Wednesday, October 06, 2010

A bit under the weather...

Last Wednesday I had my first of two eye surgeries to remove cataracts and have a prosthetic lens inserted in my eye. It went so well that I was actually looking forward to doc doing the same today (imagine someone cutting into your eyeball...while you are awake! Now you can imagine how well that surgery went, given I was looking forward to today's procedure!)

Unfortunately, today's surgery was not the cakewalk last week's was. I dunno why, but the anaesthesia was not as effective as last time, and I was painfully aware of the doctor's activities. They do not give you a general anaesthetic for this procedure, just something to relax and calm you, and they put anaesthetic drops in the eye, but something just didn't go according to plan.

Now, 8 hours later, the eye is tender, bloodshot, and I am going to need the pain meds in order to sleep tonight (didn't need them last time). The only difference between this surgery and the last one is the location: same doc, same anaesthetist, same procedure, just a different hospital. And I naively expected that, since this was an eye hospital...a specialist venue...that the experience would be even better than my experience last week in a small general hospital. Wrongo! This place was chaotic, the check in procedure was a mess and even had the doctors complaining about not getting their patients up to the operating theatres on time (because they were stuck in the admissions area), and it was even out of the hard plastic shields that are taped over the eye after surgery (thank goodness I had my own shield from the last surgery!)

I've had amazing medical care in this country, today being my first "clinker." The admin clerk had an attitude big enough to build a road around and was totally without concern for the very reason her job even existed: funnelling patients into the hospital to have procedures for which they pay, procedures which, ultimately, pay her wages. The doctors set up surgery schedules and they aren't random: my doc likes to get "simple procedures" (like mine) done early and out of the way so that she has time for more complex...and possibly lengthy...procedures later on. Also, diabetics are instructed not to take their morning insulin or tablets and aren't allowed to eat, so they need to be seen first to minimize problems for their metabolisms. I was originally #2 on the surgical schedule but because of the screw ups at admission, I ended up being #4 in the parade of patients going through the operating theatre which kept me there longer than I should have been, postponed my meds and morning meal and generally wreaked havoc on my equanimity, not to mention my metabolism.

It is over now, and tomorrow I will go to the doc and see what the outcome is...will let you all know.

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