A week doesn’t sound like a very long time. Most of the time a week passes with lightning speed.
But a week after cataract surgery, in which I am to follow all the guidelines to protect my eye for one solid week, is seemingly endless.
Sunday afternoon I forgot myself and reached up to my right eye. I didn’t rub it, but my finger pressed down as if to commence rubbing my itchy allergy-irritated eye.
Then I stopped myself. But not before I had pressed down a bit. The eye that had felt so wonderful since last week, that didn’t hurt or cause me any problem, suddenly felt like it had a problem.
And of course it was a Sunday.
Last week when I saw the optometrist to check my eye the day after surgery, he told me a story. It was about a man who had cataract surgery, but things weren’t quite normal afterward.
The man said his friend told him he’d had the same surgery, and that the symptoms he was having were nothing to worry about. So the man didn’t immediately go in to get the eye checked out.
When he did go in, Dr. Vincent, my optometrist, sent him straight to get immediate help. And they said, when all was said and done, that if he hadn’t sent him immediately, the man would have lost his eyeball. It was infected.
As it was, he lost more of his vision. So Dr. Vincent cautioned me that if anything seemed wrong or out of the ordinary, I was to call and come in and have him take a look post haste.
But of course it was a Sunday. And of course what he told me about the man with the infected eye weighed heavily on me throughout the day.
I worried, and I worried. Because suddenly I felt pressure on my eye. I felt like something was in my eye. But I managed to get through Sunday night and through Monday morning until I could get in to see Dr. Vincent.
He did all the tests, put drops in my eye, checked the eye pressure. He said the cornea was a little bit cloudy, but everything else was fine. I had not managed to scratch my cornea.
It was just irritated. And it immediately felt better, thank goodness, once he put those drops in, whatever they were.
Whew! I dodged a bullet.
I don’t know when I’m allowed to rub my eye, but my eyes are itchy and burn from whatever the Oklahoma wind is managing to sweep right down the plain. And it’s taking every bit of resolve I have not to reach up like I always have and rub it.
Tomorrow morning I see Dr. Vincent to see if I’m ready for the left eye surgery. And if I can manage to get to that point and it’s successful, at least I won’t feel drunk trying to see out of two very different eyes. One very much improved, one very near-sighted.
At night before I go to sleep, I am to tape a plastic piece over my right eye so I don’t inadvertently hurt it during the night. The instructions say to put a piece of tape over the plastic eye shield to hold it securely over the eye throughout the night.
As with most things, I seem to err on over doing. I put the tape they gave me over it. Then I add about 4-5 strips of regular Scotch tape. Just to be sure it’s really secure.
Then come morning I have to peel it off, and I probably take facial hair and a bit of eye brow with it.
Whew! It’s kind of a shock to the system. But at least I haven’t hurt my eye during the night due to the clear plastic eye shield falling off.
One more day and it will be a week since cataract surgery. Then I can ease up on the long list of instructions until the next eye surgery.
Dr. Vincent told me to go home and sit and relax. Me? Just sit and relax? He said why don’t you go home and watch a soap opera or something.
That kind of aggravated me. I don’t sit around and watch soap operas. And I hate to just sit around. It’s boring and not in my nature.
I told him that I have all these things I need to be doing. Dead heading the petunias that look so sad because they’re drooping. Clipping the many peppers that are ripe and dangling from the pepper plant.
But I know once I let myself get started out on the patio, I might forget myself and overdo or get dirt in my eye. So it’s best to refrain for now.
And I can’t for the life of me remember not to bend over. He said he didn’t think it was a big deal. But still I worry. You only get one shot at this cataract surgery I imagine.
Have you ever tried to go through your day, with all the things we women do during any given day, and not bend over? Not to mention getting through your day without walking into walls because your eyes are vastly different.
A week sure seems like a long time suddenly.
I didn’t mention this yesterday because I was so nervous about my eye that I didn’t even want to talk about it until I saw Dr. Vincent.
The day Abi died, I thought the remaining hours of May 10th would never end. For awhile it seemed like time kind of stood still. I thought night would never come so I could sleep and escape the pain for awhile.
Three months later, I’m still grieving. But time is not moving at a snail’s pace any more. I still look at her framed photo and my eyes tear up. I tell myself not to get so upset that I cry and irritate my eye right now.
In fact I had a talk with myself before I started this cataract surgery journey and told myself in no uncertain terms that I had to watch it with the crying.
This would not have been possible a month or so ago. But time does dim the pain of loss to a degree. Otherwise we’d never live through it.
Now if I can just relax, but not to the point that I forget and rub my itchy eye.