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Friday, January 11, 2013

Rough Eye Job, My most recent trip to the eye doctor!

Had the opportunity to have a little eye work done this morning. Wasn’t expecting it to happen today, but glad it did. I find the worst aspect of medical procedures is the anxiety that builds toward that procedure out in the future. I tend to spend far too much time worrying about the possible pain, the what-can-g-wrong, the recovery, etc. The actual procedures seem to never reach the level of worry and anxiety I put into them.

Back in November, I got an appointment with my ophthalmologist, Doc Real-Good-Hands, because of a problem resembling a sty on my right eyelid. There wasn’t much pain, just a little tenderness, but I was concerned because I woke up every morning with the eye swollen shut about half-way. Of course it was a much bigger problem to Patsy than it was to me. After a couple of days of trying to ignore her—sure that the problem would go away—I knuckled under and scheduled a visit to my doc.

Doc Real-Good-Hands down played the importance of the problem—not a sty, just a blocked tear duct. His advice at the time was to apply hot compresses multiple times a day and see if the problem resolves itself. Well, the holidays threw a clinker into that process. Three trips to the Dallas area, three trips to Bryan-College Station, one trip to Mississippi and the grand kids for a week didn’t help the matter much—not to mention the weather and cleaning pup feet constantly over the last two months—rain finally came to Austin. I admit that I coulda done better.

The knot of my eyelid kept getting bigger and bigger. Again came the ragging from Patsy and still more feet cleaning getting in the way. I’d finally had enough of it and called this morning to see when I could get an appointment. To my utter surprise, the lady said “how about ten o’clock?”

I responded: “What day?”

She said: “This morning!”

I said: “Fine. I’ll see you at ten.”

I was on time, even a little early. They weren’t. After a short wait (the first of seven) I was ushered back for the prelim of taking evidence. Then to another waiting area, probably the longest wait of all. Finally, the original note taker puts me in another room to (again) wait the doc.

Doc Real-Good-Hands comes in and looks at the eye and says: “Didn’t get better? Pretty big knot now. Let’s fix it!” Follow me over to a room where we will do the work. I hadn’t expected this to happen today—it almost never does. He showed me to another room and said wait here and we’ll be right back with what we need to get this fixed.

A nurse came back in a matter of minutes with the paperwork—releasing the medical profession of all liability because I signed away the authorization for them to gouge out my eye. Again I wait.

Both Doc and the nurse blast back in through the door throwing on all the lights and a few more strong light sources hidden away in unsuspecting corners of the room. While Nurse fiddles with the instruments, Doc lays me back in the exam chair in most likely the worst comfortable of all positions. I complain a bit and he adjusts the head rest—this restores blood to my lower extremities but doesn’t feel much better.

Doc states: “The worst of the procedure is the numbing needle. It’s all downhill from there. First I have to apply this clamp that will hold your eyelid inside out and back out of the way.”

“Go get it doc; I’m ready!” False bravado always sounds so good.

“Kook up this way and push out your chin.”

“My chin! I thought you were going to work on my eye.” I respond.

Doc chuckled once and grabbed my eyelid and attached it to what felt like my rear end—I know it was at least the back of my neck. You know, I don’t care too much for needles around my eyes, but in this position with a million candle power light shining in my eye, my eyelid hooked behind my ear and the doc’s death grip on my head I couldn’t do anything but observe the procedure.

First Doc pores a numbing solution into my eye socket and then pokes me three or four times with the numbing needle—the first prick having a small sting to it, but the rest felt like just a touch; quick stuff!

Then comes the Bowie Knife to make the incision which was quickly followed by what appeared to be a tiny small hook apparatus that he gouged out the oil build up. Over and over this part of the procedure continued—a Que-tip in one hand and a new wire hook in the other after each new gouge. “There’s a lot here to get.” Doc says.

Several minutes past and Doc is still digging and retrieving new tools. Nurse seems worried if she brought enough and asks if he might need more. Doc responds: “No, I think I can get it all with what we have. This is the biggest knot of the year though.”

I said: “Doc, it’s only the 11th of January!”

“OK, OK! But still in the top ten of last year.” Still more digging.

Finally comes the “there, we’ve got it all. I’m just going to put some ointment on it and cover it with a compression patch in case it bleeds a bit and we’ll give you a rest for about ten minutes.” Well, finally the last of the waits is upon me. They both depart and turn of some of the flood lights on their way out. There I sit, finally upright again.

I wasn’t paying much attention and assume ten minutes past. Doc came back in and removed the patch, dabbed the eye a bit and said I might have a little pink colored tears until the healing finishes.

I was ushered out and able to continue my day.

While the doc was outta the room the last time, I broke hospital rules by taking out my phone and snapping a pix of my eye area—I hope I didn’t offend somebody’s pacemaker or stop an assisted breathing apparatus while I was in action.

When I got to my vehicle I text’d the pix to Patsy and ask her if she would like me to stop by for lunch. The result is exactly what one might expect: “Can you drive like that?” I had brought my glasses and was set—of course Patsy didn’t know that! I’ll probably dream tonight ‘bout that needle and wire hooks around my eye.

 The pix did it's intended job!

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