Ed and Kathy’s Excellent Surgical Adventure…

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Several years ago, while building our current house, Ed got a piece of trash in one of his eyes.  His injury required a visit to the eye doctor.  While there, Ed learned he had cataracts which would need to be removed–a piece of information he tactfully neglected to share with me!  That happened over seven years ago.

Over the past couple of years, I began to notice a decline in Ed’s eyesight.  He no longer noticed things beside the road, the way he once did, and he began to wear his reading glasses for things other than reading.  Ed eventually  told me he had cataracts.

Getting Ed to a doctor, is somewhat like pulling teeth, but Ed finally scheduled an appointment with an ophthalmologist about a month ago–right before the doctor was leaving for an extended vacation!  Cataract surgery, for the worst of the two eyes, was scheduled for the doctor’s first week back from vacation.  The day finally arrived, last Thursday, August 22.

Ed works at a small, local hospital, and elected to have his surgery performed at the hospital where he works.  There’s nothing like having a little surgery among friends!  Ed knows everyone, so we felt right at home.

Ed and I were required to arrive for the surgery at 8:30 in the morning (I was required to drive him home afterward).  Of course, the OR was hopping when we arrived!  One lady was already being wheeled into the OR, while another man was being prepped to follow her.  Ed and I took a seat in the waiting room, but we didn’t stay there long.

Soon it was Ed’s turn, and they led us back to the little ‘prep room’.  Ed’s nurse, Sandra, happens to be an old acquaintance of ours.  In fact, her dad was once our pastor.  Like I said, there’s nothing like having surgery among friends.  Sandra began putting all kinds of drops into Ed’s eye.  Some of the drops burned, and she referred to those drops as “fire water”.  Then, with a black Sharpie, she wrote the word, “Yes” over the eye that was to be operated on.  Ed and I had a big laugh over that!  Soon, Sandra also brought Ed some Valium to take.

Ed never takes any kind of medication, except his required blood pressure & cholesterol medications, so within twenty minutes, it became obvious that Ed was ‘under the influence’!  From the prep room, we were moved to the ‘holding room’, to wait for Ed’s surgery.  By this time, Ed’s eye was completely dilated and he looked quite strange–with one blue eye, one black eye, and the word “yes” written on his forehead!  His speech was definitely slurred.

Ed was asked to lie down on a strange-looking bed, and an IV was started.  The top part of the bed was narrow–just barely large enough to hold a small pillow.  I suppose this was to allow the doctor better access to Ed’s eye.  For surgery, Ed wasn’t required to remove any clothing, except his shoes.  He was required to wear one of those funny surgical hats though.  The hat just added further to Ed’s strange look!

After a while, two guys came for Ed.  They put more drops in his eye, then quickly followed the drops with some salve.  They explained that both of these medications were to numb his eye for the surgery.   Both Ed and I were relieved to learn that the paralyzing shot in the eye is no longer required before cataract surgery!  Thank goodness! 🙂    They don’t even put patients to sleep for cataract surgery, instead they give them some medication which makes them drowsy, but leaves them awake.  The patient has to be able to follow the doctor’s instructions during surgery.

We learned the surgery is performed under a microscope.  The doctor makes a small incision to remove the old lens.  After breaking the lens into pieces , the doctor removes the lens through the tiny incision.  A new lens, folded to make it fit through the small incision, is then inserted.  Once in place, the lens unfolds, and, over a few weeks, will eventually grow to the eye.

Meanwhile, I was told to stay and wait in the ‘holding room’ while Ed went to have his surgery.  I sat on the couch, read a book, and kept a watchful eye on the clock.  Ed was only gone a total of eighteen minutes!  I barely had time to read one chapter of  my book, before Ed was back from surgery!

About fifteen minutes later, the IV was removed and Ed was released into my care–sporting a large, brand new pair of dark sunglasses!  Let me just stop here and say–at this point, Ed was feeling absolutely no pain!  I don’t think he was feeling much of anything at all!  By the time we left, we’d only been at the hospital just over two hours.  Many doctor appointments last longer than that!

At home, Ed had a funny little ‘swagger’ to his walk, as he exited the car, and he still had a slow slur to his speech. Following a very late breakfast, Ed retired to his favorite recliner and ‘went out like a light’!   It was much later in the day before the drugs finally wore off.  Ed has absolutely no recollection of anything that took place during surgery, or immediately after.  He says the last thing he remembers is having his eye washed out, then the next thing he remembers is riding out of the hospital in a wheelchair, on his way to the car!

Ed’s had virtually no pain since his surgery.  On the day after the surgery, he said his eye just felt irritated, like it had something in it.  Those must be some good drops used to dilate the eye for surgery, because they didn’t wear off until forty-eight hours later!  Once the pupil closed, Ed discovered how wonderful it is to be able to see clearly again!

Ed has to put drops in his eye for three weeks, and avoid certain activities that might cause extra pressure in his eye.  (Excessive lifting and bending could cause the lens implant to pop out of place.)  After three weeks, the new lens will have grown to the eye, and Ed can resume normal activities.  By then, it will be time to remove Ed’s second cataract, and part two of Ed & Kathy’s Excellent Surgical Adventure will begin!

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Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 8:30 am  Comments (5)  
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Monday As Usual…

Life is getting somewhat back to normal today. It’s Ed’s first day back to work since having his cataract surgery on Thursday morning. Thank goodness, Ed’s been doing quite well since having the surgery! Ed’s eye was still dilated on Friday, and he felt tired from the drugs they gave him for the surgery, but by Saturday he was feeling fine, and couldn’t believe how much better he can see now!

Ed’s shingles, or whatever the rash was, is finally going away.  Fortunately, he’s had no pain, whatsoever, just some intermittent itching and the rash.  Once the second doctor gave Ed a prescription for some antibiotics, to go along with the anti-viral meds, the rash really began to improve.  The rash should be completely gone by the end of this week.

I was somewhat relieved when Ed decided not to ride his new lawnmower on Saturday, even though he had the doctor’s permission. There was no chance of dust blowing, due to recent excessive rain, but I did worry about some trash blowing in his eye! At one point, Ed actually walked over to the mower and started to get on it, then noticed the gas tank was almost empty, and changed his mind.

Speaking of that new lawnmower, with the almost empty gas tank,  it will be going back to the store today, after a replacement is delivered.  A few days ago, Ed discovered that the ‘hour meter’ on the new mower doesn’t work.  He called the company, and rather than repairing the meter, they decided to send us a new replacement mower.  Hopefully, the replacement mower will be problem-free, and soon Ed can happily get back to mowing grass.

On Friday and Saturday, Ed and I just hung around the house and did a lot of relaxing.  We grilled some hot dogs with our (neighboring) children and their families, and relaxed outside on the deck for a while. Family time is always good!  On Saturday night Ed and I watched “Dances With Wolves”( again), and I couldn’t help but remember how much I enjoyed the movie when I originally saw it at the theater.   The cinematography and musical score are superb–and, of course, I’m a Kevin Costner fan, too.  They don’t make movies like that often enough!

By Sunday, Ed and I were beginning to go a bit stir crazy, so we headed back to St. Simon’s Island for a little  more R-N-R under our favorite oak tree.  Ed drove the car, for the first time since his surgery, and commented how good it is to be able to read the signs again! ( Imagine how much better he’ll feel after having the second eye done!)  The wind at St. Simon’s Island was brisk on Sunday, and a hint of autumn was already in the air.  Our beach trips will be winding down soon, and I’m sure gonna’ miss them.

One interesting, and unusual, thing Ed and I did on this beach trip, was to visit a couple of new car lots on the way home.  We both suffered major “sticker shock”!!!  It’s been over twelve years since we’ve looked at any new cars, so you can just imagine our surprise!  And to think, our first brand new vehicle cost $5,400, back in 1975…  Sigh.  Ed and I both agree, there won’t be a new car in our future, only a slightly pre-owned one, when the time comes to trade.

Anyway, it’s Monday, and that means I’m going to join Heather & Wayne @ActingBalanced for “The Monday Quiz”…

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1. Yesterday (August 25th) was Kiss and Make Up Day… when was the last time you had to kiss and make up?

Ed’s such a patient person, I can almost count on one hand the number of times he’s gotten really mad with me in 43 years.   I, on the other hand, sometimes can fly hot in a New York minute.  I think the last time we “had words” was about a month ago.

2. Are you doing anything special for Labor Day weekend?

Ed’s taking off Friday, which is my birthday, so he’s going to work Labor Day Monday for being off for my birthday, on Friday.  He’s doing this swap so we can spend my ‘actual birthday’ at the beach (and I didn’t even ask him to do this!)  Our youngest son, Brad, and his wife, Jennifer, are coming for a weekend visit, and we’ll do some dual birthday celebrating because Jennifer’s birthday is just two days before mine.

3. If you could go back to school, what would you major in?

If I were twenty years younger, I’d definitely major in early childhood education.  I know, without a doubt, that I missed my ‘true calling’ by not becoming a teacher.  I worked as a first grade paraprofessional for nearly fifteen years, and I loved and enjoyed my job.

4. How much rain did you have this summer?

The summer of 2013 has been the wettest summer ever!  Our total rainfall for the months of June, July, and August (so far) is 16.74 inches!   Believe me, that’s a LOT of water!  The total amount of precipitation for the entire year is 32.95 inches–and nearly one-half of that total amount fell during the summer months!

My question for you is:

5.  Have you ever had a “bad food experience”?  (Finding a hair, a bug, trash etc. in your food )  If so, do tell!

Published in: on August 26, 2013 at 8:15 am  Comments (7)  
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Appointments…

There are few things that annoy me more than having appointments, with the exception of hair appointments.  Unfortunately, last week, Ed and I seemed to have more than our fair share of appointments.

On Tuesday, I had an appointment to get my hair cut and colored.  No problem there, but unfortunately, I’ve been suffering with a recurring toothache.  Even though I was just at the dentist last month, I woke up with a throbbing toothache on Tuesday morning.  When I called my dentist’s office, the only appointment they had for Tuesday conflicted with my hair appointment.  What’s a woman to do?  I decided to skip getting color, and only get my hair cut.  By doing that, I could make the dentist appointment, too.

After having the toothache for two months, so I was more than ready to see the dentist again!  Last month,  when I’d complained of this same tooth hurting, along with the one above it, the dentist examined the tooth, and assured me nothing was wrong with it.  He said the broken tooth above it was causing the bottom one to throb.  Sure enough, after having the top tooth fixed, the bottom tooth felt better–for a while.  Then it began to throb again!

Tuesday got even more interesting, after I got to the dentist’s office. While sitting in the exam chair, waiting for the dentist, suddenly I heard my mother-in-law’s voice coming through the wall of the exam room!  It turned out that she was at the dentist for a toothache, as well.  I was only able to catch a glimpse of her as she was leaving–after having the last tooth in her mouth pulled!  (The director of the assisted living facility had accompanied my MIL to the dentist.)  Lucky lady, she’ll never have the toothache again–and will be getting another set of dentures very soon!

On Tuesday’s visit, my dentist found a crack in between two of my bottom teeth.  He warned that I may end up having to get a root canal and a crown, but said he’d see what he could do.  Fortunately, the crack wasn’t deep, and the dentist was able to fix it.  Thank goodness, I was able to dodge the bullet, once more.  I just wish I knew why my teeth are falling apart!

It also happened, on Tuesday, that Ed had an appointment, too.  His appointment was with an ophthalmologist, to make arrangements to have cataract surgery.  Ed hates going to any kind of doctor, so to say he was less than thrilled about his appointment, would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!  Ed came home, with his eyes dilated–and an appointment for cataract surgery, next month!  He can hardly wait…NOT!

Believe it or not, I had a second dentist appointment on Friday!  It was a pre-scheduled appointment for cleaning and x-rays, but I was still having tooth problems, as well.  I’d discovered, once my mouth wasn’t numb anymore, that my new filling was a bit too high, and kept hitting the tooth above it whenever I tried to close my mouth!  Fortunately, on Friday, the dentist was able to drill the filling down, just a bit.  No shots, and no pain!  Now I can close my mouth, and I no longer have the toothache.  Life is good again.

Thank goodness, there are no more appointments, of any kind, scheduled for the rest of this month!

Published in: on July 18, 2013 at 8:31 am  Comments (6)  
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