More Do nots than expected

Last Saturday I had the operation to remove the cataract from my left eye. Not the most comfortable or enjoyable 45 minutes I've ever spent laying flat on my back, covered in warm blankets. Savasana this wasn't.

This was also my first experience of surgery under a local anaesthetic, rather than a general one where you are asleep. The anaesthetist had a distraction technique all her own, distracting me by talking about the weekends soccer match as she then dropped the stinging anaesthetic drops in my eyes, they ***** sting I can tell you, though she eventually reached a point where I wasn't reacting to the sting, so she knew I was ready to be wheeled in for part 2.

Part 2 is the removal of the cataract and insertion of the new lens, a small incision, no pain but a lot of pressure and a weird sensation as the Phacoemulsification machine breaks up the cataract and sucks it out, then they post in the new lens and your done. No stitches. Well you're done apart from the fact you end up drenched, during the procedure as they continually pump in saline to wash the eye, in theory the liquid should run down the Shute in the drape and away, in practice it goes down your back, down your front, in your hair. So once they sit you up to take you back to Recovery a Nurse runs over with a fluffy towel to mop up, my t-shirt was wringing wet, you only get covered in blankets and not changed in to a gown. After a few checks, BP, temperature etc and a cup of tea and a biscuit it's time to go.

Cyborg shield

That said all the staff over the 2 days were fantastic and if my other eye ever needs doing I'll be down there again, so worth it and not just to avoid the 8 month waiting list round here. From diagnosis by the optician to surgery was 38 days.

Before I escaped there was one more surprise, I knew yoga would be banned for a while, but what I wasn't expecting was to not be able to return to work for 2 weeks. The pre op assessment Sister had quizzed me in detail about my job and hobbies and mentioned maybe a week off, but the Consultant had apparently insisted that I must take two weeks off. Two weeks off is ok, as my Boss said your only get one set of eyes, but what I wasn't expecting was the huge list of things I'm meant to avoid during that time including, lifting stuff, bending down too much, certainly no bending down and lifting, no reaching up/lifting, no lifting heavy shopping bags, no walking the dog, luckily I haven't got one, no gardening. Nothing inverted, basically anything that could potentially raise blood pressure is banned. I also get to wear the nifty eye shield at night to stop me rubbing my eye when I wake up, also wear it when I go out to avoid any dust or crap in the air.

So I'm left with going for unenergetic walks, watching tv and the one thing I haven't been able to do for months, read a book. Reading anything more than was absolutely necessary had become too hard over the last 3 months, leaving me with a headache and streaming eyes, so I had put my book to one side and stopped buying newspapers even before the extent of the cataract was diagnosed.

It's early days and I'm having quite a lot of trouble putting the eye drops in 4 times a day, but the early signs are good, there is a huge improvement in my vision, though now my glasses are unusable and I've had to go back to the glasses I had made in Mysore 7 years ago.

If anyone has a good technique for self administering eye drops please feel free to comment. I miss more than I hit.

So yoga and life are on hold as I rest and recover. As my teacher Louise told me this is a chance for healing for my whole body, not just the eye. She also suggested to help with the stir craziness of not being able to do asana to do a morning sitting and breathing practice.

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2 Responses to “More Do nots than expected”

  1. Mike Evans Says:

    Interesting the different instructions – my mum was told to remove the shield the next morning and discard it. Light gardening would be OK, and that the danger with bending over was mostly to do with hitting her head on something when coming back up. She also commented about the water having gone everywhere – I wonder why they don’t just tell people to bring a spare shirt?

    • globie Says:

      I wonder if the instructions are age related, perhaps they think an older person is less active to start with and less likely to do themselves damage. The Sister quizzed me on what my job involves and what I do outside of work.The bending down was about hitting the head as you get used to the new perspective and also I was told about blood pressure to the head. The coordinator had told me I would be put in a surgical gown for the operation, so was quite surprised to be left in my t-shirt and covered in a blanket. Presume that’s why they didn’t say to bring a spare t-shirt

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