[Previous Months][Date Index][Thread Index][Join - Register][Login]
[Message Prev][Message Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Re: [IP] cataracts for weenie (long)

At 01:42 PM 6/15/98 -0400, Sara wrote:

>Call me a weenie if you must, but I did not want to be able to give a play by
>play as someone is working on my eyeball.  I had a cataract develop QUICKLY

I had cataract surgery done last summer. The cataract was *not* due to my
diabetes - it was more related to my relations (Mom and Dad both had them).
It developed slowly over the years.

I opted for the "play by play" version of the surgery - I stayed awake for
the whole enchilada. Actually I had no option - that was the procedure of
choice. I know it may sound goofy, but I actually enjoyed it, once I got
past the anxiety. I've had more traumatic times at the dentist, getting my
teeth cleaned. The doc who performed the surgery was superb, which was the
real key in making the whole thing work so smoothly.


>Anyway, for the surgey, my doctor asked if I wanted to be asleep or if I just
>wanted local.  "Hell yes, put me out!" I said.  I had had a BAD reaction to
>the anesthesia after my vitrectomy, but she explained it was not a FULL
>general anesthesia, you just literally sleep through the whole thing and feel
>nothing.  So I am guessing it was just a combination of valium and demeral
>whatever else they had layng around the lab to throw in - whatever it was, it
>was good.  I remember waking up a bit in the middle - I could see shapes
and a
>white light and thought I had gone to heaven, then I heard her voice - "do
>want to go back to sleep?" "Aaarghrghrghrrrrrgghagga," i replied and back
>into la la land I drifted.  If she stuck needles in my eye, I don't know and
>dont wanna know. 

Sara's beautiful description here is another work of art ;-) She makes
complicated medical procedures sound so simple. I vote to designate Sara
the "Insulin Pumpers Surgery Advocate".

My anesthesia was "local" (I assume this is the case, since I was awake for
the whole thing). No discomfort during the procedure or afterwards. My
surgery used no stitches or staples, I needed no patch afterwards. 

I was on Humalog at the time. BG before surgery was 110, afterwards was 250
(due to Dextrose IV), but came down after a bolus.

Things I learned during cataract surgery:

1) Invite Sara to explain to the medical staff why I didn't need a Dextrose
IV (I didn't realize at the time that there was any other way to do this).
2) Hold a "pump training session" for the attending medical personnel
sooner than I did. Make sure *everyone* on the team knows you are using an
insulin pump. I didn't train the nurse how to pay attention to my pump
until about 1.5 hours prior to surgery. She was very relieved when I
explained that the infusion set could actually be disconnected in case of
an "emergency". The anesthesiologist was generally comfortable with
everything, more so because my BGs were "normal". He reminded me of the
"cool Gas Man" from the MASH episodes.
3) Try to relax - I think this is really important.
4) Don't tell jokes during the procedure. The doctor actually had to ask me
to stop doing that ;-) (who, me??). When he warned me to advise the team if
I needed to sneeze, it straightened me right out, real quick.
5) Take the goofy green surgery cap off *before* they snap the Polaroid
photo after surgery. I don't know if it's the norm, but as soon as the doc
finished, they propped me up on the operating table, he put his arm around
my shoulder, and they snapped a flashbulb in my face. The picture's
priceless .....

Recovery was quick - about an hour, like Sara explained. I also took the
next day off from work, but really didn't need to. Things were fine. The
lens implant was very good. When they looked at it during my follow up
visit, they described it like "hitting a hole in one in golf - perfect". I
thought a hole in one was pure luck, so didn't feel too good about their
description. Vision is still fine in that eye, golf game is still lousy.

If you wear glasses, you'll probably need your RX changed. I actually went
without glasses for three months, but went back to them, due to spending so
much time on my confuser.

There was a woman who had her surgery done the same time as me (they like
to do all "the diabetics" in the morning, since it generally makes managing
insulin / food easier. Pumpers screw up their scheduling, because we are so
darn flexible). This patient couldn't tell the nurse what her BGs were at
any time for the three days prior to surgery. She appeared very
uncomfortable, not really volunteering information, not looking like a good
"candidate" for any serious medical procedure. I saw her in the doc's
office several days later, during my follow up. She was still
uncomfortable, loudly complaining about almost everything. When the nurse
asked her how her BGs were, she said "Fine, average", obviously having no
idea what they were. Her son indicated they were averaging around 260,
which was her norm.

That's another time I realized how much the pump means to me. I think of
these times of insight as the "Kodak moments" of pumping ;-)


Bob Burnett

mailto:email @ redacted
Insulin-Pumpers website http://www.bizsystems.com/Diabetes/
For subscribe / unsubscribe information,
send the next two lines in a message
to the e-mail address: email @ redacted