Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Descemet's Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty

About a month ago, I wrote here on STSTT that I would be having a corneal transplant.
Wednesday, a week ago today, Richard drove us to Camel for the procedure. Since we were told to arrive there at 6:30 a.m., all three of us found ourselves up and on the road well before time to rise from the comfort of our respective beds.

A well-organized facility which had "preregistered" me by telephone the previous day completed the intake process very quickly. Then it is sit in the waiting area until a nurse comes to collect me. During this interval, Beautiful fell into conversation, as she is inclined to do, with a young woman. It turned out that at age 47 she was having cataract surgery. And then she asked my wife, "What is your father here for?"

Now, I could laugh and handle this, even consider that, okay, BBBH does look to be a generation younger than I in spite of her being in her mid-70s. So then as the nurse is taking me to the operating arena, she asks me who is driving me today. "Richard," I say, indicating the gentleman seated to my right. "Is he your son?"

Now wait just a dogbone minute!! Richard is older than I. Maybe more stress and terror showed on my visage than I thought I was feeling in my heart.

Begowned now and lying on the gurney, the anaesthesiologist came in to talk with me about her role and what she was going to do to me. Then the surgeon came in to verify that we all agreed it was the right eye which he was going to cut on. (This was verified numerous times with everyone I encountered, and someone wrote "YES" in indelible letters above my right eyebrow.

So now I am in the OR with the 95 year-old anaesthesiologist and the 17-year old surgeon in whose hands I have placed my life and my eyesight. As she had promised, the little old lady knocked me out while a local was administered to the eye, then awakened me so that I could communicate with the team during the procedure.

At one point, probably an hour or so into the thing, I said, "The left side of my nose itches." Doctor Deitch said, "I'm busy over here with the donor cornea. Can't help you." Which I took to mean, Suck it up; you'll live. Which I did.

So on Thursday, Dick took me to Carmel again. The physician examined his work and pronounced it good. I see him again tomorrow. I am told that the healing process is quite lengthy and not to get my tidy whiteys in a knot.

Meanwhile, the good news is that I can already see with better clarity than I had before the surgery, so I am hopeful that things will be well in the long term.

Thank you, Dr. Deitch and all the team at Midwest Eye Institute!

I am looking forward to reconnecting with my readers, so comment away! I have already been spending some time trying to catch up with my friends on their blogs. It is good to be back.


Anonymous said...

Nice of you to see us again.

That's supposed to be a joke. Apparently, I'm not that witty at this time of the morning.

Secondary Roads said...

And you call me a silly old man. I guess it takes one to know one. :)

God bless. Praying for quick healing.

Anonymous said...

That was funny. I was going with a guy who was 6 years older than I and when we were out with his 3 children. one of whom was 19, someone said "ohh - you have 4 children" He didn't speak to me for the rest of the day! (and I believe the term is "tighty-whities" - tho tidy ones are a definite plus).

vanilla said...

Jim, but it is good to "see you again!"

Chuck, a wise man recognizes his own kind. Thank you and the folks at West Berlin Wesleyan for the prayers.

Grace, you perpetually young ladies make us old guys look our ages. (I guess I can't distinguish the sound "d" from "ght" very well. Otiologist, next stop?)

Pearl said...

You look quite dashing!

My dad had cataracts removed a couple years ago and he just would NOT shut up about how much brighter the colors were following the surgery...


vanilla said...

Pearl, thank you!

You may believe your father. I had cataracts removed from both eyes years ago. It made an astonishing difference!
The elderly find wonder in the simplest things.

Sharkbytes said...

Such good news!

Vee said...

You were supposed to have your cornea replaced, not your self-esteem removed.

vanilla said...

Shark, thank you!

Vee, not to worry. I'm fine with it; I know I'm old.