Friday, February 18, 2005


This is me pre-op with 'YES' scrawled on my head with a Sharpie.
Rigel took this photo with the camera phone I forced him to buy.

I had my surgery yesterday. i would love to say it was a piece of cake, but any operation that involves sharp, metal surgical instruments being plunged into your eyeball could never be a walk in the park. Actually, the surgery itself wasn't horrible, but the aftermath was pain, pure pain.

It started off pleasantly enough with cheery Nurse Joyce asking me several routine questions. She then asked me, in a very authroritve voice, "It IS your LEFT eye to be operated on, CORRECT?" When I answered yes she came at me with a black Sharpie and before I could swat her away like a gnat, she wrote the word YES over my left eyebrow. I guess with all the horror stories of people getting wrong limbs amputated they ain't takin' any chances. Then I realized it was written over my eyebrow and not actually my eye. What if someone screwed up and thought I was here for a good brow tweeze and waxing? I mean, if they're REALLY trying to prevent malpractice, shouldn't she have continued writing, down the side of my face and all over my cheeks, 'YES - this is the LEFT EYE to operate on! It is the soft organ nestled in the oval-shaped orifice located to the right of the nose! We hope you haven't been drinking! Do you REALLY have a medical license? ' I also got six - count em' SIX of those plastic hospital bands snapped on my wrists. I thought if anything, I could walk out of the hospital and get into any rave in the city.

Next someone came to wheel me down to the 'holding room', which I think is a nice name for a supply closet. (In my paranoia I briefly imagined a scene where they forget all about me and I'm left there, after the hospital closes, stuck with all the flammable oxygen tanks.) Finally, after what seemed like forever, a doctor came in and introduced himself as the 'assistant anesthesiologist' and I immediately was like 'Whoa - where's the REAL guy? I really don't mind waiting for the REAL ANESTHESIOLOGIST to show up! Slow down there, bucko!' Before I could complain anymore he had already stuck the IV in my arm. He looked like Clay Aiken and I think he actually used the words 'Righty-O' when he was done. I don't know, but it seems 'Righty-O' should never be allowed to be uttered within the walls of a serious hospital.

The surgery wasn't that bad, although turned out to be a little more involved than the doctor had originally planned. Some of the infected tissue in my eye was too weak too stitch up so he had to use some material, made from heart tissue (I hope those of you with weak stomachs have stopped reading by now) to sort of 'patch' it up. I remember floating in and out of conciousness the whole time - it was not unpleasant. Although at one time I had to go and open my big mouth and say "I'm feeling something - I think the local is wearing off" and he gave me another shot, RIGHT INTO THE LOWER LID OF MY EYE that hurt so bad I nearly jumped off the table. The doctor apologized and then said he would be giving me some more intravenous sedative. I yelled "Could you put some tequila in there while you're at it?" before I dozed off again.

The real pain started when I was back in my room. I'm talkin', Sharon Stone with an icepick from Basic Instinct, jabbing away into my eye socket with a vengeance. The nurse gave me some measley Tylenol but it did absolutely nothing. I felt so pathetic, especially since they wheeled in an older Chinese woman who appeared to be totally out of it, but five minutes later she was walking out niceley dressed and with a full face of makeup on. There I lay, at least 20 years younger than her, completely dishsheveled, my hospital gown tangled around me with my bare ass for all the world to see, moaning and begging for an animal tranquilizer.

I'm feeling better today, and had a checkup with the doctor this morning. He said everything looks good (adding an ominous 'for now') and we'll just have to wait and see if the eye heals correctly. In the meantime I have a patch over my eye, and the only pain I experience is when I shift my eyeballs too quickly (that rules out watching any ping pong matches for me.) Rigel took the last 2 days off of work and has been taking good care of me, doing all my 'wifely' duties (he can lay on the couch and read People magazine, too!)

Thanks for all your calls - I'll keep you posted!

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1 comment:

  1. I guess this is not one of those times when you can make a person feel better by saying "Well, it's better than a sharp stick in the eye"? ;) Ouch!

    I'll give you a call.

    Big hugs,



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