The day dawned very early for Harry & I this morning....5am. But I had already been awake, because I have an inner clock who knew that it was almost 5. Got up and showered and set off at a little before 6am to find the Special Surgery Center of CNY in Liverpool..... In the dark.
Of course along the way, I realized that the 1st page of directions got cut off and I didn't have the full directions to help us find the way there. I must of thrown them away. (well....I'm blind and couldn't tell there was any more pertinent info on it). Harry, the roadie, the night owl, the late night man, was more like a bear with hangnails and not nearly enough coffee driving there. At one point, as I was on the phone to the place getting the last leg of directions from staff at the surgery center, Harry was also talking and asking me things, I couldn't hear the woman....and well....after I got off the phone with her, things got a bit heated.
Merlyn was not taking to getting yelled at or more nerved up on the way to surgery. Some things were said...like, "why are being such a fucking cock?! I'M the one having surgery. CHILL OUT!"
Or something to that effect....
We found our way there, thank the Gods, and ON TIME. It was still pitch dark, but we found it. After checking in, Harry waited and sent good thoughts to me (at least he said he would....maybe he was secretly plotting my demise after the ride over,....who can tell? ;) I got settled into a recliner chair, they took my vital signs: "Blood pressure 146/90. To be expected on a surgery day" said the nurse. She had no idea of what we'd already been thru getting there.
Next, I got lots of drops to dilate and numb my eyes, a chair massage to relax me, and an IV for the introduction of a "cocktail" which would help me relax.
But hey, better living thru chemicals.
Once my eye was as dilated as big as a luncheon plate, my anesthesiologist talked to me (he looked exactly like Einstein and spoke with a bit of a German accent. I was pleased :). Nothing like having a Genius Doctor at your side :)
I spoke with my operating room nurse and told her- when asked which eye I was having done-
I said, "My left pirate eye...I even wore my stripey socks to celebrate". She laughed.
This place was also very cool in that this particular team of professionals donates their services once a year and goes to Honduras to do eye surgeries there for the impoverished. I liked that alot. They gave me a warm blanket and I waited until Doctor Safran arrived. Then I was wheeled into the operating room.
This place is really amazing. There were already, at 7:30am, about 6 more patients being prepped for cataract surgery. I said, "gee this is a busy place!" The nurse wheeling me in said, "yes it is, we did about 50 patients yesterday.." There were 4 operating rooms in this facility.
With help, I got onto the operating table, they got me comfy, cradled my head, and then swaddled me tight and tied me down and covered my other eye. I was to "look into the light". It's really amazing. The doctor was efficient and brilliant. The whole operation took probably 15 minutes. It was a bit bizarre, tho', when you think of it. There were peripheral views of implements, lots of swirling colors, pressure, the feeling that I wished it were over sooner than it was, and a couple of "pinches" in my eye while the new lens went in. Then the doctor said I "was very good" and it "was all done" and they unstrapped me, hauled me up into a staggering sitting position and then Doctor Safran stood across the room and held up fingers for me to count. "5", "3" "5". "Rretty good, huh?" he asked.
Yes....Very Good :)
Then I was wheeled out to get my vitals taken and given some toast and juice and Harry was brought in to sit with me and help me hear the after surgery directions. After a few minutes, they wheeled me (or "kicked me to the curb" as they joked) to the door and outside to wait for Harry to drive up and they got me into the van.
I have to (and want to) wear these big honking old lady cataract sunglasses until my eye goes back to it's normal dilation. I am VERY light sensitive right now. At first, my vision thru my old pirate eye was like a "white out". Just too much light to process, kinda like snow blindness.
Harry got me home, made me eggs and toast and coffee! And we laid down and snuggled in at 9am with a full day behind us, I pulled the covers over my head and spooned up behind Harry, all warm and toasty and slept off and on till noon. He's a trooper. He said, "if I wasn't a jerk sometimes you wouldn't appreciate me when I'm good" I think he was just stressed with no sleep, not enough coffee and worried about getting me to the surgery on time. I'll cut him out many breaks. I love him. He takes care of me and....bonus: he lets me yell at him when he needs it. :)
My eye is watering a LOT and feels like I've had a "sharp stick in the eye." ....oh yah...I DID.
It's very scratchy like there's an eye lash in there.
Or maybe a log.
Talon came over at 1pm to check on me and brought stuff for lunches and made sandwiches for me and Harry before he went to work, which was also sweet.
So, I've been typing this mostly by imagination and by memory fingers on the keyboard, (please excuse any typos, but I'm really tiring and won't be able to proof)...but I wanted to get the word out to all of you who have been so sweet and so kind to support me thru all this.
There were many of our music fans who started the ball rolling for this surgery, with a gift of a "seed money fund" for this and one beautiful friend, Kristin, who gave me a substantial gift to help as well. A lot of Pirate gig money I stashed away in a secret hiding place for this booty of an eye, and I'm sure I'll be owing some Shylock credit card for a bit yet....It's expensive when you don't have insurance, and the Doctor has been good to me, and the Surgery Center was much more reasonable than the hospital. But it is so worthi it, as sight is a wonderful thing. Some folks have asked me to tap into RESCU, (Renaissance Entertainers Services and Crafters United) it is the Ren faire performers health fund. That is also a wonderful thing. But if it's possible for us to do this, I'd rather that fund go to those who can't do it. I've tried hard to do this, and we've had support from friends who have been very sweet. You are LOVED.
SO...hopefully, within a few days, I'll be able to tell you what things look like thru the new eye.
But right now?
It's very blurry....it cries of it's own whim.....and it's BRIGHT.
So....until then....won't you sing along with me......
"I wear my sunglasses at night...."