The ride into Boston had actually gone well, with very little traffic. Amanda and I were familiar enough with the area that we easily found the hotel where we used the valet parking to park her car.
We went into the hotel to see if we could check in early, (it was 8:45) and they said, “sure”.
Our room was nice with two queen size beds with fluffy comforters and soft pillows. We unpacked what could be left, and Amanda filled her brief case with work she could do while I was in surgery. Then we walked down to the Concierge and asked where the surgical part of the hospital was?
He pointed directly across the street! So in my ignorance I had chosen the perfect hotel!
I arrived on time at Tuft’s New England Medical Center on Tuesday morning. We went up to the 5th floor and I checked in. They double checked my information, weighed me, (not so bad when it is in kilograms and one is not well versed in the conversions!) checked my blood pressure and then had me change into a chic johnny and pants outfit with stretchy slippers that were too small.
I waited in a holding area reading three year old magazines until they finally called me into the pre-operative area about 11:30.
I knew I was Dr. W.’s third patient of the day, so I figured it would go fairly quickly.
A sweet young nurse who was training as a nurse anesthetist took the first of about 4 medical histories that day. She was so nice, very thorough and in the hours ahead she was very kind to me.
Patients came in and went while I lay there. I wondered what was happening, why I wasn’t going, when finally another Anesthesiologist came in to start my IV. I mentioned I had good veins but that they were small.
On his first attempt he blew the vein and I had a bubble the size of a quarter under the skin on my hand. I wasn’t too happy, but what can you do?
He finally got the IV started in my elbow area, which I didn’t like because it was difficult to move around, but I figured I was going in next and it wouldn’t matter.
However about 1 o’clock Dr. W. came in and told me that the lens she wanted to use was not in the hospital. She was trying to find one in the area. She was upset about this as she had ordered it last week.
I told her not to worry as it would all work out. I still wonder at my calmness, because I was not medicated and the day before I had really been a nervous wreck!
I asked the nurse to please go out and let my daughter know that things were not going to happen for a while and that she should go and have some lunch.
After a while I needed to get up and use the rest room. I asked for assistance and a nurses aid came over and lowered the side rail. I swung my legs over the side, and started to push myself up when I felt the side rail cutting in to my finger, I shrieked and tried to get to my feet fast, but the damage had been done, the rail had cut the cuticle area all the way down to the nail bed. I heard a crunch and the pain was terrible.
I was taken to the rest room, washed my finger there and came back where they put me back into the bed. I was bleeding like crazy and that’s when I burst into tears.
The nice nurse anesthetist came walking by and saw me and she rushed over, took my finger and cleaned it carefully and wrapped it.
Needless to say when Dr. W came out between patients and learned I had cut my finger and saw it she called for an Orthopedic consult. It wasn’t broken, but it sure was cut and hurt badly.
They got Amanda to come back and sit with me and she kept me company. She was wonderful. She got me calmed down and relaxed again.
Dr. W. came by again and explained that she had specifically wanted a certain rigid lens and that although they had two other lenses at the hospital they didn’t have that one. She had called Mass Eye & Ear and asked if they had the lens. They didn’t, but the Alcon distributor was standing there and he did have the lens she wanted and he literally drove it to the hospital himself.
Meanwhile, I needed to use the ladies room one last time before going into surgery. I had been there all day, and although I should have had my surgery around 10:30-11 that morning, I was now going to be the last case of the day at 5 PM!
So, off I went to the ladies room, extremely carefully this time, watching all my fingers and toes, and everything is going well, when all of a sudden as I am pulling up my pants, the door flies open and a male doctor starts to walk in! I’m not sure which of us was more embarrassed, probably him as he is a pediatric surgeon!
Finally I see Dr. W. hold up a box. “Here’s your lens!” she said happily.
The next thing I know the surgical team came into the holding area, and gave me a little sedation. Then they did the eye block for the surgery. When I have had this done before I have literally lost the vision in the eye during the operation. I think I prefer this.
This time, I did not lose the vision and although the images were blurry, I was able to “see” what was going on over my eye. Something that caused me to hyperventilate a little.
They gave me a little more medication, (not nearly enough, I would have given me more!) and things went on.
Then I started hearing things like, “The old lens in out.”, “The interior of the eye looks good!”, “There is a good shelf to put the lens on.”, “Oh great that’s a wonderful fit!”, “Oh I like the way this is going!”
All the positive statements made me relax. I felt so confident. I could hear all that goodness!
She told me what she was doing, they needed to put in stitches to secure the lens. They checked the lens placement several times, checked for leaks and then closed my eye and bandaged it up.
Dr. W. told me how well the surgery had gone, how happy she was and that the stitches she put in would have to remain for some time.
They wheeled me to recovery and I met up with some nurses who I do not believe knew what was happening with my case, nor do I think they particularly cared.
They told me the opposite of everything that Dr. W. had told me about my post operative care. One nurse even gave Amanda a hard time when she reached her on her cell phone to tell her that the surgery was over and I could go.
When Dr. W. came in to see me again I asked her several questions and she answered them the way I knew she would. No activity, no bending, or picking things up, and I would need pain medication because the surgery had been quite invasive and she had put in quite a few stitches.
Once I was unhooked from the IV I could return to the hotel with Amanda.
I got to the hotel about 7 o’clock and Mandy went off to get my pain medication. We ordered room service, called everyone to tell them I was doing okay before my cousin, Janet arrived with camera in hand.
I was up visiting until about 10 and then slipped off into a strange sleep.
The next morning we ate breakfast at the hotel, and the staff at the front desk upon seeing my eye all wrapped up, asked kindly how the operation had gone. “So far, so good!” I told them all.
The Front Desk manager gave us hot cookies to celebrate.
We were off to Dr. W.’s office for a 9 o’clock appointment, and I felt that things moved along much faster.
I was taken to a room where the patch was removed and I sat for a moment with both of my eyes closed. Slowly, I opened them, and blinked a few times.
“I have no glare or prisming!” I felt like crying I was so happy. In fact I think I actually did cry a little.
The doctor who assisted with my surgery examined me next and was really pleased with what he saw. He remarked about how difficult the case had been and that Dr. W.’s skill was clearly responsible for such a good outcome.
Finally I went in to see Dr. W. She examined the eye, talked to Mandy and me about the events of the surgery. She was so pleased with the outcome and as I was telling her how I was feeling, I started to cry and to laugh all at the same time. She reached over and we hugged!
After 5 long years the prisms and glare are gone and my vision is normal once again. When I think about it all, I feel the tears start again.
Mandy drove me to a Burger King half way to my home where we met Hubby. We had a quick lunch and then said our good byes.
I’m so grateful to my daughter. She took such good care of me during this. I could not have gone through all of this without her steady calm love. Thanks, sweetie!
Now it’s time to rest, relax and keep my head up. It’s sort of a weird way to sleep, but I managed a pretty decent night last night.
Greta is finally snuggling with me again after giving me the cold doggie shoulder for the first 2 hours I was home yesterday. Fritz doesn’t hold grudges, so he has just been happy to have me home, period!
So that’s my story. The good, the bad and the truly fantastic!