Saturday, June 10, 2006

A New Lens

I do have a new lens....not for the camera but for my left eye. I mentioned in the blog that I had cataract surgery and several readers have asked me how I'm doing.

I've known I had cataracts for several years and kept changing lenses on my glasses to compensate for them. Over a year ago the doctor said she could do the surgery but I wasn't ready mentally and since it takes about 4 or 5 weeks to go through the whole procedure with both eyes, I didn't have enough time in Houston to get it all done.

I realized just before we came back to Houston that my vision had deteriorated to the point that once again I was having trouble seeing even with my glasses. My photography friend, Frank has had cataract surgery and he told me that I would have trouble with color balancing my images if I didn't take care of the cataracts. I didn't think that was happening yet but I decided to do the surgery while we are here in Houston.

Before you are scheduled for surgery you have to look at a couple of videos about cataract surgery and sign forms and more forms about your health and that you realize that there could be complications. It is enough to spook any intelligent person away from a surgery that isn't totally necessary in order to keep breathing. I signed them but the night before the surgery I almost backed out. I knew what my vision was although getting worse all the time but didn't know how it would end up after surgery. Could I be one of the 2% whose surgery isn't successful? I was scared. After writing about my fears in my journal and a little talk with God, I decided to go ahead and have the surgery.

These days you have several choices for a replacement of the natural lens. I chose the ReZoom lens replacement. The surgery was all surgery should be! I was "out" for a few minutes while they did an eye block. I don't know what that is and I don't want to know, but I was awake and very relaxed while they did the surgery. I talked to the surgeon while she poked the new lens in my eye. Afterward, I felt a little wobbly but walked in to the condo with just a hand on Ned's arm. I had a patch on my eye that was to stay on there until 5 PM. I took a nap....actually several very nice naps.

When the patch came off I could see though the new lens but things were blurry and I could see flashes from the rings of the ReZoom lens. The next morning we walked over to the doctor's offices which are just a few blocks away so that they could check out the eye for any post surgery problems. They said that I was progressing normally but the blurring was from swelling and inflammation from the surgery. The blurring is gone now and so are the flashes of light from the rings of the lens. I still notice some evidence of the edge of the lens in my peripheral vision but they tell me that my brain will adjust for that in a few days. The middle and distance vision is very good but I can't read small print yet. One of the side effects of the lens are halos at night but these halos are suppose to diminish over time. Already there isn't much difference between the halos from the "new" eye and the "old" eye.

Frank was right and I didn't realize it. Now that I have a new clear lens, I can see a huge difference in looking at white with the new lens as opposed to looking at white with the old lens. With the old lens, white is yellow and dingy which carries over to other colors too but I couldn't see that when I was looking through the cataracted lenses. And the lens which hasn't been replaced isn't as bad as the lens that has been replaced so I'm going to have to go back and take a real serious work at the color balance of the images I printed over the last year or so. They may very well be dingy too.

One new lens and one to go......scheduled for June 21.


Anonymous said...

Ain't modern medicine wonderful?


Brenda said...

Glad things are going well.

Anonymous said...

Billie, tried your RR email, imagine it is closed. Send me one from whatever you're using.

BillieS said...

I don't have your email address here. But my email is the same as the old one except

lou said...

Billie, thanks, this was interesting. My mother will have a cataract operation on 26Jun and she's rather afraid. We don't have much information about the process and post-op. I'll read your text to Mom, she'll find it re-assuring. Glad to hear you're doing well, all the best for the second one.