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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Watching Cataract Surgery

I watched a miracle occur. My father had a cataract removed and I was allowed to view the procedure. My father's left eye had 20/100 vision. With the cataract gone and the new lens implanted, he now has 20/30 vision in that eye.

I've been nearsighted since I was eleven years old--so I think it is really quite amazing that my father now has such terrific vision without glasses.

At first, the idea of viewing the procedure made me a bit queasy. However, the nurse reassured me that I wouldn't see any blood.

I thought about it for a minute. The knowledge about what happens during cataract surgery might be useful in a novel at some point. I enjoy amassing all kinds of extraneous knowledge just because I might need it someday. You can never tell where my muse will lead me.

Though I had already heard the doctor explain the procedure to my father, there's a big difference between hearing about something and actually seeing it occur.

I decided to be brave and watch. The ophthalmologist had a small observation room for family members. I was led in by the nurse and seated. From a glass window I could see into the room where the surgery took place. I could barely see doctor's back due to some large machines. My father lay covered in blue cloth on a gurney. The doctor's assistant waved to me. He was the one who handed the doctor the necessary tools.

What I could see very well was a monitor with the giant image of my father's eye--due to the lighting it appeared as a large reddish iris surrounded by white. Everything happened just as the doctor said it would. It did not take long.

Afterward, Dad was fine. He felt no pain and found the most annoying result of the surgery to be the eye drops. He had a tough time learning to plop the drops in by himself, but he was insistent on accomplishing the task without help. :^)

I went home and discovered that you can view the entire procedure on YouTube as well.

Some of my friends were amazed that I watched my father's cataract surgery. I guess they didn't think I had it in me. After all, I'm usually the one who hides her eyes during the scary parts of a movie.

But obviously, the doctor had confidence in the procedure. Because it was offered, I felt it must be a sure thing and many people I know who had undergone the procedure proclaimed it to be a piece of cake.

But I still think it's a miracle. Wouldn't it be wonderful if all our ills were so easy to fix?


Lita Harris said...

This has that scary yet fascinating appeal to it. Having witnessed this procedure can absolutely be valuable information down the road for one of your books. Kudos to you for being so brave.

Leann said...

It's good to hear your father is doing well Penelope. It is amazing what can be done these days with minimal invasive procedures.

I have to admit I find that type of stuff fascinating.