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Saturday, 27 September 2014

My Cataract Surgery Taught Me a Lesson.

My cataract surgery 

Who me?  I had a huge shock when a year ago during an eye exam, my doctor said that I have cataract. It seemed surreal that I should be in need of a cataract surgery when I'm 65.  My mom,  my dad, my father in law, my mother in law and almost anyone I knew had cataract surgery in their 80s. 

Last year when my Medicare kicked in, I opted to sign up with an HMO, in another word I chose a medical group and I had to see doctors within that specific group. I checked their assigned eye surgeons and with little research I decided to go with Dr. Karine Gabrielian. And it was a great choice.

By the time the date of my surgery arrived I had reached my annoyance threshold. Reading and writing had become a chore. I could not see the road well at night and everything looked hazy. I was counting days to have the surgery.  

Since I was not supposed to drive a car after the surgery, on the morning of the surgery, I took "Lyft" which is a taxi service operated from an app on my cellphone.  It cost me $3 and I paid $2 tip. What could I've asked for more.

From the whole process I learned that a surgery center is as important as a the surgeon. I had been to that surgery center for my colonoscopy and I already knew in what professional manner the center operates. 

The staff were helpful, caring and pleasant.  I was admitted at 9 o'clock.  They gave me a hospital garb to wear over my cloths. I liked that because I was cold. Then a nurse brought me a warmed blanket.  I liked that too. Another nurse checked my vital signs. The anesthetist told me that she was going to sedate me and I will be half awake. Her calm and soft spoken words put me on ease. The last thing I remember it was that I was wheeled into the operating room and then I heard someone telling me it's over.  I didn't feel a thing.

After the surgery my daughter picked me up and we went to my home.  We had lunch and when she left, I collapsed on the sofa and took a long nap. The rest of the day went easy.  I watched some TV, I talked on the phone and tried hard not to go near the computer. 

This surgery thought me a lesson.  I learned how our mind can deceive us. 

Usually I stay up late. But since I was tired that night I went to bed early.  Then something unexpected happened.  I woke up during the night to go to the bathroom and accidentally I hit my bandaged eye to the edge of the half open door.  It didn't hurt, but the thought of it brought so much anxiety that I felt a pounding pain in my eye.  The worry consumed me.  I had to take a sleeping peel to go back to sleep.  

The following morning the pain persisted and it became worse. At first when I closed my eyes the pain stopped but later it didn't go away even when I closed my eyes.  I called few people I knew that had cataract surgery and no one said that they had experienced any pain. I called the doctor's office and they said "just come for the follow up exam." I already had an appointment.

As soon as the doctor opened the bandage on my eye, the pain disappeared.  What? It was an induced pain.  It was created in my mind.  I asked the doctor how could it be. She didn't have an answer.  This proved how human mind can lie.

The first thing I noticed with my new eye was the bright office floor. I was amazed at the improved quality of colors and the visual clarity.  I went outside and the sky looked so blue and everything was shining.  

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