went well" message. As ever, Carver

Janice Thomson said...

It is understandable being a bit nervous about any operation. Dad just had this done a couple months back and the results were 100% improvement. He said it went just fine. I'll be thinking of you Jmb and know you too will be just fine. :)

Tai said...

I can readily understand your concerns...losing vision would be a tremendous blow.
But, I'll be thinking of you and wishing the procedure goes simply and well and that you have a quick and problem free recovery!

Ian Lidster said...

May it all go brilliantly for you, dear friend.

Ian Lidster said...

Me too with Raven Eyes, by the way.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

You're not going to believe this, but I got them Raven Eyes!

Dreaming again said...

I stopped using mascara when they told me that the combination of immunosuppressant drugs and mascara was a bad combination.

You'll be in my prayers! I hate surgery too even if I know it's necessary and relatively not that risky, it's still MY body we're talking about ... you'll be covered in thoughts and prayers!

I was raven eyed as well ..seems to be a fairly common trait amoung your readers!

Love Bears All Things said...

I saw this procedure on the Today show recently.
J has been told he has cataracts developing but isn't ready for surgery.
I loved taking a walk with you.

J's mom had alzheimers so I've been there for all the stages.

Thanks for stopping by. Yes I saw the other Mama Bear

Rositta said...

I'm a wuss too but I know someday I will need cataract surgery too. My Mom had it done and never needed glasses again but it wasn't fun for her at the time. I did the test, here's my result.

You have Butterfly Eyes!
Positive Traits: Thoughtful, Intelligent, Humble, Clever, Open Minded
Negative Traits: Elitist, Conceited, Apathetic, Cold, Sarcastic

Well yes, sometimes...ciao

Sean Jeating said...

Be sure, jmb, the windows to your soul will always be wide open. :)

jmb said...

Hi TP,
I'm glad that Mrs TP has perfect vision and I'm hoping for the same. Well I will have to have glasses for close up. I'm sure everything will be fine.

Hi Casdok,
Tiger eyes sound good. Thanks for the good wishes.

Hi Sally,
I'm sure too, I just don't wish to be one of the unlucky few.

Hi Ramona,
It will be I'm sure. Thanks.

Hi Welshcakes,
I'm the great worrier as you can imagine. I'd love to know what Simi's pills are.

Hi Carver,
I feel rather foolish with you consoling me, considering what you went through or even what the "old scientist" has been through in the past few years. I am assuming everything will be just fine really.

Hi Janice,
Aren't I a coward? Everyone I know who had it done have been pleased with the results.

Hi Tai,
Thanks for the good wishes, the one in 1700 is not going to be me, right?

Hi Ian,
I'm sure it will, thanks for your good wishes. Lots of ravens here.

Hi Crushed,
Pompous, Condescending, Withdrawn, Pessimistic, Depressed
I'm depressed that I got those negative traits, how about you? I thought pompous and condescending were a bit contradictory against withdrawn.

Hi PK,
Well ravens are very special in this part of the woods so that's all right I guess. Thanks for the good wishes, I know I am being a wimp.

Hi Mama Bear,the genuine one,
All my posts are something you've had or are having experience with. I guess that is just life.

Hi Rositta,
How can one be humble and conceited at the same time. Those butterflies are strange.

Hi Sean,
Nice thought. I hope they will be sparkling clear again too soon.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting and for your good wishes. I'm sure everything will be fine and but you all have to go through it with me, you know.

Sean Jeating said...

Ah, jmb, this is 'eyemazing': exactly (!) these words were in my mind, but I did not add them.

Political Umpire said...

Best of luck JMB. Remember Monet had cataracts and as a consequence wasn't so much inventing a new style of painting as simply painting what he saw. As far as I know, it's as straightforward an operation as they come, not that that makes it any easier in advance. I have received the odd complimentary remark about my eyes from certain of the female persuasion, but would temper that immodesty with the fact that they don't work very well! (The tiresome contact lens ritual takes up a few minutes of each day, and I'm not convinced about laser surgery yet)

leslie said...

Apparently I have Tiger Eyes:
Positive Traits: Determined, Passionate, Loyal, Strong, Courageous
Negative Traits: Aggressive, Ambitious, Domineering, Possessive, Vengeful

Don't worry about the cataract surgery (easy for us to say, I know) because I know several people who've had it done. Every single one said it was a lot easier than expected.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I'm not withdrawn, though I do get bouts of depression.
Condescending, but not pompous. More in the withering put down kind of way, I'm afraid.

Bretwalda Edwin-Higham said...

Eyes are so vital and no expense spared to preserve them.

jmb said...

Hi Sean,
Great minds think alike, well for once anyway.

Hi Pu,
I never knew that about Monet. It is straightforward unfortunately in my working life I saw a lot of the things that went wrong so have a warped view of things. I know people who are very happy with laser surgery but I would be too scared. My daughter gave up contact lens after a few years because they did not correct her vision well enough.

Hi Leslie,
I was beginning to think everyone had Raven eyes. Don't you love how they build you up first only to cut you down again.

Hi Crushed,
I did not care for Raven eyes' negative characteristics at all either. I think you might have the capability to be condescending but remember you have to love everyone so cut it out.

Hi James,
You just about gave me a heart attack when I saw your comment. Welcome back, What you have said is so true. Therefore I am paying extra to get a special plastic lens which makes the operation easier and thus my eye will heal more quickly.

Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting and for your best wishes. The surgery is not for a few more weeks so I will be nattering on more about it for sure.

Cami Hood said...

Some people really feel uneasy about laser surgery, but to tell you the truth, laser surgery is better when it comes to efficacy and safety compared to the traditional eye surgery procedure. Doctors consider laser as the device that revolutionized cataract surgery. It made the operation easier, more efficient, and more affordable too! It’s no wonder doctors recommend laser surgery to their patients these days.

Cami Hood

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