Scenery near Arusha, Tanzania. A lot of people carry things on their head!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Arusha, Tanzania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? We are in Tanzania until late March.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Christmas Day eye surgery

Christmas Day morning, we got out and went for a walk in the big park across the road from our apartment. We figured we had better get some exercise since Saturday and Sunday we are back to weekend lockdown.

The park across the road is huge... in fact I read that it is the 9th largest park in the world that is located in a suburban city area. For comparison, Vancouver's Stanley Park is 405 hectares, New York's Central Park is 340 hectares, and here in Antalya, Zeytin Park is 263 hectares.

The only problem is that while one boundary of the park itself is located pretty much right across the road, the park is fenced and the only access point is almost 3 kms (1.8 miles) away. So, we had to walk quite a bit on the sidewalk just to get to the entrance.

The entrance road into the park.

Quite a few people out walking in the park. But as I said, it's huge so once we got off the main paved road and onto one of the paths, we didn't really see anybody else.

There are no hills... it's all pretty much flat.


Selfie in the park.
Soon... no more glasses.
With the exception of non prescription off the rack sunglasses when we choose to.

So we're walking in the park when a lightbulb came on in my head. 

Our original plan was to drive to the private hospital, and then take a taxi home. Then the next day, take a taxi to the doctor's office where he would remove the patch and do an inspection and then walk to the nearby hospital where we could pick up our car and drive it home.

But I thought, why don't we just walk to the hospital. It was only 8.5 kms (5.3 miles) of flat level sidewalks and we didn't have to be there until 3:30pm. Then take a taxi home after the operation, and Saturday I could remove my own patch (the doctor said this was okay) and drive to his office.

So we cut short our walk in the park, headed back to the apartment (by this point we had already done 7 kms, 4.2 miles!) for a quick lunch and showers, and then headed off to the hospital.

Quite a few streets in downtown Antalya have been closed to cars and had light rail lines installed.
But we find that scooters still use them. Apparently scooters can go wherever they want to!

Big shopping mall and lots of traffic.

We had been told to be at the hospital reception at 3:30pm. We got there ay 3:15pm, and it was 3:40pm when I got a phone call from the doctor. He had been in surgery with another patient, and asked if we were ready. Oh yes! A minute later his assistant showed up with our files and we registered at the private hospital. We had to sign a bunch of forms, but did not have to pay any money at that time. We had already paid a half deposit for one eye for each of us by credit card, and would pay the other half in cash at our Saturday morning appointment at his office. 

Then we were brought upstairs where a nurse directed us to a private patient room. We were instructed to remove our outerwear and put on the hospital supplied gowns and slippers. Our doctor's assistant came in and put some drops in the eyes that were being operated on

Hospital room selfie!

Then a nurse came in and installed some kind of emergency intravenous thing in one arm for each of us.

Ruth with her arm done.

And me, getting mine done.

They gave us a couple of pills "to help you relax", and left us alone for ten minutes or so. Then the nurse came back and got one of us. Ruth was closest to the door, so she went first!

Ruth, ready to be wheeled to the operating room.

The girl said she would be back in fifteen minutes to get me!

As I was sitting there, I definitely began to feel relaxed. The pills were taking effect. I wasn't nervous to begin with, but now I actually felt a little bit stoned! Oh well!

Sure enough the girl came back to get me and wheeled me to the operating room where I sat waiting for 15 minutes or so. Our doctor came out and put a needle in under my eye. Anesthetic. He went back into the operating room. Eventually, the doors opened and they wheeled out Ruth, with a patch over her eye.

They wheeled me in, and the doctor was there. I asked how everything went with Ruth, and he said "absolutely perfect". Oh good. Now for the same result with me!

They lie you on the operating table and strap a blood pressure monitor to you. There was our doctor, a different assistant, and some other doctor.

They do a bunch of cleaning of the area around your eye. Felt like two or three times. Then they put some various drops in your eye again, as well as one that turned everything yellow. Then they install some kind of covering over your face, and cut out the area around your eye so that only your eye is visible to the doctor. He uses some kind of tape to hold your eyelid open so that you can't blink. Then he aims a super bright light at your eye and you are told to look at the center of it.

And he goes to work.

The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. You are totally awake the whole time, and there was no pain. I could kind of feel some poking and prodding and pressure at times. And when he removes your natural lens, you can tell because the bright light gets cloudy all of a sudden.

Then he installs the replacement lens. The bright light became a little clearer again, but somehow different.

Then he says "I'm just finishing up" and he asks "how are you doing?", to which I replied "I think I'm totally fine".

I though the whole procedure was something like getting something done at the dentist. It's not painful, but it's a bit uncomfortable. You're definitely glad when it's over, but it really wasn't that bad. He said that my eye also went totally fine, but that he had to put a suture (stitch) in my eye. He said that's totally normal... some people need it, and some don't. 

He put a patch on my eye, and said "see you tomorrow". He will also remove the stitch at that time.

I was wheeled back to the room where Ruth was already changed into her street clothes. I did the same. The other assistant came in and got us set up with some more drops of various kinds. We were told to be at the doctors office for 9:30am.

Eye patches on!

By this time, it was about 6:30pm and it was dark outside. Not that easy to walk in the dark with just one eye! Fortunately there are a lot of taxi stands in Antalya and there was one very close to the hospital. It cost 50 lira ($8.50 CAD, $6.60 USD) for the 9 km (5.4 mile) ride home.

In the evening, we had a fun video call with the grandkids so we could see (with our one good eye each) what they got for Christmas. Santa must have thought they were good all year!

By the time the anesthetic wore off around 11:00pm bedtime, Ruth was complaining that her eye was really painful. Mine didn't feel so bad. Ruth took an ibuprofen, which the doctor had suggested if there was pain.

We both slept well. Stay tuned tomorrow to see if we can see when the patches are removed!

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18 comments:

  1. It sounds like everything went really well. Funny thing, when I opened to read this post, I had a big banner across the bottom - "schedule your eye appointment today". It was sponsored by Acuvue. Sneaky little devils!!

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    1. Everything went really well, we were very happy with the staff and the hospital and especially our doctor and the great care he has taken to make sure that we are comfortable and happy.

      Lol, it isn't surprising that that banner showed up. All of the ads are geared to the algorithms from pages/sites that you visit on the internet! Everyone's ads are different but I bet many people were seeing some kind of glasses or lens ads in today's post.

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  2. When my husband had his surgery done things were a little blurry when the patch came off. The doctor said everything looked really good and his vision would get sharper in a day or so. it did. the 2nd eye a week later was clear from the beginning. So don't worry if things are not as sharp as you expect them to be right away.

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    1. And that is exactly what is happening with both Kevin and I, especially with Kevin. He has really noticed a big improvement in the clarity of his vision just over the day yesterday, and he is liking what he is seeing. Mine has been good as well but I won't have the same amount of change as what Kevin will get with his. I am definitely noticing that my vision for distance is clearer and sharper so that is great and I can almost read the computer without my glasses and that should improve but I will have to get readers for anything closer. Now we are looking forward to getting the other eye done on Wednesday. :-)

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  3. I had both eyes done about five years ago with no pain whatsoever. I still need glasses at times for stigmatism. But the colors became brilliant and I could see crystal clear. It was amazing to see detail and watch TV with clarity and read street sign and license plates! I can drive at night again.

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    1. That sounds great! I know that Kevin is really looking forward to tossing out his glasses and I am looking forward to not having to wear them for distance and hopefully for the computer as well but I will need them for reading anything closer than the computer screen. We honestly don't care about night driving because it is so rare that we drive at night anyways but just for all of our day to day activities it will be wonderful not having to worry about glasses.

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  4. I second Gemma's post. My sister recently had hers done in Kingston. One was clear right off the hop and the second took a week or two.

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    1. Good to hear, hopefully ours will be reverse of that then, and our next one will be clear of the bat! :-)

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  5. Ok one eyes!! You will have no regrets i am sure. I had cataract surgery for both eyes in 2008 in WA. Larry had LASIK eye surgery for both eyes over 20 years ago. His eyes remain stable except “old age” eyes requiring OTC readers. Mine are great. Except a very slight astigmatism that returned to a small degree mostly from a small cloudy area that developed that the Dr is going to do a “yag” laser to which only takes five minutes or so. Otherwise no glasses. Take care & enjoy your new, improved vision!! Larry & Nancy

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    1. This all sounds so promising and hopeful! From the results that we are seeing so far we are very pleased and looking forward to getting our second eye done. :-)

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  6. Congratulations on your first successful surgeries! The only negative I had when I had LASIK and later cataract surgery was the dry eye condition I experienced for more than 1 year after the surgeries. The doctor said it was normal and eye drops mostly helped. But it still was a bit annoying. Also -- a great sensitive to bright sunlight. But the colors you see are so brilliant and being able to drive at night and NO glasses is worth it.

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    1. Thank you! I guess all the drops that they give you are to help combat that dry eye syndrome, only time will tell if we have that same issue or not. As for the eyes being sensitive to the bright sunlight at least there are sunglasses for that. We are looking forward to seeing how the following days' progress goes and how our eyes will adjust.

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  7. Sounds great! I can't wait to see the final results.

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  8. Good job for round 1, and I'm impressed with the staff! You 2 are very resilient,and you do your research. Well, round 2 tomorrow, unless you have more eyes! Take care, Rawn Stone

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    1. It is definitely nice to have round 1 under our belts and now we know what to expect for round 2 and we sure are looking forward to it. :-)

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  9. Nice Christmas Present you gave each other. Glad the procedures seemed to go well for the both of you. Listen to the Doctor's instructions and you will love the final result.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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    1. It was a great Christmas present to us both. :-)

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