Not just cataracts--eye surgery

:slightly_smiling_face: TL;DR somewhere below.

I thought it would be better to post this here rather than reply to you guys on the Screenshot thread.

02/20/20 (hahah) Pivotal eye examination:

I paint landscapes. I paint plein aire (outdoors) and, in the studio from my own photographs, and from memory. In the last couple of years, have added painting from my screenshots of No Man’s Sky. I also paint from my imagination both landscapes and spacescapes, as well as abstracts. I use a variety of media, but mostly I paint with artist grade single pigment acrylics. I don’t really know if my paintings are any “good”. But some people like them.

In other words, painting is my lifeblood.

I noticed about 20 years ago that I wasn’t seeing distant details as well as I used to. My husband would point out a hawk on a power line and I could not see it. It didn’t affect much then so I went to an eye doctor and ended up with glasses. But the vision got worse.

Ten years ago, my complaints about jitterring edges in my vision making it more and more difficult to read or place a single fine line on a drawing or painting, made my eye doctor take a much closer look at the insides of my eyes. His diagnoses? Fuch’s Syndrome: The five layers of the cornea begin separating. Scary.

He sent me to a nearby surgeon who’s son had taken over the practise. And the son scared the hell out of me both by his behavior toward me, and by the things he described would have to be done to correct the problem, and that it would only last a few years and I would have to have it all done again. I didn’t want that man anywhere near me, so I said no thank you and told myself it wasn’t so bad and went for my yearly eye appointment and got new glasses.

Then it got so I couldn’t see the ground where I was walking and I could no longer read my beloved books, and I had to reduce the size of my canvases so I could still see the whole image I was creating, even when I was peering at it from one foot away.

When we called for another eye appointment, we found that they had closed. We searched for our usual eye doctor and found him a year later. This time he said I really needed to get the surgery done as I was going blind. and that my cataracts would have to be removed if I wanted to go on painting. He suggested a very popular eye surgeon saying he was gentle and respectful, but my mind was full of the previous eye surgeon, so I was rather hoping I wouldn’t have to. That some miracle would happen. (Did I mention I have a phobia --a terror of the medical profession, hospitals, nurses, doctors. An added complication. “Is your blood pressure usually this high?” the nurses inevitably ask. Only when I’m in a medical institution. :slightly_smiling_face: )

So we called and tried to make an appointment with the surgeon, only to find that his office did not accept my current Health insurance.

My husband worked tirelessly to switch to one they did accept, and finally we got the appointment, and we went to it yesterday.

The place was crowded, but there was always a place to sit. So many people seeking help with their vision. But their systems for processing people through it was efficient without sacrificing human interaction. They were kind/compassionate, gave clear information and instructions. I never felt rushed, though they worked quickly themselves. Everything was set up perfectly so that the surgeon had all the information he needed before examining my eyes himself. I didn’t expect to actually be seen by the surgeon on this visit but I was wrong. Such a huge change from the previous surgeon who was a nightmare.

He explained that it would be best if I have the cataracts removed during the same operation as having my corneas replaced, but that since my right eye was much worse than my left, he would start with that one, and leave the other until the right eye was completely healed. The whole operation would take about an hour, I would not be put to sleep, but would be given a drug that numbs… what? The nervous system maybe? (I will have to research that) But I would have no memory of the operation itself.

We were there for a total of three hours. Then we went for Sushi because --starving!

So TL;DR: Really good experience, Corneal replacement and cataract removal on May 7th or 9th at a hospital, date depending on if acceptable donor tissue is available at the time. --Sushi!

Also I’m terrified. Trying to block out my usual worst-case scenario brainwaves.

Please send me prayers/good vibes. And if you have any questions about any of this please feel free and I will do my best to answer them.

Thank you, my friends! :heart:

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Acrylic studies painted in January of this year (hopefully for larger pieces when I can see better) painted on 5x7-inch canvas panels.

The one in the lower right-hand corner was painted with permission from a photo by @DarthBane2016, iirc.

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Fabulous paintings!
If you can eat Sushi, you can do anything! I know people who have had all kinds of eye surgery. Just remind yourself, people do this all the time. The doc has done this all before. Take a deep breath and don’t research too much stuff. My daughter was given a drug before heart surgery. She could speak and respond but not remember anything. Some drugs are like a miracle. Take it!
Sending all my best. Just think, you will regain so much by having this done!

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This is true! We ate it in the car before driving home! :`D

Your response made me cry a little and laugh a little. :blush:

Thank you! :heart:

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Your paintings are fantastic, I hope everything goes well and you are back painting and playing soon. Best wishes for a quick recovery. :gift: :slightly_smiling_face:

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Best wishes. I had one trauma-induced cataract removed years ago, but a small one has started in my other eye – right at the foci, bit so far not a required surgery.

See you later. :wink:

Your paintings look spectacular. Ever thought about making a lithograph of them? They might look splendid mounted and on someone’s wall.

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Just the thought of getting eye surgery … Would be a shame to just leave it to a miracle, because you know all too well where that would go. Sure sounds like you found the right people to get you back on the path of seeking recovery and improvement. Your creative work looks awesome, even more so with the story that comes with it. Would be a shame seeing your talent go to waste, you made the one and only choice you have. Can’t wait to see more of your work.

I wish you well in the days, weeks, months to come. Hoping surgery and recovery will be smooth. :hugs: :two_hearts:

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I’m 35 and have cataracts forming already in my eyes, partly due to my diabetes. I’m scared about when the day comes I have to get the surgery, especially since I’m extremely sensitive about my eyes and can’t keep them open if I’m afraid something will touch them.

Praying your operation goes well, keep us informed.

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@TravelEcho, I fairly recently, (& quite unmentioned here), ended up in emergency surgery following a very severe accident. (That’s why I haven’t posted pics for months…no access :upside_down_face:)
I’m slowly mending & can finally move about better but am now now wearing some huge new scars & a carrying a bunch of new titanium hardware.
Call me ‘Cyber-Mad-Hatter’ you mortal meatbags! :rofl:
Anyway, my point is that modern medicine is incredible & despite my absolute & genuine terror of hospital environments, I’m still in possession of all my appendages & with diligent physiotherapy will be out among you mortals soon enough.
Of course my surgeries were far more dramatic than yours but I totally understand your fears & in particular the fact it is your eyes must be very scary.
I utterly hate hospitals so suddenly finding myself nodding in acceptance while surrounded by very serious looking doctors & later finding myself full of plumbing, sensors & flesh penetrating framework was a living nightmare. Add to that solid doses of ketamine & you are in a Giger-esque realm of scary.
But here I am; alive, complete (plus extras) & moving on with my life, albeit somewhat slower for now.
I send you my thoughts & genuine heartfelt wishes as you go through this time & look forward to hearing of your recovery.
Much :heart:

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My left eye cataract resulted from “traumatic injury” – got hit just above the eye by a softball, which drove my eyeglasses down to the eye. A few quiet, bandaged eyes days in the hospital cleared the eye, but the Doc at the time told me that the trauma would likely result in a cataract eventually.

Years later, I had to get the cataract removed. Luckily Dr. Moses (no joking) parted the cornea (OK, … punny), removed the lens and inserted a new lens with no problems. I had your same trepidations about the surgery, but they paralyzed just the eyes and I was awake during the procedure. The latest cataract surgeries differ from when I had mine done, but I’d expect the same painless experience.

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@TravelEcho, you have my greatest sympathy.

I have been dealing with health concerns myself for the last six months. I am well aware of how paralyzing the worry can become, and how depressing and depersonalising the endless round of medical tests can be.

I wish I had some magical answer to offer you, but I don’t. All I can say is that it’s ultimately better to deal with it, than ignore it, and allow it to get worse.

My thoughts are with you.

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Positive thoughts, positive thoughts! Just think of what you’ll be able to paint when they heal.

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@DarthBane2016
Thank you so much! and thank you for sharing your wonderful Portal screenshot and giving permission to me to paint it. So far, it is just a small study, but I’m hoping to start the larger version soon™.

@Clemm

Thank you, Clemm! If I live that long, Lithography looks like a process that would be fun and even exciting, to learn. If I’m lucky I still have a couple of decades left to do it all :wink:

Ow! That must have been painful and scary!

Love your Dr. Moses parting the cornea!
I understand that the “Sleepy Time” drug they give you these days allows you to be awake for the entire surgery --and not remember a thing about it afterwards. My MD had his cataracts removed recently and he told me the story: He’d been chatting with the surgeon for a few minutes and then asked him when it would start? “It’s already finished.” replied the surgeon (who happens to be the same one I have). That was reassuring! :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you so much for sharing your story. It really helps! :heart:

@DevilinPixy

Oh yes! But isn’t it funny/peculiar how the mind chases its tail looking for a way out of an inescapable dire peril. It has to be done, but the lizard brain (terror!) and the frontal cortex (do the right thing!) will have to fight it out without me because I’m going to do this. Too bad knowing that doesn’t reduce the fear.
But what does help is the good wishes, prayers, and reassurance from those around you who care. Thank you so much! :hugs: & :two_hearts:–to you, too!

@MacForADay

I’m sorry to hear that, Mac! I don’t know if this will help but at this appointment they put a drop of something in each eye so they could get their machine’s lens to touch my eye so they could see past the occlusion to the cataract and view the deteriorating cornea. I didn’t feel a thing and I didn’t flinch, which is a natural reflex. I’m not sure I even blinked!
Modern medical science has created some wonderful ways of reducing trauma during and even after surgery.
Just make sure you get the best surgeon! And have the best insurance plan.

The first surgeon I talked to scared the faeceum out of me! I put off having the corneal implants done for about 15 years until now because of it. If it wasn’t for the cataracts I probably would never get the corneal replacement done. Find someone like @Clemm 's Dr. Moses, or my Dr. Samburski (maybe that is Sambursky), who have extremely thorough and competent systems set up yet are still full of heart.

Thank you so much for your prayers! :heart:

@Mad-Hatter

Oh my dear! What you have and are going through is both heart-breaking and heart-warming!

I share your dread of hospitals and the medical profession in general due to traumatic experiences as a child of eight years. Your story, along with my most recent experience, gives me hope. Thank you for sharing it with me, and I’m sure --others, much hope. I wish I could give you sympathetic :hugs: from meatbag space. :slightly_smiling_face:

@Polyphemus

I’m so sorry to learn that you, too, are going through medical issues and all their deplorable consequences.

I’m not looking for magical answers, though I wish there were some. :slightly_smiling_face: Human shared experience is incredibly helpful though. I think we have the magic when we can find our way to medical practitioners who are compassionate and competent, and who have systems in place that take advantage of the best that science can offer.

Once, half a lifetime ago, I was in hospital for tests, and the doctor was having a lot of trouble finding a vein in either of my feet into which he could administer a dye (iirc). it was excruciating. A nurse noticed my agony and came over and took my hand in hers. She didn’t say anything, just took my hand and gave it a squeeze and held it for the duration. The distress was cut in half! (apparently I have the tiniest veins in my feet ever!) It is the shared humanity that helps healing more than anything.

I know it sounds a bit trite these days to say this, but, thank you for sharing your experience around your health concerns.

And thank you for letting me know your thoughts are with me., as mine will be with you.

@unique

Thank you, my friend! :heart:

I honestly think that my visual problems have made me a better painter (being unable to see and therefore compulsively render, too much detail in a piece. I have been able to focus on shape/form and colour, and also blame my visual problems on a (subjectively) poor outcome. Either that, or They look good to me because I’m blind :wink: But that said, other people seem to like them.

When I think of having my cataracts removed, I think of Monet, who suffered greatly from them. Ever wonder why his later pieces seem so blurry, yet full of colour? He also smoked cigars constantly, so his cataracts were yellow form the nicotine in the smoke! How he could paint such beauty through orange-yellow lenses… But he was a master of his skill. I am fortunate, oh so fortunate, that I live in this time period. When he had his cataracts removed from his left eye, they didn’t have a process for replacement. They fitted him with a mechanical lens!

That must have take great courage. I wouldn’t have had that much courage. I have a very low pain threshold. Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between desperation and courage. but at some point I believe they merge.

“Positive thoughts!” and lots of distraction for the lizard brain, and a quirky sense of humour, and good people’s good will, good thoughts, and good prayers. All are extremely helpful. :heart:

Thank you, unique, and all the others here for their kindness in replying to this thread. It is wonderful for this socially inept, shy person to know you care. :hugs: :hugs: :hugs: to all!

I will keep you, my friends, posted and I will continue painting as often as possible, regardless.

(and thank you all for letting me know you liked my paintings --that means a lot to me) :heart_eyes:

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