… oh, wait, it is a poke in the eye!


You’ve heard the expression, it beats a poke in the eye? Well, after the cataract surgery on my left eye yesterday, I can safely say that there are a whole world of things out there that beat a poke in the eye.

Golly but that smarts!

I didn’t expect it to be fun and games but I have to admit that I wasn’t prepared for how sore my eye was going to be. It’s finally down to only a twinge here and there so, all things considered, it wasn’t really too awful. It’s a good thing too, otherwise, there would be a bunch of folks wandering around permanently with only one eye free of cataracts.

The best thing about the whole ordeal is that I can see with my left eye without glasses or contacts. I can even read small print. Not tiny print, not yet, but chances are, I’ll get there too.

Now, the scoop (no pun intended, well maybe a little one) on cataract surgery …

First, they set you up with oxygen

I have to say I’m not a big fan of that. It makes you a bit light-headed and I had to ask them to turn it down a bit because, at first, it was like having a fan blowing up my nose. Too much of a good thing and hard to breathe it all in.

Then comes the eye drops

… about a gazillion of them.They keep those babies coming for about an hour to make sure your eyeball can feel no pain. That’s a good thing in my book.

Followed by the duct tape

What, you didn’t know your eyeballs are secured with duct tape?  Just kidding! When the eye can feel no pain, they wheel you into the op room. You’re awake during this procedure and they have to make sure you don’t move around during it so they wedge your arms in next to your sides and then tape your head to the table. It’s probably not really duct tape. It’s probably just some really expensive version of it. Okay! I didn’t actually see the tape but it sure sounded like duct tape when they peeled a big strip of it off that roll.

And then, the poke in the eye

Next, they put a clear plastic cover over your face leaving only a small hole where your eye is. Then they poke a small slit in your eye, suck out the old lens, pop in a new one, and wham-bam  you’re done. The surgery itself takes less than 10 minutes. Yep, it’s a quickie.

The black hole

There is just a few moments, before the new lens is implanted, when you are blind in that eye. That is by far the weirdest feeling I’ve ever had. The light just disappears. Total blackness. That was very disconcerting to me and frightening. Fortunately, though, they had given me a strong enough tranquilizer to keep panic from taking over during that blackout.

The bitter end

The buzz from all that oxygen and tranquilizers lasts for maybe half an hour. Then they push you out the door with a whole bunch of instructions about eye drops and you’re on you own.

It pays to be prepared

I watched a couple of cataract removal videos on YouTube a few days before the procedure so was prepared for what would happen. If I hadn’t done that, I’m pretty sure no amount of fuzzy brain stuff on the planet would have kept me from having a panic attack when they came at my face with that plastic.

If you want to watch some of them on YouTube, click here. (NOTE: If you’re the squeamish type, don’t watch these videos.)

Aren’t they fascinating? No? Oh, well.

Momma told me not to …

The funny thing about this little adventure is that a lot of things happen that your mom told you to never do. For instance:

  • Never take drugs from strangers
  • Never put a plastic bag over your head
  • Never, ever, poke your eye with a sharp instrument

Now, isn’t that ironic? The very things your mom says never do and what to you do? You go out and pay somebody to do those same things.

What a silly, silly world in which we live.

A big THANK YOU to my sister for driving me to and from.

You can read her version of this adventure here. (I may never forgive her for those pics.)

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7 thoughts on “… oh, wait, it is a poke in the eye!

  1. Hmmm. My experience was a little different. They gave me some intravenous juice that made me very mellow. I wasn’t quite out but I couldn’t move if the place would have burned down. After the surgery (which I sorely needed), I became an evangelist for cataract surgery. My whole world brightened up and the brown tinge was gone. On the drive home I was terrified that I wouldn’t like all the colors I had picked for my furniture and wall paint but it all was ok. Glad your surgery turned out ok.

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    • I got the juice as well, but was still pretty chatty so i guess they figured they needed to tie me down or I’d wiggle around and end up losing an eye.

      The weirdest part for me was that blackness between the lenses. As the old lens was broken up and being removed, it got darker and darker until it was completely black. That unnerved me a little and made me really appreciate being able to see.

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