It's only ten days until my first cataract removal operation. I'm a little nervous, but I'm also excited at the prospect of being able to see properly again. I was at the garden centre with my mum earlier today (she came down from Edinburgh for the weekend) and I found it very difficult indeed to read the labels on the plants I was looking at. It's all slightly complicated by the Holmes-Adies Pupil in my left eye, because the bright sunlight was blinding me in that eye as it doesn't accommodate, but when I closed that eye to stop the pain, the dazzle, and to protect it I was left with pretty much only peripheral vision in my right eye due to the cataract. Reading doesn't happen very well with no/very little central vision.
When I went for the assessment for surgery with the ophthalmologist they (there were two of them) were very keen that I know that there's a one in two hundred chance of my vision being worse after the cataract removal op, and a one in one thousand chance of losing my vision in that eye all together. Obviously this is a consideration, a slight concern - particularly the possibility of losing vision entirely - but without the op there is absolute certainty that I will go blind, so the decision was a no-brainer. You may remember that originally the ophthalmologist had said that they'd never operate on my cataracts because of my lungs and the risk of anaesthetic complications, even with a local anaaesthetic. I know there are risks, but I had discussed the ophthalmologist's concerns with Dr H (asthma consultant) and he'd reassured me that I ought to be fine with a local anaesthetic, so I was able to pass this on to the ophthalmologists when I saw them for surgery assessment, and was also able to say that Dr H would be happy to discuss things lung-related with them if they wanted. The possibility of this, and the conversation I'd had with Dr H that I was able to tell them about seemed to be enough to reassure them at this time, and they agreed to do the surgery. Well, they agreed that the surgery can happen, but they've made sure that the consultant is going to do it in case of any complications with my asthma. I'm sure there won't be. I'm sure I'll be fine. In fact, that side of things isn't really concerning me at all ... it's the prospect of someone stabbing me in the eye with a sharp knife while I'm awake that's making me apprehensive. I just have to keep focussing on the end result - central vision returned, and most likely better sight in general :o)
I wish I knew how long I'm going to have to wait between the op a week on Wednesday and the same op on my left eye. I'm told that they're usually done in fairly quick succession - two or three weeks - but I don't know for sure. There's going to be an odd time between the ops when my sight it different from how it is now and my glasses prescription is different from what it's going to need to be. There's no point in getting new glasses in that interim period (aside from it being stupidly expensive as well as pointless for such a short time) so I'm not expecting to be able appreciate the full benefits of having the cataracts removed until after both ops have been done and I get new glasses. The other thing is that I wear varifocals and these usually take about a week to get from the opticians, so even after both ops have been done, the second eye has settled after the op, and I've been to the optician to see what my new glasses prescription will be, I've still got a bit of a wait until I can see better. I also doubt that I should drive during this time, which is going to be very restrictive. Still, I will hold on to the longer-term positives.
It all starts ten days from now. The countdown to better vision has begun :o)