A Minor Surgery

| December 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

I put up with it for three years and that was long enough. The constant tearing of one eye had turned from a minor nuisance to a major annoyance. I was now dabbing at my eye with a tissue most of the day, and eye makeup was out of the question. When it first started I saw my primary doctor, then an ophthalmologist, then an allergist and no one had an answer. Finally after all these years I tried again. This time I saw a new eye doctor who explained I probably have a tear duct that gets clogged from time to time and there is a minor surgery that can address this condition.  After having had major surgery to replace a knee, the word “minor” seemed like a piece of cake.

Day 1 – friend CC has me at the hospital by 5:45 a.m., good drugs put me out and I awaken in the recovery room, home by 11 a.m., slept most of the day, no pain, small bandage in the corner of the eye. No problem, “minor surgery.”  Day two – awaken feeling fine, slightly swollen and a little pinkish under the eye, grandkids come to visit, feeling even better, girlfriend Pam comes at night and brings me dinner. No problem, “minor surgery.”  Day three – awaken, look in the mirror and to my horror Quasimodo stares back at me with an eye that is swollen underneath about three times the norm, and is a deep dark purple hue. I am alarmed, so alarmed that I call the doctor even though it’s the weekend. This does not look like “minor” surgery. It looks like someone with a punch like Tyson took me out. The doctor assures me all this is normal for the procedure and I will be fine.  “Just ice it,” he tells me, it’s only “minor surgery.”

Day four, five, six and seven – my vanity wins and I hide out.  It’s still very swollen, very bruised and copious amounts of tears are running down my cheek.  I am not happy.  Day eight – follow up doctor’s visit. “Well, you do swell and bruise more than normal,” he tells me, “but this happens with some people. It’s all part of a healing process. It will get better eventually.”  OK, I will be patient but the bigger problem is its still tearing, now even more than before. What had this “minor surgery” taken care of I asked. In a doctorly fashion, he pointed to his model of the eye and carefully explained the process, how he created a new passageway that can cause more tears at first, before it heals and guides tears into the new duct he created. It will be fine. And this is “minor surgery.”

Day nine and longer – I wake up every morning with dark puffy things under the eye, actually under both eyes, it’s all connected I’ve been told. I put cold compresses on several times a day and spend very, very little time near a mirror. The swelling is still there but has gone down quite a bit. The color has turned from purple to a yellowish green. No longer a self-imposed shut in, I gradually go out and face the world. No one stares. The eye is still tearing but I have faith in what the doctor told me.  Besides, I can’t let it interfere with my life. I will be fine. After all it was only “minor surgery.”

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