Windows to the Soul

I had the operation.

Tomorrow will be the second week since I had it done and I feel very good. Now, I can see with both eyes, no need to cover my right eye to read the fine prints.  The next time I see my doctor that is to confirm the final prescription I will need for my reading glasses.

The last post Do Not Wait Too Long was all about my right eye that is 90 percent blind. When I went to the ophthalmologist in Izmir, in Turkey, to have new glasses prescribed the doctor discovered I have something in my eyes the translator cannot translate in English, and I didn’t press on. The specialist just told me I am 60 percent blind and he can correct it very easy.  That was in April 2017.

A little over a year, I felt I completely lost my eyesight because all I can see are bright lights behind a smoke screen.  The moment I become mobility independent, I decided to do something about it.

A day at the beach 

As I promised my niece, we will go and have a vacation at the beach before classes start in July, I confirmed we will go the weekend after my surgery.

30th June, I was sitting in the verandah of my friends resort in Saryaya, Quezon Province, 2.5 hours away from my dad’s place in San Pedro, Laguna. Tomorrow will begin the second half of 2018 and I am officially back to my old self and can say my disability journey is complete.

Is it really, how?

Aside from my physical injury and temporary disability I also had a visual impairment that I chose to ignore until it cannot be ignored anymore and finally decided do something about it.

I noticed that my right eye cannot see anything anymore, even as close as an inch into my face. All I can see are the lights behind a smoke screen. In spite of that, I still took my sweet time to seek medical help. Part of it was my injury, and the other part was fear.

So …

Early June I sucked it up and went to seek professional help and was told that my vision could be restored. But was told what I have is the type of cataract well beyond my age – it was for those over the age of 70.

I breath easy!

For years I was able to fool myself that I have good vision and the changes in grade were associated with age, which is a normal progression of life.  I wore fancy looking glasses and life went its merry way.

Last year was no different. I knew I have a problem, but I still didn’t do anything to change my situation. I wanted it done in the Philippines, and I convinced myself that we have better treatment procedures and I was not wrong except the timing.

Galileo

The father of telescope.

A fitting name for the center that took care of my eye surgery, aided with the latest technology to make the operation and healing as painless as possible with very little to no inconvenience, getting you back on your own as soon as possible.

They correct the windows to the soul and restore them to its former glory.

My sister was the one who told me about the center. She was the only person that knew I have such problem. The Salesian nuns used Galileo’s services and had nothing but good words to say on the quality of care they do including the doctors.

I also found out from my orthopedic doctor that they are one of the oldest eye centers around, he knows because his wife is an ophthalmologist but specializes in glaucoma management.

Right place wrong age 

When I visited the center, I was greeted pleasantly by their staff and made comfortable as I wait for my turn to be seen by the consultant. The streams of people coming in the center peaked at mid-day for consult and follow-up, but all of them are way over the age of 60, I felt out of place.

I chatted one of them that had the surgery the week before and was there for follow-up. She was gushing to tell me how clear her vision is and it’s getting better every day. She asked me back and was surprised that I am a patient and that I may have a cataract, but despite that, she assured me that I am in good hands –  the doctor, the services, and the outcome and wished me well.

That conversation boosted my confidence until I was called to be seen by the doctor, I was ready to accept whatever the outcome is.  It was confirmed, I have a cataract, but it’s the type commonly seen in older patients, those over the age of 70.

It was really hard to tell how I got cataract at this age but he attributed it to the kind of work I do and nothing on the lifestyle I maintain. I was assured that it can be reversed and will have my vision restored immediately after the surgery and they were not kidding.

All it took was fifteen minutes

That was the case from the moment they numbed my eyes, extracted the cataract and inserted the IOL it was done in a quarter of an hour.

The preparation was like delivering a baby – they waited for my pupil to dilate which needed four drops before they ushered me to the ER. It took longer than the actual operation.

I was seated in what looks like a dental chair and hooked up to different monitoring machines and oxygen.

Once done, headphones with music were placed over my ears to relax me until I heard the doctors shuffling, talking over my head giving information on what they are doing in my eye. All of that while I continue to relax with gospel music first, followed by instrumental music which was more the kind I like.

The fifteen minutes began after they cleaned my eyes and anesthesia was administered. I tensed up when I started hearing a buzzing sound on top of the music playing in my ear.  My fingers started playing air piano, and the nurse holds my hand until the operation was done.

While they work on my eye, I keep seeing two red squares in front of me.  The red squares after a few minutes started to have a yellow hue around it and I started to see my doctor from my peripheral vision and was told the damaged lens was out.

The moment of truth followed – my doctor was talking while he inserted the plastic IOL and as it happens, the red square with some shades of yellow suddenly had defined dots inside the box. It was like looking at a beehive, and it was so bright. I felt good and relaxed because I knew then that my vision was restored. And that was it!

I just needed to wait for the anesthesia to wear off, and I am good as new.

Like nothing happened

I went back to my hotel and slept the anesthesia off. I have to wear protective glasses but no more eye patch. If you didn’t know you will not think I had eye surgery.  I slept for the rest of the day and worked up as if nothing happened. Felt no pain, it felt good.

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Couldn’t believe that just hours earlier I cannot see when I close my left eye, so I kept trying to close it to make sure that the right eye can see.  There was no reason for me to skip my friends “concert” because there were no complications.

Post-op care

The first thing I asked my doctor after he gave me post-op care is whether I can watch concerts and he said yes. I was told that I could do everything from using computers, watching TV and using mobile phones but no washing of the eyes for a week and no swimming for a month.

I ended the night feeling happy I watched my friends concert, and as soon as I woke up I declared I can see NOW! 

***

I invite you to click the photo and listen to Side A band, the only local band I like back in the days.

Image result for side a band

***
For information on Galileo SurgiCenter, please contact +63 7216412 or visit their website http://galileoeyecenter.com/

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