Out, out, damned cataract!


Sorry about the title, I was a drama geek at school and I am generally a bit of a Lady McBeth. Well, I saw the eye surgeon on Monday. Doesn’t it worry you when a surgeon seems excited about a case? I have a subcapsular cataract which can develop dramatically quickly, sometimes in a few weeks but in my case over a year. He was astonished at how little I could see with my left eye and said, “Haven’t you noticed flaring in your left eye?” My response was that I had only noticed it since my first diagnosis, a week before. It isn’t the normal ageing cataract but can sometimes be caused by diabetes or steroid use. My father and grandmother had diabetes but I have no sign of it, nor have I been taking steroids. I also have a pinguecula, which is a benign growth on eye and we agreed that both may be caused by UV damage. Blue eyes are especially sensitive when living in the subtropics for as long as we have. There is a possibility that the Lasik surgery I had 11 years ago may have also caused it. Now I can hear my mother’s voice in my head saying, “It doesn’t come from our side of the family!” For some reason she was always very upset that I didn’t have 20/20 vision – perhaps because I had to cover up my baby blues with thick glasses.

The very highly recommended eye surgeon told me far too much about exactly what he was going to do, statistics and gross stuff. This was only mitigated by him having a strong Chinese accent – he is from Hong Kong originally. He is a fascinating guy – originally he was a mechanical engineer and then studied medicine. As my regular eye doctor pointed out, it is his fascination with technology and detail that makes him a gifted surgeon. When I was in the waiting room, I noticed that most of his patients were elderly which is to be expected. They looked like regular down home folks and I wondered how on earth they understood anything he said? Most Texans struggle with my accent, which is very well enunciated, by the way… Perhaps it’s a blessing that they didn’t hear the gross stuff like how he breaks down the cataract with a laser and then suctions it all out. With a teeny, tiny Dyson, maybe?

Then he will put in an acrylic lens and with a bit of luck, I will have perfect vision in that eye until I die. I might die just thinking about it – relax, I jest! I was assured by his technical detail – he took endless measurements and wanted to know precisely at what angle I held my laptop to get the best end result. With good luck my previous eye doctor still had the records of my eye prescription pre and post Lasik which will help further. My real concern was cost but United Healthcare will cover both him and the clinic where the operation is performed. We still have to pay a substantial sum of money but if we lived in Scotland I would be on a long waiting list and probably have to go private anyway.

He noticed that I was fit and told me that I couldn’t do strenuous exercise for a couple of weeks. I looked at him quizzically and he said, “No boxing”. People these days are just crazy. If it’s not Zumba, it’s kick-boxing. That’s okay if you are a youngster but walking is good enough for the rest of us. BTW, Osyth, I will be awake for the surgery! Now I am kind of excited that if all goes well I won’t even have to wear middle-aged reading glasses.

♫ You’re so vain, you probably think this blog is about you ♫

44 thoughts on “Out, out, damned cataract!

  1. It will all be good. Many years back I had Lasik surgery on both eyes and I was awake during the process. I think it is most likely a similar type of operation. At least you don’t have to have a large instrument shoved up your penis! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh lordy! When you mentioned a cataract in the last post, I thought I might be able to offer some advice and comfort as I had a cataract op last week! Mind you, I had thought he had lasered it to within an inch of its life but he can’t have done because he showed it to me afterwards and it looked like a little nipple which was quite frightening. Because of cock-ups by the hospital (Cretan), it had had four or five years to build up and that eye was completely fogged by the time they did the op. I’ve got double vision at the moment which is apparently to be expected. But I only heard yesterday at the outpatient appt that there were stitches to be removed. Ooh er, missus! Bet they would have been dissolvable on the NHS. I’m sure it will be absolutely fine but do ask about every possible side effect. I was taken by surprise in more ways than one when the pill they gave me to reduce the eye’s blood pressure made me sick and go a lot to the loo! And I’m drowning in drops that have to be administered every two to three or seven hours! One of them stings. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear, I am so sorry! I have to take antibiotic drops days before the procedure and then afterwards to prevent infection. Quite a few of the drops he gave me in the consulting room really stung but he told me I had dry eye syndrome like my mum so I am overdosing on saline drops. I know there will be no stitches but am paying $1,600 over and above to get an A+ result. So lucky to be able to afford that and am giving thanks. We will both see much better in a few weeks. Good luck with the recovery and a hug from Texas.
      PS I am not sure the UK treatment would be any better than NZ unless you went private. We eventually paid for Dad’s privately because the list was so long

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I’m in awe of you staying awake, as you know but I am also very glad you are not in Scotland where you would still be waiting after total blindness has set in. The UK system is appalling and it is also a postcode lottery, sadly. My mum lives near Oxford and was sorted and turned around in 6 weeks no charge. I fear that the further north you go the worse it is. Excited specialists are extremely spooky – fact! Jealous of the no readers by the way …. I’m the proud owner of 4 pairs because I can’t ever find the damn things because I can’t see!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’m going to be very interested to hear how your surgery goes.
    I’m currently in discussions with my ophthalmologist for the same surgery to have prescription lenses inserted.
    What is the date for your surgery? I’m hoping mine can be done this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. An excited surgeon happily sputtering away about the gory details in a thick accent.. And you chose to stay awake ? I wonder how animated he’ll be during the procedure and sharing what he’s doing and what’s comin next !!! I see you’re a brave woman Kerry, you’ll be seeing it soon too 😉
    And without readers !!!
    You’re in good hands from how you describe him and you’re also in my prayers 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pan – I didn’t choose to be awake. They just need you to be so they can figure out what’s happening as they go. I had Lasik before and you are so relaxed with the anti-anxiety drug they give you that it’s like being at Woodstock, man. Thank you for the prayers.


  6. As much as eye stuff grosses me out, I was doing just fine until I read that first comment about stuff shoved up the penis! I’ve had too many kidney stone procedures in my life and way too many instruments put in a hole they don’t belong in!

    Good luck with removing the Cadillac (As one of my co-workers calls them)…

    Liked by 1 person

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