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My first cataract operation follow up

From Tony Little's Gazelle Freestyle Elite User's Log

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This page last updated on or about 12-26-07
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Below you'll get a first-hand account of what happened to me after my first cataract operation.

12-26-07: My first cataract operation follow up

Blow out

Id just began my fourth week of post-op; which meant I was now to go from dispensing two drops a day into my eye, to one.

Id cut short my usual 40 minute gazelle workout routine Saturday (the day before) to only 15 or so, due to the imminent arrival of my little nephews to stay over the holidays. Sunday morning, Id decided to skip the workout altogether, as still more company was expected.

I drank a very weak cup of coffee. Id been cutting my coffee dosage for maybe two months by then, mostly in an effort to avoid caffeine headaches associated with the no drinks rules preceding operations. And I was expecting a second cataract operation to take place sometime in January.

I could have gotten the second sooner than that, but felt I needed and wanted more recovery time from the first. I was still having to eye drop my eye for that one, plus my pressure was a bit high, and it just seemed like my eye needed more TLC before starting the other.

However, I had been pushing my operated eye vision-wise, working as much as I could. And Id begun to detect some strain from that in previous days. Like maybe I couldnt spend as much time on the computer as I used to, now.

And my sensitivity to bright light from the first post op week seemed to be returning. Id taken to wearing my sunglass visor a lot more again.

However, other than that, I felt like I was making good progress. I had complained to my doc some days before that the drops seemed to have increased the incidence of floaters in my eyes, but he dismissed that out of hand.

I was seeing pretty well out of the operated right eye-- though my doc agreed when I stated my left eye was probably now in legally blind status. And hed given me the go-ahead then to schedule the second operation.

But just days later, on Sunday, I had a blow out in my operated eye.

A blood vessel burst inside it.

I hadnt been up long. Just drank that weak cup of coffee. Was answering email on my PC, regarding my airship pages.

I was flicking my eyes all over the place to write, and suddenly saw something I never had before.

Big, black, oily looking snake-like things came wiggling up from the bottom of my vision. These were like no floaters Id ever seen before. I almost wondered if I had worms in my eyes. They were very well defined-- and scary looking.

Holy shit!

I knew I had to contact my doc about it. Theyd told me to do so if anything odd happened.

This was the Sunday the day before Christmas Eve. I got a live person at an answering service at the 800 number. They asked me some good questions, and told me theyd contact the doc, and Id get a call back.

My doc called less than 30 minutes later, and told me to meet him at his office at 1 PM (a bit less than 2 hours from then).

His office was a 40 minute drive. We got there early and waited, as it was deserted. I checked the locked door periodically, and at 12:55 PM found it open, with the doc somehow having arrived without us seeing him.

He did an exam and told me about the blood vessel bursting, and that that meant I was at increased risk for other bad things (naturally). But that my eye would reabsorb the blood, and to ignore any more visual signs like what Id already seen-- but report anything different which happened.

Apparently it takes many days to reabsorb blood spilled inside your eye. Until then it just spreads out and diffuses into a mess which interferes big-time with your vision.

Im to make an appointment with a retinal specialist in Knoxville in coming days. My doc warned me if anything new and different happened, I might have to have emergency laser surgery.

Oh joy.

I suspected the Pred Forte eye drops might be causing it, and as soon as I could bear a few minutes on the net, I looked it up.

The drops were steroids, meant to reduce inflammation and related damages after the operation, but also filled to the brim with possible side effects-- such as slowing healing and making holes in your eye(!)

However, I also noticed I hadnt exactly been using them as recommended-- there was much more comprehensive instructions on the net than Id received with my operation paperwork. So it appeared I possibly had been under-dosing myself with them-- and so maybe allowed my eyes too much leeway inflammation-wise.

From what I read, I better understood why the doc probably saw no good reason to have me stop my drops altogether at this late stage-- I only had one more week at one drop a day left anyway.

I also did my only little experiment, to help me decide whether Id stop them on my own.

Id taken a drop only minutes before the blow out, so the next day I could wait until late that night to take another and still technically be following the directions of one drop a day.

I figured the extra time might help me gauge whether the drops were helping or hurting the situation.

By 8:30 PM I decided the lengthy span off the drops hadnt made for much improvement, and took my dose. Only this time making sure to keep still and laying down and not blinking for a couple minutes afterwards, so my eye could better absorb the medicine. Id done the opposite of all that in prior weeks.

The next couple days after the blow out sure werent much fun. I wore my shades most all the time, mostly so I wouldnt notice so much the scary remnants of the blood snakes in my eyes, and partly to protect my light sensitive eyes.

With my good eye now screwed up, and my other legally blind, and vision in both reduced further by the shades, I could do little more than watch TV those days.

Yes, I could keep my operated eye shut and don my double set of old glasses to make my legally blind eye see passably well-- but as Id now gotten used to seeing with my operated eye, trying to get by with the double glasses on my bad eye was disorienting. It made me feel dizzy, and possibly more likely to fall and hurt myself.

So I mostly only used the double glasses for a few minutes here and there in my bedroom when I needed them, and just the plain sunglasses all other times.

I stayed off my computer almost totally those two days. Partly to give my hurting eye a break, and partly because it was just so hard to be on the PC anyway under those conditions.

Plus, Id been on the PC when the vessel broke. I did NOT want to experience that again!

I also never drank any more coffee after Sunday morning. I knew that coffee thins the blood, and wondered if that might have contributed to my bleeding into my eye (although the doc told me no when I asked him if anything I did, like what I ate or drank might have contributed to it).

I had noticed extra bleeding problems exterior wise though on myself and others at times before, due to coffee or aspirin or excess vitamin C intake.

To avoid a caffeine headache, I drank some green tea instead, which has a much lower dose of caffeine than coffee.

Ive also put in a couple 40 minute sessions on the Gazelle since then. Though maybe a little less enthusiastically than usual. For Im very uncertain what might help or hurt at this junction. But I noted the blow out happened on a day I had NOT exercised, plus cut short my workout the day before too.

I was pretty lucky before and during Christmas that there were films, marathons, and miniseries playing which I didnt mind watching while laid up. For normally I can stand almost nothing on the tube.

Thank goodness for Tin man, Star Gate marathons, and The Incredibles!

My eye blow out has also interfered with my finishing a new supercar story (Black and blue magic), and another chapter of my science fiction novel (The chance of a realtime). I was making loads of progress on those before the eruption!

Im not sure how or when or even if Ill get back up to full speed again. There seems a very real possibility I may have gotten about as far in my online works as Im ever going to get. Yikes!

But darn it-- if I can, I shall return!

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