Here’s Looking At You, Kid… Is Cataract Surgery Really Worth It?


Dearest Readers:

Earlier this week, I had another cataract removed. This time, on my right eye. I was apprehensive about it, since my right eye gave me many problems, infections, lack of eye sight, etc. a few years ago.

If you’ve never had cataract surgery, and you know you’ve got cataracts I highly recommend it.

The procedure is quick and never did I feel any discomfort during the procedure. Although I was given a light anesthesia, never did  I go to sleep. I was told the doctor and staff did not want a patient to close their eye and sleep. Curious me – I asked why not? Well, according to what I was told, if the patient falls asleep, the eye will automatically roll back.

Humph. I did not know that.

Wheeling me into the operating room at the Physicians Eye Care Surgery Center, located in the West Ashley area of Charleston https://www.charlestoneyesurgery.com/

I observed just about everything. All of the staff are so kind, understanding and professional. The area is pristine, comfortable and nice. Music was playing and so I listened to it, focusing on the beat, while knowing I could not move my face or body. I was apprehensive when I had my left cataract removed, but this time, I was 100% relaxed while knowing my eye was receiving the best care.

My doctor is Peter Knowlton, M. D. of Carolina Eye Care. https://www.carolinaeyecare.com/eye-doctors-charleston/peter-b-knowlton-m-d/

Dr. Knowlton is a tall, thin red-head. Beautiful red hair. When he speaks to a patient, he takes his time with a kind, soft voice, explaining the procedure and his expectations for you. I must say, his expectations for me have truly made my vision better. So much better that last night while walking to the car from my dinner date with my husband, Phil, I glanced up to see the moon. Only this time, I did not see a blurry, disfigured moon I’ve seen for many years. Last night, although the moon was not full, I did not see a foggy, disoriented moon. Just a clear, bright moon with clouds around it. I was thrilled! I can see the moon again. It’s crystal clear! I probably sounded like a child. I was so happy to see such an improved vision.

For those of you who have wondered/anticipated, or feared having cataract surgery, please do not be apprehensive. The tools and equipment used are amazing. The eye is open, only the patient never sees what is happening, nor do you feel anything. All I did was focus on the music. After all, music is therapeutic.

After my surgery, I rested at home. My eye was covered with a plastic shield. I wore this all day long while watching the Hallmark Channel and Blue Bloods. Just had to have a bit of Tom Selleck nearby!

Although I wanted to read, I decided it was best to follow doctor’s orders and take it easy. I was a bit skeptical if the right eye would improve since it was so foggy after the surgery and I had so many infections in that eye previously.

Later, I took a warm bath, and thought I could see OK, until I noticed the leggings I wore the next morning were actually worn the wrong side out. I’m thankful I wore a skort over them! So much for first impressions!anatomy-biology-eye-8588 (1)

Oh well. I’m known for living life as well as I can, even if I couldn’t wear makeup and look my Sunday Best.

For three days, I did not wear makeup. One thing I learned is:

Be careful with putting moisturizers on your face, especially if you’ve done this BEFORE you tape the plastic shield across your eye. That tape doesn’t exactly like moisturizers!  On Wednesday, the shield kept falling off, so I taped up the majority of the right side of my face. Oh well. So much for first impressions! At least no one rang my door bell!

If you are considering cataract surgery and live within the lowcountry, why not give Carolina Eye Care a call, and request an appointment with Dr. Peter Knowlton! Well worth the visit. The time he spends with patients, and his soft-spoken demeanor is reassuring, and if you have questions, he always takes the time to listen and answer! You will not be disappointed.

 

If you are considering cataract surgery, or a thorough eye exam, please contact:

https://www.carolinaeyecare.com/

Visit the website: https://www.carolinaeyecare.com/contact-us/request-an-appointment/

to request an appointment.

 

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And Now I Can See! The Adventures of Cataract Surgery


Dearest Readers:

Monday, January 14, 2019, I experienced my first cataract surgery on my left eye. If you’ve never had cataract surgery you might not understand the reasoning. From my observation, I believe eye surgeons prefer doing only one eye at a time. I’m thankful I followed these suggestions.

I remember my grandmother having cataract surgery many years ago. She was admitted to the hospital for a few days, simply because back in those days surgical centers did not exist. If someone needed surgery – into the hospital they went. I remember her cataracts were so large, I could hardly see the blue in her eyes – only a white cloud. I’m happy that now, it is such a quick procedure – something similar to in and out car washes – only of a different type!

Arriving at Physicians’ Eye Surgery Center, I was apprehensive, just like I always am with any surgical procedure. I subscribe to the “what if” club. What if the surgeon’s hand slips. What if there’s an accident and I lose my sight. You probably get the picture now. I worry much too much!

My eye surgery was scheduled for 8:30 am. I should arrive at the surgical center at 7:30 am, according to the person who scheduled my appointment.  We arrived at 7:10. The waiting room was populated with older adults and a few younger adults. Since I will not reveal my age, I was anxious to get this procedure over. My name was called at 7:20 or so, and by 7:30, all prep work was completed.

An IV was hooked up and now I have a gigantic black/red/yellow bruise covering my right wrist. My body does not like needles of any type and I bruise probably like a newborn baby. Inside the surgical area, music played – a soft, light rock from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s – the classic music I so love to sing. Today was not a singing day, so I found myself listening , while knowing many of the songs. I was so thankful music played. It is so therapeutic for me. 

I met with several nurses and the anesthesia medical doctor, all assured me I would be fine. The procedure was explained. I was reassured I would not be asleep and I had to keep my left eye open. I was told to stare at the bright light. I probably mentioned I was a singer and whenever I am on stage, the bright lights bother my eyes, but today was different. I had to be still. Relaxed. And stare at a bright light. I could not go to sleep because when you sleep your eyes roll backwards and we don’t want that to happen. I really have no clue if I spoke or sang. Hopefully – not, although I am a talented singer!

Rolling me off to surgery, I reminded myself not to sleep. That isn’t a problem with me. SLEEPING is a problem. I have insomnia. The night prior to surgery I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight and I could not sleep! Understand, I’m not a midnight snacker, but I do like to sip water whenever I awaken.

Arriving in the surgical room, I noticed my doctor. “Ah…You’re waiting on me now,” I joked. I’ve never liked to wait on a doctor, although I do realize they have other patients, so I must be patient – even when I am a patient! Notice the word pun?

Within minutes, my left eye stared at a blue light. At least, I think it was blue. I chose to focus on music, so I do not remember the procedure at all. I was told prior by the nurses that it would take approximately 15 minutes. “Ah…” I laughed. “Welcome to In-and-Out Surgery, or maybe Drive-Thru Surgery.”

Minutes later, I was told I was the “Perfect Patient!” 

“That’s good to hear, I listened to music.”

Moments after my comment, I received a list of instructions called Post-Operative Instructions For Cataract Surgery.

*For the first 24-hours after surgery, you should not drive or make important personal or business decisions. Gee, may I watch Lifetime or Hallmark today? I thought to myself anxious to get a cup of coffee now!

*Wear sunglasses provided when you are outside. That’s not a problem. I wear sunglasses on a cloudy day too, and when I walk outside – always. The bright sunshine hurts!

*Wear the clear plastic shield provided while sleeping tonight and continue as directed by surgeon. 

I must say, that plastic shield is not exactly comfortable. I tape it on, covering it with my sleeping mask! In the morning, I’m thankful the tape goes off so easily! One thing I’ve learned is you should not apply night creams before the plastic shield. It slides off if you do!

*Do not rub the operative eye for one week. Always wash your hands with soap and water prior to caring for your eyes. Doesn’t everyone wash their hands before touching their eyes?

I was discharged and back in the car (not driving of course) by 8:45 am! As stated, “In-and-Out Surgery!”

The day after my surgery, I had a doctor’s appointment at 8:45 for a follow up check up. My doctor discovered the eye pressure was high so he prescribed another eye drop to help bring the pressure down. He said he thought the pressure was high due to the steroids in the eye drops I used prior to surgery and afterwards. Yep. I agreed. No doubt! Steroids and I do not get along! I always have some type of side effect.

I mentioned how I could see out of the left eye ok; however, I saw a circular rainbow on Monday. On Tuesday, the eye was still a bit hazy — proud to say, today, I am seeing crystal clear out of that eye!

Today is Thursday; hopefully, my last day not to wear eye makeup. I confess, I did wear makeup yesterday – just no eye makeup! Not even a bit of eye shadow! I look dead without makeup! I feel as if I am naked, and that isn’t something I do. Every day I wear makeup, with exception of this week. My mascara must think I’ve abandoned them!

As you can detect, cataract surgery is an easy surgery for most patients. I am only one. No doubt, I’ll schedule the right eye – when my eye pressure decreases!

And tomorrow – you guessed it – I’m wearing my eye makeup once again! I can’t wait!