Noilly Prattle: V-Day

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


optimism prevails in pre-surgery
The day has finally come and, as of this writing, pretty much passed into personal history as V-Day—vitrectomy day.

clinic on 8th floor of bldg. in center
This was road buddy's second vitrectomy. It was more critical than the first one since, if left untreated, it could lead to severe distortion in both eyes (instead of only one) causing an inability to focus on letters and words and thus making reading extremely difficult if not impossible for all practical purposes. The vitrectomy procedure is now pretty mainstream, but there is a small chance of complications (a macular hole) and the more cautious doctor preferred to wait until the vision falls to a level that is unacceptable for reading before “risking” a vitrectomy. He refused to do it at this time.

Our Station - view from
eye clinic waiting room
Since she can only read with one eye, road buddy did not want to completely lose the ability to read and so sought second and third opinions. Both the second and third opinion (more progressive—or, perhaps, confident) doctors were willing to do the surgery now; she decided to go ahead with it and today was V-Day.

no, he isn't a patient, happily
We both went to the clinic at 10 o'clock in the morning. My plan was to go out to lunch around noon when the surgery was scheduled, but I was informed that I couldn't leave without “the doctor's permission”. Imagine that! Why? In case they needed to contact me if anything “went wrong”. So, I went out to lunch around 11 o'clock and when I got back road buddy was already gone in for prep—taking my novel in her backpack. A kind nurse came out shortly and informed me that the surgery was underway. All I could do, obviously, was wait with no book to read.

whiling away the time
Some 45 minutes later another lady, dressed in blue that I guessed were surgical togs, came and told me that the surgery was over. I gave her an interrogative thumbs up sign and she said, yes it was successful and that road buddy would be resting for a couple of hours. I nodded and said arigato and took out my camera to while away the time. After a while I took off my shoes and stretched out on the waiting room bench and dozed off and on.

more whiling away the time
the famous "lady in blue"
The same lady in blue called my name and I awoke with a start. She laughed and told me that I could go into the recovery room and see road buddy. She was still on drip infusion and groggy from the operation but was coherent. I told her that I had heard that the surgery had gone well and she said that yes that was right. She dozed a bit more, I read a bit and we chatted a bit for another hour or so until the lady in blue unhooked her from the drip, she got dressed and we paid the bill and were able to leave. I guess we had “the doctor's permission”. If there are no complications in the next few days we will be home free. We are keeping our fingers crossed and knocking on lots of wood.

the bill came to about $2,760 total -
 co-pay was $720 at current yen/dollar exchange rate

ready to go


Anonymous said...

Joe...thanks for letting us all know that things were successful, thank goodness

However, your wife is going to KILL you, posting those photos!!

Healing thoughts,

Anonymous said...

Glad all went well and best wishes to the 'lady`...see u on Thursday...ciao Malcolm