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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mixed Blessings

Wow! When you guys support me, you really go all out.

Yesterday alone, Daw, JK, Joan, Kaz, Maya, Robyn, Rochita, Sandra, Tessa, and Tia blogged about me. You guys rock! Thank you!

And thanks for all the emails and calls. Sorry I couldn't talk much. My voice is nearly gone. This cold has knocked the wind out of my sails. I am going to bed again after I post this.

*****
I promised you a horror story about my eye surgery. I had lens replacement surgery, which means the surgeon removes your natural lens (the part you use to see) and replaces it with a synthetic lens that has concentric circles within it to help you see near and far.

Remember the Six Million Dollar Man? I kinda feel like that special effects sound ought to be playing in the background as I try to force my eyes to see in various focal lengths. Modern medicine is wonderful. It's also scary.

The first surgery was a piece of cake, despite the fact they stuck a needle in your eye.

There was a woman in the bed across from me who was getting prepped for her eye surgery first. The anesthesiologist came over and put another blanket on her, cooing to her softly and reassuring her that all would be fine.

He explained what he was doing as he poked her arm with an IV. She kept talking to him all the while as he proceeded to stick a needle in her eye! What the heck, I thought. Nobody's that brave.

They wheeled her away and he came to me and started his spiel. I stopped him in the middle of his bedside manner and told him: "You realize I saw you stick a needle in that woman's eye."

He patted my hand. "You won't remember anything," he said, and then explained the various drugs he was using.

The first one was supposed to relax me. A fine drug, I am here to testify! I wanted some to go. LOL.

The second one was called 'versed', pronounced ver-sed. It produced retrograde amnesia for 3-4 minutes while the anesthesiologist puts the needle in your eye that delivers a third anesthetic that numbs your eye and face. You do not remember a thing, yet you're completely capable of having a conversation. I asked him later if I gave him any of my bank pin numbers.

The stuff worked, which was good because I really didn't want to remember being skewered.

Okay, so that was the horror story I expected to tell you, but wait, there's more!

It seems they discovered a toxicity issue with the drug they give patients to numb their faces. I felt fine, but they didn't want to take any chances so they changed the drug.

This had a much shorter duration period as opposed to the first drug. Unfortunately, for me, it was TOO short. My eye woke up just as the surgeon was finishing up. It hurt!

Holy cow! And it was even worse after the surgery. Unlike the first surgery, I was in pain for two days straight.

Was it worth it? The jury is still out. My distance vision is much better, but I am in readers for the next couple of months while my eyes finish adjusting. In the meantime, scar tissue will form on the back of both lenses and I'll have to go back to have them lasered off. (normal procedure)

I think it will be worth it. My eyesight was extremely poor. Even in this early stage, it has improved greatly. Color is brighter, shapes are sharper and I am beginning to get my depth perception back, something I lost with an earlier surgery. The doc has assured me all these things will improve too, so I am quite happy despite the trauma.

Before I left, I asked the anesthesiologist for his business card and asked if it would be all right to talk to him at a later date. I explained I was a novelist and a drug that gives you retrograde amnesia sounds like the makings of a cool SF novel.

Even drugged up, I'm always plotting the next novel. (grin)

5 comments:

rcloenen-ruiz said...

What a story. Ouch with waking up towards the end of the procedure.

But yeah...that would still make great stuff for a story.

Kaz Augustin said...

Snap! The moment I read about the temporary amnesia, I thought that would be great for a story too! But it also made me wonder what other, more developed, drugs are already out there to be used for more nefarious reasons.

Maria Zannini said...

Rochita, Kaz,

You realize, of course, we would all be dangerous together. LOL!

Marshall Payne said...

Congrats on everything, Maria, and good luck on the next novel!

Maria Zannini said...

Thanks, Marshall!