Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cataract operation went well

On Friday I had a cataract operation under sedation.

Many people bandy about the phrase "worst nightmare". In my case this is the correct, literal use of the term. I was traumatised in my early teens by a clip from the film "Un chien andalou" which purported to show a woman's eye being slit with a cut throat razor. I later learnt that it was done with a dead donkey and some clever editing but by then the damage was done.

Ever since then ocular damage has been the stuff of my worst nightmares. You may well imagine that learning I needed a cataract operation - normally done under only a *local* anaesthetic - caused no small amount of anxiety.

My eyesight had deteriorated noticeably over the last 18 months after a lifetime of very gentle change. Over the last three months an element of double vision and night-time mistiness prompted the optometrist to suspect a cataract and send me for a specialist opinion.

Courtesy of BUPA and an accommodating consultant and anaesthetist the options of sedation and a full general were available. Even so I treated myself to a couple of sessions of hypnotherapy with Liz Hogan to reduce pre-op nerves. It did the trick; Mary remarked how calm I had seemed on the Thursday night.

On the day the anaesthetist put in a cannula for the sedation and said that if I got too nervous they could switch to a full general anaesthetic. He said "I'll just squirt in a little as a pre-med" and the next thing I knew I woke up in the recovery room. An afternoon of dozing in my private room followed until it was time go get in a cab, collect Mary en route and go down to Konnigans for a relaxing meal.

There seem to be negligible after effects from the operation. I have to take it careful for a while: no strenuous exercise and a protective eye-patch at night. The most dramatic impact is that the surgeon inserted a +4 dioptre lens to correct my lifelong myopia. I will probably have to use a contact lens in the unoperated eye until that is done as well, as will probably soon be the case.

Using both eyes at once is too much image processing for my brain to handle given the difference in focus and image size. So meanwhile I am using an eye-patch which I switch to whichever eye is appropriate for the task in hand. Arrgh, me hearties!


Anonymous said...

So glad it went well, up here and on the NHS they would wait until the cattaracts were 'ripe', you seem to have got them removed before your eyesight was too bad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting my journal, you must get Mary to take you around Dean Park, I take it you have been to Eglinton, if you go to the Council Offices in Irvine at Cunninghame House they will let you see the Eglinton Trophy, very impressive and worth the visit.