A great relief when it's over!
Five years patience finally rewarded with the gift of sight
I couldn't believe it...it finally happened!
After about 5 years of asking, throwing hissy fits and finally begging, a caring Sikh optometrist finally got me a slot to have the cataract in my left eye removed on an emergency basis, with a private clinic. ("Emotional and Psychological Stress," I assumed). Twelve years after the right eye had been done!
It took my left eye another 5 years before it became operable...or "ripe," like the poisoned fruit. By then, the British National Health Service was, itself in many areas, "over-ripe, past it's sell by date," unfit for purpose.*(see below)
I am not an advocate of a free medical service, for too many reasons to go into in this article. Suffice it to say, for many patients, it just doesn't do the job in this Millennium. However, many people with a medical crisis can thank the NHS for saving their lives and thousands in medical expenses. In normal times, like so much in life. Good or bad, it's a lottery.
Where this dreadful virus, Covid-19, is concerned, the NHS has saved thousands of lives and eased the passage into the next life for thousands more. And the Pandemic, of course, has stolen the ability of the NHS to carry on with normal patients.
With all this, I still did not see any immediate relief in my case, I had not been able to see clearly through the London pea-soup of a fog that clung to my left eye for years now. Couldn't read and had to squint as my long-suffering right eye did it all. It was way beyond the ability of glasses to help.
Yes, I asked every doctor in my clinic who would listen to send me to the eye hospital. I did have several diabetic eye checks; slit lamp checks and optometrists visits to change my eye prescription. One and all they said "You have a ripe cataract; needs removing." But not once in all this time did any doctor arrange for me to have surgery.
Why not? I do not know why not to this day. However, I have a suspicion that secret memos fly around within government circles and NHS nabobs "for your eyes only" sort of stuff. (pun not meant!). These missives suggest that "citizens of a certain age would cost the NHS a lot of time and effort (read money) for small gains they don't really need to enhance their well-being and quality of life for the short time they have left!"...Ahem...Amen!
I have no evidence of this, mind. So, NHS, forget suing me....and please help when my old ticker tries to give up the ghost...as well as continuing to supply my many prescription pills! (""He's redlining, nurse!" " Best let him go, he's costing a fortune!").
It's just that in every walk of life, where big money is concerned, forget ethics, decency and honesty. The benighted citizenry call the UK, bitterly, "Rip-Off Britain!" And so much outright thievery is protected by common law. Look at the car insurance, establishment sanctioned, fraud as an example. Money lenders draconian rates of interest. Banks! There is much more.
I am in the 14th day of my "new" eye as I write. At 9:30 am two weeks ago I was gratefully under the knife in the cataract specialist's clinic of "SpaMedica." After the hour-long wait and necessary eye drops, I was off to the theatre. The lady surgeon and her staff nattered about inconsequential matters while I tried to obey the injunction to, "Not Move." Cataracts are, in the main, removed under just local anaesthetic, (provided by the eyedrops earlier).
Through a very, VERY, bright light, you can see shadowy hands under a deluge of water, cutting, pulling, poking and finally installing a new lens in exchange for the diseased and cataract-ruined old lens.
You can finally swing your shaking old bod. from the operating table.
It's quick procedure and considered minor: the danger of course is loosing the sight in the eye. And you can sense the tension in the operating theatre for the five minutes or so of critical surgery. They all stop the mindless chatter! I did start to slowly raise my hand at one point to wipe tears from my other eye. A pointless geture as I had forgotten I was covered with a rubber mask except for the subject eye.
"DON'T MOVE" Was the whiplash crack from the surgeon. Abashed, I ceased existing for the rest of the procedure. I haven't been so heartedly reprimanded by a lady since the days I attempted early withdrawal.
The specialist surgeon did a good job. However, it would not have hurt her to introduce herself, or takes some interest in me after the operation. It did occur that the patients are, I believe, a mix of the private paying sort, and my group, ones where the NHS pays the clinic - I am sure, substantially less than the well-heeled cataract-bound! Was that the cause of the doctor's obvious coldness? Or did her partner fail her by withdrawing early that very morning!? We will never know.
You have to protect the eye with a plastic cup secured with tape for a week or so in case, while dreaming, you explore the new scar with a damaging finger (easily done). And eye drops for a month 6 times a day: well, I did it all more or less.
It's wonderful to have two good eyes again. The "new" eye will take a month or more to "settle" and start to work as a team member again with my right eye. And it does not rule out glasses to read. All that will be determined with an optician's visit in a month.
But don't suffer like I did for years not being able to see out of one or both eyes due to cataracts. Removing them is like being born again!
diogenes (author) from UK and Mexico on April 15, 2021:
Hi Mr Happy: We try to put off dying here, it costs another $5000!
Congrats on the "eagle eyes."
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on April 13, 2021:
"Why not? I do not know why not to this day." - Did You ask them why not? You got me curious now too.
"He's redlining, nurse!" " Best let him go, he's costing a fortune!" - Wolves, when they feel like they're about to go, they actually leave the pack and find a good spot to lay down. Maybe sometimes it's good to be a wolf. I sure would chose that way to go if things go as I wish. I do not plan on prolonging what needs not to be prolonged but that does not in any way relate to some sort of a financial cost. It's about others for me, like with the wolves.
Anyway, one of my grandmothers had that surgery and she was much happier afterwards. I never heard of anyone losing their eyes due to such a surgery but I suppose it may happen. I got Eagle Vision and I thank the Gods for that.
Well, I wish You full recovery if You are not already there yet. All the best!