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Discussion: Hoping

in: PG; PG > 2021-01-14

Jan 14, 2021 8:26 PM # 
for a good result and a fast recovery. That's encouraging that the doc said it went well. Glad to see you are already able to post on your log.
Jan 14, 2021 9:21 PM # 
What Charlie said. Good luck!
Jan 14, 2021 9:55 PM # 
I'd been at this facility (an outpatient surgical center for eye surgery, not a hospital) a couple times when I was getting my cataracts taken care of. All I remember of the surgery was being on my back and looking up into what seemed like a bright light, and then they were done, so really over in an instant. Actually I think it takes them 10 or 15 minutes. This time, retina surgery, was supposed to take about 25 minutes.

For this one, what I remember after they moved me into the operating room is that there seemed to be the doc and a couple of female nurse types, and they were having a discussion like you might see on any of the many medical soap operas on TV. In this case, the subject was relationships, I think one nurse was on marriage #2 and it seemed to be on the rocks, the other also had issues, the doc seemed to have a fiancee but no previous marriages and so had some catching up to do.

I couldn't tell if they were working on me at the same time. And the conversation might have been just a minute or too. I was somewhat loopy -- they had given me a couple things for pain and some propronol (sp?) to I'm not sure what, relax me. And then an injection I think underneath my eye, I assume for pain again I also assume with a long needle. So I was somewhat out of it, but not totally. Certainly totally pain-free.

Then the conversation stopped, and there was a sound that seemed like it might be a mini-drill for a bit. I don't know how many holes he made in the side of my eye. And then before long the drill again. And then before long he was telling a nurse to squirt some fluid on my eye to check for leaks. Part of the process is injecting an air bubble into the eye. Somehow that helps with the recovery before dissipating in about a week.

Well, no leaks, they seemed to be finished. I'd been instructed at the start not to say anything, since that might cause my eye to move, and I'd been very obedient. But now, what the hell, I asked if I could talk. Sure, no problem. So out it came -- I've been married for 47 years, first and only time, better than ever. That got a good round of laughter, a bit more relationship talk, and then I was being wheeled out and prepped to go home (via Gail's car service). Appointment tomorrow afternoon to take the patch off and see how things look.
Jan 15, 2021 2:50 AM # 
Propofol? That's what they give for things like colonoscopies, I assume you got a smaller dose.
Jan 15, 2021 3:28 AM # 
Hi, Peter. I didn't realize you were lined up for some eye surgery, or that you have anything going on that required same. I hope it all went well and you get the desired result. As you relate the story, we can take it as a positive that the operation was at least performed on the correct body part (your eye, not your ears.) Also, it's surely a favorable omen that I saw some kind of enormous bird fly (probably whatever would be the largest hawk in these parts) off in the forest this afternoon--it had been hanging out there, probably for protection against today's violent winds, but maybe looking for an unsuspecting bird photographer to waylay. Best wishes and good recovering!
Jan 15, 2021 6:31 AM # 
Best of luck for a speedy recovery and an improved eye!
Jan 15, 2021 6:47 AM # 
I've had several short procedures (including 2 colonoscopies, but nothing with my eyes), during which I was given propofol, and in every case I was totally out, with zero awareness. Nothing, not even dream-like. And no sense of time having passed when I woke up. Exactly the way I wanted it...

Anyway, Peter, best wishes for a quick, complete recovery!
Jan 15, 2021 12:34 PM # 
While the anesthesiologist was doing his thing, he was a chatty type, so he was telling me what he was doing. And I was trying to remember, because I figured Gail would find it interesting. But I partially blew it, because the first one got by me before I really started concentrating.

So first in the IV were two painkillers, I think best----- (may be completely wrong), also fentanyl. He said both were very quick acting, also of very short duration, good for only a few minutes. Also the propofol, which would hang around for long enough to get the surgery done. And then an injection below my eyeball, and all he said about that was that I might feel a lot of pressure for just a couple of seconds, but then it would be gone.

So I think the two painkillers were just so he could get the needle in under my eyeball, a very long needle I presume, and a needle he absolutely did not show me either before or after. And whatever the needle put in me, I felt nothing in the eye thereafter.

For the propofol, he said he was only giving a small dose, because I had to stay awake/alert (or at least semi-awake/semi-alert). It had to do with the fact that the procedure was in the head/neck part of me, and had something to do with keeping me breathing, and not in the butt. The choices were either something that kept me awake, or a general anesthesia, with the former much the preference. I've had colonoscopies and was out cold. This was clearly different. I guess just a smaller dose of the stuff.
Jan 15, 2021 3:33 PM # 
That sounds like a winning combination of drugs, and I bet you have it right. Another popular combo would be Versed + propofol/fentanyl, but then you wouldn't have remembered anything.

I like the way that given how medicine is already so specialized, you so quickly managed to find your own even more specialized niche: inpatient relationship advice services for nurses. Well done.
Jan 15, 2021 10:45 PM # 
So how is the eye post-op? Do you have any vision at all in the eye, how does it feel and are you on some sort of regimen of drops?
Jan 15, 2021 11:18 PM # 
OK I guess, yes, weird, and yes.

Went for the (first) post-op visit this afternoon. Patch came off, for good. Doc said it looks great -- and that's very good to hear -- though that doesn't mean it doesn't feel weird. Part of the procedure was to inject some air into the eye, one reason for that is somehow it avoids the need for stitches. So that really messes with me. I mean, I know there's been some sort of thick liquid in my eyes all these years, but I've never been aware of it sloshing around.

But the air bubble is supposed to slowly go away over the next few days to a week. And the vision is supposed to start off very blurry, then slowly improve for several months. Obvious unknown is how much. Will be a while before I know.

Two drops, 4x a day, one an antibiotic, one a steroid. Do that until I'm told not to. Next appointment is next Friday.

By the way, pressure in the eye was 6 vs. 15 pre-op. They seemed happy with that.

So it's weird, but I guess I should be glad I don't have to lie face down for a week or two or more. Can do some gentle walking, no running or biking, at least until the next visit. And just took one Tylenol middle of the night, eye was feeling a little irritated. But no pain.

So I need to just grin and bear it for a while and hope that the eventual outcome is good.
Jan 16, 2021 1:22 PM # 
Was this the treatment for a detached retina, and, therefore, a bit of an emergency?
Jan 16, 2021 1:58 PM # 
No. My vision has been slowly getting worse. There is a membrane over the retina that is wrinkled and distorting things. I’ve known about it for a decade. Vision has been getting worse recently. Hopefully this will help but how much is unknown. Vision in the eye was about 20/70 with glasses on (20/40 in the other one). Do the worst one first, see what happens, then decide on the other one.

One of the questions from the doc was how much I noticed it (my bad vision). All the time.
Jan 18, 2021 4:30 PM # 
Happy to hear recovery is going well. Hopefully you'll be seeing better in no time...with no sloshing!

This discussion thread is closed.