Saturday 23 July 2022

Boy oh boy! Wouldn't wish this on ANYbody!


My first ever surgical operation - and. oh the pain - during it!!!! 

In short (?), then - I reported as requested to Brighton eye hospital for their team to examine the botched cataract removal surgery, my 'other' eye having been done with no problem at all - and within just 10 minutes when I'd felt very little discomfort. Now the team of specialists were alarmed at the build up of pressure inside the faulty eye, now with no lens, and I was strongly recommended an operation without further delay. Any postponement, they said, would carry a grave risk of losing all sight in that eye. So no choice, really. It had never occurred to me that things would have to move so fast. 

That was last Wed. They scheduled the operation for the following morning, asking me to stay overnight so it could be done right away at 7 a.m. I told them "No way!" ( I had to return home to see to the pussycats - which I didn't tell them. Besides, I've never been to hospital to stay in my entire life!) So early on Thurs morning I journeyed back with more than a little apprehension. 

Pre-surgery was given several different tablets and eye-drops to, the theory was, deaden any pain - on top of which received an injected local anaesthetic for the eye and its surroundings. Right from the start, when one of the two main surgeons started poking into the eye the pain was simply excruciating, the like of which I don't recall having experienced before. I tried my best not to yell out, failing a number of times,  and so it went on and on for very nearly an hour! I was gripping onto the edge of the operating table like my life depended on it - and each time I shouted out a soothing voice would say "Don't worry, Sir. Just a couple more things to do." The number of times I was told this was unbelievable - "Don't worry, Sir. Just a couple more things, then we've finished". It went on and on until I really thought my heart was going to give up the ghost.

Eventually it really did end and I was able to sit up, very sore-eyed, to be wheeled to where I could relax(!) for a couple of hours. At last I was able - just - to struggle up onto my unsteady pins. Then after a cursory examination, my 'new' eye (with new lens inserted) covered by cotton wool and shield, I made my wobbly way back home on the bus.

Woke up yesterday morning after sleeping a full 14 hours, though disturbed during night by soreness in and around the eye. Then at last I could venture to remove the shield. I did have some vision there, for the first time in several months, though was disappointed by it being nowhere near as sharp as the 'good' eye - and I even now as yet can't read with it, either distance and close-up.

Had to return to the hospital the next day yet again for a routine post-operation check-up. Both doctors I saw were very pleased at how things were, the pressure inside the eye having gone back down to near-normal. I was assured that once the lens has settled I will be able to read with it, which is the blessing I was hoping for. So I go back again for one further check-up in 3 weeks time.

That's the saga as currently is. I was immensely relieved to be told that no further surgery will be necessary, which is just as well, as I'd do just about anything to avoid going through that again - above all, if it's to be subject again to the sheer agony of that hour 'under the knife'!

Now the morning following what I posted above:-

After a night's reflection, and having now regained some composure after that horrific experience, I've come to the incredible, but not totally improbable, conclusion that, by some oversight (not intentionally, one assumes - and I hope) I was not administered with any anaesthetic, general or local. When I was told about the surgery the previous day I clearly recall the doctor saying that I'd be given a local anaesthetic. However, come the day I do not remember my being given any injection prior to the operation or, indeed, after. If I'd made any assumption at all it had been that there must have been something in the several tablets I was being given which would do that service. What prevented me from crying out during the operation even more than I did was the notion that I would be thought a wimp! But can one actually anaesthetise by taking only oral medication? Surely it would require an actual injection by syringe into the relevant area, as when a dentist gives you a jab in the gums, then waits a couple of minutes or longer for it to take effect. There was none of that in my case here. 

So that is my conclusion, unpleasant as it is, but now maintain what is likely to have happened. It would explain so much. When I went for the following day's check-up I did mention what a horror-show experience it had been - but no comment was made by the main doctor who just smiled benignly. (Perhaps he now realised it himself but didn't want to pursue it, maybe understandably so?) I think when I return for a further examination in three weeks' time I will mention it again and ask directly if it could happen that a patient is operated on without being anaesthetised first, to which the answer has got to be "Yes". I'd hardly have been the first! If there really has to be a 'next time', can't any more assume that the staff have got it all right.

Sunday 17 July 2022

Still here! - mono-visioned and newly disappointed.

Well, just in case anyone had wondered about, or even noticed, my absence, I can reassure such that I am still here and surviving, albeit in 'depleted' state. 

In April I posted about the 100% success of my first cataract removal. The other eye had the same operation last Tues, and (to be generous), I'll rate its 'success' at 0%. Different surgeon this time. The 'old' lens he was trying to remove apparently broke up into a myriad of pieces, all drifting into the jelly-like substance (vitreous humor) in the main body of the eyeball. Of course there could be then no attempt made to fix a new lens in. The result is that I have very blurred vision through that eye which now, unsurprisingly, has significantly more 'floaters' than it had before, some alarmingly large. The operation, such as it was, was twice as long as the first time, and unlike that occasion, was quite painful to undergo, with considerable jabbings. Afterwards, with me not being sure what had happened, while told to sit in a  post-operation waiting area, the surgeon came out, very apologetically, explained what had happened, and gave me a consolatory handshake. 

So now I have to await a call from a (different) hospital which will be sent my records to assess what can be done - hopefully quickly and none too complicated, assuming they've met this problem enough times before so they know how to remedy it.

Meanwhile, the medication I've been prescribed to take down the eye swelling has finished today. It's been zonking me out severely, my sleeping something like 18 hours a day - or more! Also it took away my appetite, everything tasting 'different' - even water - and not in a pleasant way.

And all this while we are suffering the most intense and prolonged heatwave in 50 years, peaking tomorrow (Mon) and Tues when temps over large parts of England and even into Scotland, are expected to hit or even exceed 40 C (104 Fahrenheit), which has never been seen before in this country's recorded history! Here on the coast we could have a slightly more 'merciful' high in the mid- or upper 30s. My poor pussycats have already been suffering badly. Only wish I could tell them it's just for another two days - at least we fervently hope.

I'll try to return to reading and commenting on blogs soonish even though reading still hasn't been that easy.


Sunday 3 July 2022

Trying to cure my addiction to....American politics


It hit me like a stone yesterday (or like a light pat on Rudy's back), that I'm now spending anything up to eight hours per day watching YouTube videos on the subject - news reports, discussion excerpts, talks, opinions etc, from the more dependable/progressive sites like TYT, RoF, Meidas, Rebel...... + MSNBC, CNN etc. This is just plain c-r-a-z-y! And the cause of my being drawn in like this? The advancing horror of what the U.S.A. could well be like in just a few months time - as though the state U.S. politics is in even now isn't worrying enough! It has not only consumed my days, pushing aside any time I'd otherwise have spent reading, listening to music or watching TV, it's taken over my nights too, with me regularly waking up after maybe two hours sleep only to lay there until perhaps 4.a.m. or later with these thoughts and fears churning over and over without cease.  

I'll refrain from mentioning specific issues or personalities as this will only get me (and others, no doubt) worked up all over again.  But I will mention just two differences between American politicians and British (the latter albeit with our own set of foibles) which in less serious times I would be bemused by rather than finding them grating as I do now:-

First, the observation of American politicians (almost exclusively of the 'right') repeatedly to declare themselves as 'Christian' as though it is a badge of honour - and furthermore, as though they expect to be respected for being so! In my 60+ years of being politically aware, that is something I don't ever recall a British politician of any party doing (though Mrs Thatcher did come mighty close to doing so at least a couple of times - but even she never wore it so conspicuously on her sleeve). In matters of 'faith' generally, we might see here the occasional Muslim female Member of Parliament with head covered, or the equally rare male Sikh member in a turban, but these overt signs of faith are never referred to either by the members themselves or, indeed, by anyone else, just as they need not be when not relevant. But to hold up being Christian (and it's always and only Christian, of course!) as a demonstration of one's 'superiority' would be, and should be, simply laughable in any other context, as well as in politics. (Careful now, Ray. Watch your blood pressure!

Another difference is how (again, the American 'right') uses words like 'Socialist' and 'Progressive' as terms of abuse - and expects those they accuse of being so to feel shamed at having such pejorative words aimed at them! Over here even the Conservative Party has long since dropped that ploy as being fruitless, which it is. In fact those of us who do consider ourselves as 'Socialist' take pride in being referred to as such, as Conservatives themselves have long since realised. Moreover, the most extreme word, 'Communist', itself carries very little or no stigma here nowadays, except when referring, say, to the current Chinese and North Korean governments or to Soviet Union days. It's a complete waste of breath for those words to be fired off as insults 'cos they're virtually inapplicable in a British context.

Anyway, having got those two matters off my chest for now, going back to my reason for this blog, I genuinely do fear that unless there's a Deus ex machina moment well before the end of this year, the U.S.A. is going to be firmly in the list of one of the world's most repressive democracies - if we can even continue to call it a 'democracy' at all. If I was a praying man I'd get down on my knees right now to beseech the old man in the sky to let it not turn out so. On second thoughts, as no harm can come of it, taking a knee might not be such a bad idea after all!  

And btw: it's now getting on for 4 p.m. here and I've not (yet?) taken even a peep at any YouTube posts today. I'm determined to see the full day through without any such transgression.