I had eye surgery early yesterday afternoon, the first eye, second eye a week later. An interesting experience. I wasn’t very anxious about having it done because wife Rosalie had the same procedure several years ago and she had no pain or any problems during or afterwards. In fact, I was eager to have it done because of my rapid loss of visual clarity. Amazing how fast my eyesight went from good to bad. Dr. Chong assured me that this procedure would let me see again even without prescription lens, or at least without the progressive bifocals I now have. Just a pair of cheapie magnifying glasses for reading. After nearly my entire lifetime of wearing glasses, I may be able to throw the suckers away. Oh, happy day. A week from today I’ll have my left eye done, after which I’ll be seeing like a youngster.
Dr. Chong—Eva-Marie Chong—looks like she’s about fifteen and is cute as a newborn’s toes. I wanted to ask her if her parents were such fans of the old Brando movie On the Waterfront that they named her after Eva-Marie Saint, the only other Eva-Marie I’ve ever heard of. But I didn’t. Maybe next week I’ll ask her.
I arrived at the eye clinic at 1:00, about thirty minutes before my appointment to allow for the necessary paperwork. Rosalie drove us there and waited for me in the chilly lobby when I was taken in for my pre-op. If I had one person ask me if I had any allergies, I had a dozen people ask me. Blood pressure taken (a little higher than I expected but still okay), temperature taken (lower than normal, maybe because it’s been so damn cold here in the Valley), IV into the back of my left hand, countless drops of something into my right eye. Then they wheeled me into the operating room where Dr. Chong greeted me again, asking me again if I had any allergies. Again I said no. Then she told me what I’d be experiencing during the operation—some pain but nothing very painful, bright lights, and noises that would sound like an oboe or some animal on a hunt for game. And it would take only about fifteen minutes. She cautioned me to let her know if I felt any undue pain or if I felt a cough or sneeze coming on (wouldn’t want a lady with a knife in her hand trying to cut into my eyeball just as I sneezed). I assured her that I’d let her know. The sedative they’d given me made me sleepy but not out of it. I saw the bright lights, with a tiny blue rectangle in the center of the lights dancing around with a faint pink border. I heard the sounds—more to me like an alien coming to call than an oboe or a wild animal. But then, nearly everything I hear sounds like an alien. And before I knew it, she was done. The attending nurse taped a pad and shield to my eye and they wheeled me back to the recovery room where I was able to sit up. Then I was given a fruit bar and a cup of hot chocolate. Without my having anything to eat since the night before, the bar and chocolate were oh so welcome. I was then led out to the front where Rosalie picked me up and then the drive home. Just another process in fixing what’s wrong with me. Now I have Dr. Chong for my new eyes, the Midwestern Dental School for my new mouth. And I guess any day now I’ll need new ears. No, on second thought, if I lose my hearing that might be a blessing, not having to listen to dumb conversations. But I would miss my music.