This week had a definite focus on it – Wednesday found me at the outpatient surgery center having my eyelids lifted.  It’s a family thing: My dear Uncle Paul had it done, and my sister had it done, and now it is my turn to swing through that routine.  We did do a few other things (Like seeing GRAVITY – a review is further down the page) but this was the biggie by far.

I qualified for the procedure after several years of hearing my eye doctor tell me that my insurance required a 38 percent loss of peripheral vision before they’d cover it … and I heard that speech a good five or six years before I finally hit that magic number.  So, after tests and tests and consultations with the plastic surgeon, we set a date.

I was required to have someone drive me there and back, so my dear Wilma was my chauffeur.  I was to be at my appointment at 8:30, dressed in a casual shirt and sweatpants type stuff.  I had stopped taking my low dose aspirin and had taken care of a few other details as per the doctor’s request.  We got there on time, signed a few waivers (as it the normal thing these days – Heavens to Betsy if something goes wrong and I were to SUE ….).  Wilma and I sat for a bit; eventually I was called in.  The nurse escorted me to a small room where I sat in a comfortable chair as she took my blood pressure and prepared an IV in my left hand for a saline solution and an eventual sedative.

Wilma joined me for a bit as the anesthetist came and filled me in on his part.  Dr. Waters followed him shortly after to answer any final questions and to mark my eyelids, demarcating that which must go and that which must stay.  About 9:15, another nurse walked me to the operating room (she put on those little blue booties they always give you), I met the anesthetist nurse (a guy with a hearty handshake…) laid down on the table, and that was about it…. I never noticed anything as they did my left eye and I started coming out of the sedative as they finished up my right eye – I saw some light and heard some talk – it was something about musical instruments – perhaps arising because they knew I had been a music teacher …. They finished, and I became more alert – they put me in a wheelchair and back I went to my little room, Wilma waiting patiently for me.  It seems the sedative wore off even quicker once I got to that room – another nurse, another visit from the doctor, a cup of coffee and a snack (two cookies) and then they escorted me to the door, where Wilma had driven up and was waiting for me.

Then home – and a mess of ice compresses over my eyes many, many times for the next three days …. I still turned quite black and blue, the sensations were odd, and only needed to use the Vicodan a couple of times that first day – and a bit into the second.

The whole recovery period had its stages…  on the day of surgery, I ended up looking like the eyes of Frankenstein, complete with visible stitches and redness and puffiness.  Thursday saw the redness leave but the black and blue set in.  Friday added a major bit of puffiness to the appearance, so I declared that day as STA-PUF MARSHMALLOW MAN day.  Saturday things were better, Sunday even better yet, and today, as I type this, things are feeling pretty good — however, my eyes are taking turns feeling itchy and blurry.  I did get a call from the surgery center to check up on me which was nice.  It was also a bit of adventure as I realized the stitches were the ‘dissolving’ type, so piece by piece, they came out or I found I could pull them out as time passed… and I do mean PULLED …. If I felt an end of a stitch, I could pull with a steady pressure and it would slide right out with no pain whatsoever… took me awhile to learn that, so the first ones got yanked – that was a sting, let me tell you!!!!

And a great big thanks to Wilma for her nursing and being there for me and seeing to it that I was comfortable — she was the bright solid spot in these first few days — and not that it was so bad — it was after all MINOR OUTPATIENT surgery, which is amazing in itself…. but my dear Wilma was simply the best!

Before

Before

after

after

So — was it worth it?  We’ll find out tomorrow with my post operative checkup.  As I watched myself in the mirror, sometimes it looked like there was no improvement – other times, hey, look; I can SEE my left eye a whole lot better.  Full recovery will take a few weeks, and we’ll let it wait until then to make a final judgment.

Enough, don’t you think?  Bring on an ordinary week, please.

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