The eyes have it, the eyes have it

The eyes have it, the eyes have it

Did you ever have to have a bath with your eyes closed, ensuring that no water enters them? Certainly for a head bath, and especially for women, I keep wondering how it can be done without at least a drop slyly getting in. But yes, the instructions were very strict that I could only have a head bath without allowing water to enter my eyes.

When I went to the eye clinic for a routine check-up (it had been quite a while since the last one), and was told that sooner than later I should get the cataract operation done in both eyes, I was a little shocked. I didn’t think that anything was wrong or so bad with my eyes as to require any attention. I hate operations — who doesn’t? So many instructions and dos and don’ts to be followed with so many other precautions — in this case, no water must enter the eyes at all for ever so many days, and different drops must be given for at least two months!

Earlier, operations (especially of the eyes) were frightening, with no short and simpler versions like today. And one had to stay in the hospital for a few days before being discharged to go home. Maybe the same ‘don’ts’ and more were insisted on.

Some five years ago, I had a sudden attack of glaucoma — a bad thing to suffer from not only because of the pain, but because of the consequences, like impaired vision. It had been painful and worrying. I thanked god that I recovered from it without much of a problem, such as losing some of my eyesight. In fact, I had even forgotten about this episode when I went in for the recent check-up, until the doctor told me that his examination had thrown up this information.

Anyway, I wanted to have the cataract operation done soon and entered the theatre that Friday after a very light breakfast as advised. After donning the hospital gown and being administered drops for the eyes, I was wheeled into the operation theatre. I don’t think they gave me general anaesthesia, for all along I was conscious of the gentle words and questions, like “are you comfortable?”, that the kind doctor was asking me from time to time. And before I could bat an eyelid, so to say, “Yes, it is over,” said he. 

It may have taken all of 30 to 35 minutes. I felt normal but didn’t like the “droppings”. The second eye was operated on a week later. It also seemed very simple and went off smoothly. One of our friends who had undergone this surgery had had a very tough time as it did not succeed. I only hope they could rectify it. Going through any operation just once is difficult enough, both from the physical and financial point of “view” — one wonders how the needy manage with their ailments.

It’s been a month since my operation, and the eye-drops will continue for at least another month. But I can’t complain, for the thought of being able to avoid having to wear glasses for reading and other tasks, is what makes me go on.