What do George W. Bush and I have in common? Not much except that we both had surgery on the same day, mine however, was of the elective kind. My distance vision has been failing for a while now, so cataract surgery was on the horizon (which, alas, I could no longer see.) Yesterday I had cataracts removed from the left eye with an implantation of an intraocular lens as a bonus. Can’t wait to see the results! I’m on no meds but the colorful hallucinations through the bandages are spectacular. It’s like having a built-in kaleidoscope. In the meantime, I’ve been forced to sit still – a Herculean task for me. So what have I been doing? All my favorite sedentary activities: reading and writing and even watching a little television (which is really not a favorite thing – except for tennis matches or golf tourneys.) But I watched “Morning Joe” all the way up to 9 o’clock when it goes off. I’m usually out by that hour. I then watched a DVR recording of last night’s delightful Jay Leno interview with the POTUS and I’m looking forward to a film that was sold out at the Tribeca Filmfest a couple of years ago: Julie Delpy’s ” Two Days in New York,” which we also taped last night. All this inactivity – how long will I be able to take it? I should know later today when the bandages and stitches are removed.
Caveat: Rated PG and not gory. I was fully conscious and awake throughout, so I offer this eye-lesswitness account:
Prior to going into the OR, I met the anaesthesiologist, a bit of a kibbitzer (but not in the OR. No, it was strictly business and that included the four OR nurses and of course, my opthalmological surgeon.) Dr. K., the anaesthesiologist, asked me the routine questions and capped it with, “What type of music do you like?” I told him, “Classic rock, but not Led Zeppelin. And I love Van Morrison.” He high-fived me and left.
A few minutes, and 15 eye drops later, this hazel-eyed girl was wheeled into the OR to the sound of “Brown-Eyed Girl” and an hour and fifteen minutes later, it was a fait accompli. The doctor, an old pro, is to be commended. It’s a rare person that can get me to stop talking. I must’ve been a little giddy (surely nervous energy) upon arrival because he said, “Melinda, please stop talking.” Dr. K. had told me earlier that the music would be in the background and not cranked up because it might tempt me to move. “The slightest movement is like an earthquake to us.” An interesting way of making his point.
In the recovery room, my doctor and I had a discussion about drinking alcohol and how my social drinking affected my clotting factor. I hadn’t been warned not to imbibe prior to the surgery. There’s no problem now, but why tempt fate? I decided on the spot to become a very casual weekend drinker. So please don’t invite me out for a drink during the week. I’ll be home reading, writing and watching television.