The Cataract Surgery
As regular readers and even the ones who are slightly constipated might already know, in March of 2021 I had eye surgery to fix a “macular hole” which is basically the lining inside your eye drying up and saying:
“Why is this guy still alive? These body parts were designed to work for 40-45 years max and this guy still wants to see clearly twenty years after the warranty ran out?”
Face it, a great many of our health problems are due to the fact that we’re living way longer than God or Allah or Yahweh or General Motors (I’m trying to appeal to all denominations) had originally intended, due to the scientists who are screwing up the Celestial Plan by creating things like vaccines and heart surgery and All-Bran cereal.
A statement which might seem to indicate anti-vaxxers are just doing God’s Work and making sure we die off when we’re supposed to and doing “God’s Work” sounds pretty good until you realize God is kind of a dick and has some side-projects like pandemics and tsunamis and an 18-week NFL season designed to kill a bunch of us and that’s where God and I part company.
Although our feud probably started way back when I was told masturbation would make you blind, which is complete bullshit, because I’m living proof that you can masturbate all you want and it will only make you blind in one eye.
As they like to say on local TV: News You Can Use.
So I got the surgery to repair the macular hole and what they failed to mention or at least emphasize sufficiently (which could be entirely my fault because I really don’t pay attention to anything until I’m forced to) is the vitrectomy (an operation where they take the fluid out of your eye and replace it with Lime Jell-O which might sound unlikely, but I believe I’ve already told you I don’t pay attention and apparently you don’t either) often causes you to develop cataracts and then you have to have surgery for that, so it’s pretty much a 2-for-1 deal even though they make you pay for both of them.
The main problem with having a cataract in one eye is loss of depth perception because your eyes were designed to work in Stereo, although originally God put out his Greatest Hits – sunrises, sunsets, 21-year-old strippers with aerodynamically unlikely breasts – in Mono (which is why those hieroglyphics seem so flat) and then He put them out again in Stereo so we’d all have to buy them twice and He got the idea from the record industry that has somehow managed to sell me about six different versions of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
So I was seeing Mono in a Stereo World and as a result dropped numerous cups and knocked over a wide array of objects and the Piece of Resistance (which may or may not be the correct phrase, but it’s damn close and I’m only working with one eye) was pulling up next to a gas pump and getting out and realizing the pump was actually a brisk walk away from my vehicle.
And since cataracts don’t get better, I decided to have yet another eye surgery.
That doesn’t sound likely
In my last surgery they put me out so I had no idea what they were doing and right before I went under I asked my nurse if they ever did stuff like draw male sex organs next to your mouth and then take a picture and she said of course not, but then admitted one of the surgeons operated on his best friend and they had an MU-KU rivalry going so while his buddy was out, the surgeon put a KU hat on him and took his picture.
So remember that when those embarrassing pictures of you dressed in a garter belt, stockings and a push-up bra get posted on social media; just claim you had surgery and your friend thought it was funny to dress you like a hooker.
(And women, you can do the same thing).
But for this surgery I was going to be awake while they cut the cataract out of my eye and replaced it with whatever Steve Austin had in The Six Million Dollar Man and my first reaction was:
“That doesn’t sound likely.”
I mean go ahead and touch your eye right now without blinking or jerking away and now imagine Dr. Frank N. Furter approaching your eye with an X-Acto knife and you not flinching.
The Dangers of Presbyopia
The material they gave me about cataract surgery mentioned the dangers of Presbyopia which if I understood correctly is becoming a Presbyterian and then having a myopic world view about religion and after I got past this initial joke I decided to Google “what do Presbyterians believe” to see if any more easy jokes were available and one of the frequently asked questions was “Can Presbyterians dance?” and the answer was kind of vague so let’s stick to this joke about Baptists:
Why won’t Baptists have sex standing up?
They don’t want anyone to think they’re dancing.
I grew up attending a Southern Baptist church which I’m going to assume allows me to make fun of Baptists and right now seems like a good time to move on and inform you that cataract surgery does seem aimed at a certain age group because the prep material informed me it was OK to wear my hearing aid and dentures during surgery.
And for an additional fee they would play “The Best of Lawrence Welk” on the operating room gramophone.
The day of the surgery
So I arrive to get my eye sliced open and the operation was going to happen on the second floor and I got in the elevator with a women dressed like a cop and pushed “2” and she said the elevators weren’t working and she’d have to walk me up the staircase.
Then I tried to check in at the front desk and the receptionist said their computer system was down and I said, yeah, your elevators don’t work either and she laughed and said this place is falling apart and I said:
“Which is really confidence-inspiring for someone about to have surgery.”
Which made her laugh and I’m almost 92% sure she wasn’t faking.
Then I got taken back to be prepped for surgery and another woman started filling out forms and she asked:
“Who is taking you home?”
And I said:
“Why don’t we have a few cocktails and see what kind of offers I get?”
Turns out they don’t care if you drive to the surgery center, but you’re not going to being seeing great out of at least one eye when you leave, so they insist someone else drive you home and another medical assistant admitted the staff would take pictures of all the cars driven by their patients who missed parking straight in a parking space and they’d post those pictures on the lunch room bulletin board so they could all have a good laugh which would seem to indicate I wasn’t the only smartass in the building.
She also asked if I was claustrophobic and I said it depends on the size of the car’s trunk you plan to hide my body in should the surgery go wrong and she said while that was a good option to keep on the table she asked about claustrophobia because they were going to drape my head like a Ku Klux Klan member and leave my left eye exposed like a racist cyclops which now that I think about it, would be a great comic book villain:
Spiderman vs. Racist Cyclops!
(Marvel, if you decide to make this movie I expect a cut and an on-screen credit.)
Then another nurse asked my height and weight and I lied about both, but I then found out she asked so she’d know how much midazolam to give me (a drug that causes relaxation, drowsiness and partial or complete memory loss) and I said wait, I lied, I actually weigh 300 pounds and she laughed, but didn’t believe me or give in when I asked if I could have some to take home with me.
A serious salute to nurses
Every nurse involved told me her name and what she was about to do and asked me my name and my birthdate and which eye they were operating on and what they were going to do to it and after repeating that information six times it dawned on me that this was how you keep from operating on the wrong person and doing the wrong thing which wouldn’t be difficult if you do 50 surgeries a day and you’re doing them on people high as shit and might not object if they came in to have cataract surgery and you gave them a hysterectomy instead.
The very last person to get involved was the surgeon and four-to-six weeks from now I’ll let you know how she did, but I can already tell you the nurses were great and I was left with the impression that the nurses were like the football team that did all the work to get the ball down the field so the surgeon/kicker could come in at the last second and kick the game-winning field goal.
Without the hard-working team of nurses, no field goal.
(Plus the nurses laughed at all my jokes.)
OK, so by the time they got me in the operating room the midazolam had kicked in pretty good and my right eye was closed and my left eye was just seeing a bright light and every once in a while a dark shadow would lean in and there was never any pain and the nurse and the surgeon were talking about something in the nurse’s personal life which I can't remember because I’ve got some of that memory loss they advertised, but when the nurse stopped talking to do something medically-related I do remember saying:
“Wait, I want to hear the rest of the story.”
So not only was I OK with being awake and having my eye cut on, I was awake, having my eye cut on and being entertained at the same time.
So assuming you will one day need cataract surgery, and apparently if you live long enough you will, don’t worry; it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds and if you happen to have a blog it will give you something to write about.
Talk to you soon, assuming my memory loss doesn’t extend to forgetting I have a blog.