|It's the one on the left, it works better than it looks|
Monday saw the second eye op. This one was free, on the NHS. The first, due to various exigencies, cost two grand. The same consulting surgeon did both.
Car driving was out. As I taxi-ed to the hospital, I chose to be blasé: been there, done that. Hardly worth a half-post. But I was wrong.
In the waiting room they were handing out Rich Teas, quite an austere, certainly adult biscuit. Americans must Google I fear.
A nurse holds your hand, allowing you to signal if you're about to cough. Eye ops are delicate; one wouldn't wish a 0.5 mm incision to morph into one 5 mm long. I was struck by the quiet, unforced sympathy of the hand-holding nurse who prepped me. There was no way such a manner could be taught. She explained hand-holding has a secondary function - human contact for the conscious patient in the operating theatre.
During the op I sensed a mild stinging and realised it was the blade doing the cutting. The anaesthetic is local and of shortish duration.
I was required to concentrate on a pink light which ebbed and flowed. I referred to this as "psychedelic" but the surgeon misheard. "Like magic mushrooms," I explained. He complimented me on my knowledge and I said I'd got it from a friend – “a good friend”. General laughter.
That night I woke up and found vision horribly blurred in the treated eye. Knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. Got up and edited the novel, two-ish in the morning. Went back to bed after a couple of hours, fatalistic and depressed, but slept well. This time when I woke the blurring had gone. Like being reborn – as an optimist.