Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Ocular Dysfunction 2: In Which I Become a Box Brownie

So, yesterday (Tuesday) I had surgery for the cataract in my left (and only really functional) eye.  On the off chance that anyone reading this is a candidate for this little life experience (and, though you may not be now, there's an at least reasonable chance you will be one day), let me first say that it's no big thing.  I've had more-stressful experiences at the dentist.  In fact, I found the whole thing fascinating.
When I first rolled in, the first thing that happened (aside from the usual check-in paperwork) was that a very nice nurse plopped eye-drop after eye-drop into my eye.  The drops were a combination of pupil dilators and anaesthetics.  Then, I got stretched out on a reasonably comfortable gurney.  While there, yet another nurse hooked me up to a pulse monitor (67 b.p.m.) and a blood pressure cuff (137/73-ish).  I was, apparently, pretty relaxed.  (Yep, I know that "normal" b.p. is supposed to be 120/80, but that shifts as you age.  Which, obviously, I have.)  Just before being wheeled in for the actual surgery, the surgeon - also a very nice guy - came by and added yet more drops, and a more-powerful anaesthetic goo to my eye.
Once in place for the surgery, he put a mask over the upper half of my face, cut a hole for access to the "target" eye (I should mention that, all along the way, everyone kept asking me, "And which eye are we fixing?"  Gotta like extra caution.), and moved the equipment into position.  Sadly, I didn't get a particularly good look at the apparatus.  All I really saw was two blinding lights, very close together, coming closer to my eye.  These became gradually blurrier as the procedure, um, proceeded until, finally, they disappeared altogether into a field of uniform bright light, at which point I knew I no longer had a lens in the eye.  Within seconds this changed again, and things became somewhat clearer - the new lens was unfolding.  And then we were done.  In about ten minutes.  Throughout, the only thing I really felt was a constant flush of cool water across my eye.  No pain, no tugging, no anything.
I was wheeled on my gurney back out to the prep room by the surgeon and a nurse.  The surgeon told me everything had gone very well, and said he'd see me tomorrow (a.k.a. "today").  The nurse asked me how I felt.  I said, "Fine".  She had me sit up, asked me again how I felt, and got the same answer, and asked me if I'd like them to call the kind soul who was going to come pick me up post-surgery (I was done an hour early!), and I said, "Sure.", while looking around the room with much better vision than I'd come in with.  I got picked up.  We went to lunch.   I got dropped off at home, had a nap, and that was that.
Now, again, just in case you might be a candidate for this, there's one last detail to be aware of.  When I first came out of surgery, I could tell that my vision was much better than it had been.  But, it was still a bit blurred.  This was temporary, and due to the fact that my pupil was about the size of a dinner plate, or, in photographic terms, I now had an f0.00001 lens to look through.  Today I've managed to stop it down some, and things are better.
The other interesting thing that happened was that, as the afternoon went on, my vision actually got foggier.  Much foggier.  As though someone had applied an entire jar of Vaseline to my lens.  That was due to corneal edema (or "oedema") setting in.  That passed in five or six hours, and it's perfectly normal.
So, to the box Brownie.  I now have sharp vision from about 3 feet (a.k.a. roughly 1 metre) to about 100 feet (a.k.a., um, 30(?) metres).  Any closer and I need reading glasses.  Any further and......I don't really care.  The sharpness gradually drops off.  Someday, I'm sure, somebody will figure out how to put in an artificial, focusable lens, but.....
Oh, and I had a look through the viewfinder of my camera.  Wow!  So that's what's in there!  Between being sharper and not having to deal with glasses pushing my eye away from the finder, it's a whole new world.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Car of Ruth

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday, January 29, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Friday, January 22, 2016

     I know, I know - all 4 of you have been wondering, "Hey, where's the pix?".  Well, it's like this...
     Turns out I've got cataracts.  Which goes a long way toward explaining why every time I look at the world, looking for something interesting to photograph, I see only a blur.  No detail.  Which, as you might imagine, makes it sort of difficult to decide what I might like to photograph.  In fact, it's annoying.  I can see the big stuff ("Oh, look - trees!"), but not the leaves, or the branches, or whatever else might be lurking in the scene.

     The interesting thing is how cataracts are not what I thought they'd be.  I always figured people with cataracts saw the world through the organic equivalent of a fog filter.  Not so.  Everything is perfectly clear, except for the fact that there's two or three of everything.  Imagine looking through your camera lens through one of those old (at least, I hope they're "old") prism filters.  For those of you crazy enough to have bought one of those, how often did you use it?  Got old pretty quickly, didn't it?  Yeah, well, try living with it all day, every day.

     On the "up" side, however, cataract surgery these days is pretty darn mundane, and the new lens will work better than the original.  I've worn glasses since I was three years old, so, once I've had this lens replaced, I should see better than I ever have in my life.  That'll be interesting.  (And, just in case you're wondering why I'm saying "lens" rather than "lenses", I also have amblyopia, which, in my case, means my right eye is mostly decorative.  Replacing its lens will happen eventually, but its impact on my vision will be minimal.)

     So, there you go, that's my excuse.  My surgery's in another couple of weeks, so, with any luck, things will pick up again after that.

Monday, January 04, 2016