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.