#376–The door & humidity, the eyes and the fix . . .

Note: No blog post this Friday, 3/31 due to internet down on computer. Will post Sunday, 4/2, hopefully.

Last week I wrote:” I will post this on Friday, but will not finish the door until Saturday. At that time, I have to leave 8 to 12 hours between the two coats. It has to be dry––not tacky–which the directions say will take about 8 hours.”


This project is taking much longer than I thought.

It wasn’t 8 hours that it took to be dry enough for a second coat. It was 48 hours. Over here at the coast, we have humidity—especially when it is rainy. So, the second coat went on Monday morning. I had to be at a meeting at 10, so I got up at 5, so I’d have plenty of time to apply the coat and do the cleanup, have breakfast, and get to the meeting on time.

On this time schedule, the third coat would be on Wednesday, but I had to be in Eugene on Tuesday and would stay there until Thursday. So, once again I’m writing my post and the door is not done. It will get its third and, hopefully, final coat tomorrow.

So, why was I in Eugene.

I have runny eyes, which is diagnosed as “dry eye.” It is anything but. It makes me look like I’m about to cry and I’m not. I have to wipe my tears away often. It’s a nuisance, and a problem, making my vision blurry part of the time. So, my eye doctor suggested a procedure, which sounds totally terrible. But I was willing to try, if it would help my runny eye problem.

The first eye was scheduled for March 1, but had to be rescheduled due to snow here in Florence and in the Coast Range between here and Eugene. It was rescheduled for this week. Mostly sunny the day I went over and Wednesday, but today on my way home, it was rainy and even snowed for about eight miles in the middle at temps of 37 to 39 degrees.(We’re in for another cold spell with possible snow down to sea level this weekend.)

Pacific Surgery Center in Eugene is where I go for my eye procedures. They partner with Pacific Clear Vision.

A brief explanation of what causes my runny eyes. The tears come in the inner corner and go out in the outer corner. My eyes had something in the way causing the tears to pile up and spill over. That something was the white part of the eye that had come loose on the lower part of the eye. The fix, is to stitch it to the eyeball! Yikes! That sounds terrible. It’s called conjunctivo-plasty. Actually what happens is “a laser reinforces the conjunctival adhesion to the sub-Tenon capsule and sclera and reduces or eliminates conjunctival laxity.” Got that!

Here’s how it played out.

I went over to Eugene Tuesday afternoon and arrived at my friend Rosemary’s house. She put me up for two nights and shuttled me to and from the surgery center. As a thank you, I took her out to dinner to a place of her choice Tuesday night. We went to McMenamins High Street Brewery and Café. No brews for us as she was fighting a headache, and I was facing surgery. But the food was good––veggie burger for her and fish and chips for me. Later we took a walk around her neighborhood after dark with me handling her Golden Retriever, Brodie, and Rosemary handling, Pippa, her son’s dog that she was taking care of temporarily. Brodie slowed to my pace and was a wonderful dog to be walking around with in the dark.

Rosemary and I were both editors at Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines and have been friends for years.

The next morning, I got up at six showered and washed really good around my eyes. Then I fixed my own breakfast from stuff I had brought, since I could only have certain things, which constituted a light breakfast. I was not to eat after 7:25 a.m., and I didn’t. And no more liquids after 11:25 a.m., and I had none. We arrived a little early before my scheduled 1:25 p.m. appointment. Rosemary left and could expect a call to come for me around 4 p.m.

That’s not exactly how it happened.

There were several cataract removal surgeries scheduled before mine, that normally take 15 to 20 minutes once in the surgical suite. (When I had mine done there, each was about 15 minutes.) But not this past Wednesday. At least three had serious problems that revealed themselves only after the doctor began, and each required complicated surgical solutions. Which meant that instead of taking 15 or 20 minutes, they took an hour or more apiece. So, instead of going into surgery at 2 :30 p.m., I went into surgery at 6 p.m. Rosemary picked me up at 7 p.m. It was an unexpectedly long day for everyone involved.

Rosemary’s dog, Brodie, is an unusual red Golden Retriever. He is very well-behaved and just a love.

I was prepped by the nurses and ready for surgery from about 2:15 p.m. on. I was on a recliner with a warm blanket around me and my feet up. So, I napped on and off for most of four hours. Everyone was very apologetic and poor Rosemary was told first that I would be ready to go about 5. She came to pick me up only to find that the doors downstairs had locked automatically at 5 and the answering system switched on. So, when she called, she got nobody to talk to. The surgical area is upstairs and was still going strong. Apparently, nobody was answering upstairs.

He thrived on attention, and I got my dog fix.

Finally, at 6 p.m., it was my turn. All the nurses cheered when I was wheeled in. I had gotten to know them all. We had become like family! After I was situated on the operating reclining chair that could flatten out and go up and down, my head was taped into place and my hands placed in restraints. Then I gradually lost consciousness as the anesthetic took hold. I was not totally out, but I don’t remember most of it. They also put a nerve block on my eye to numb it and one suture to hold my eyelid open.

Here’s the strange part. I did partially come to before it was over. I could see someone looming over me with eye optics and everything was bathed in wild psychedelic colors—vivid colors––that gyrated all around. Wild to say the least. Then, the next thing I knew, I was back to my recliner in the waiting area. I came to right away with no residual sleepiness or dopiness. I felt totally fine. I did have a patch over my eye taped from my forehead to near my mouth keeping it in place.

We went home and Rosemary fixed a lovely dinner of salmon and asparagus and salad. I hadn’t eaten since 7:25 a.m., so I scarfed it down with no trouble. (The next morning, I read over the after-treatment directions, and found that I was supposed to have a very light meal, such as soup, that evening.) We stayed up talking tell about 10:30 p.m. and I felt totally normal—not unusually tired and no pain. I slept like a log that night.

Rosemary’s cat, Bigs, also gave me lots of attention. I got my cat fix too.

I went back Thursday morning for my post-op checkup. The patch was removed and the doctor thought everything went well during the procedure, and that it definitely needed to be done. The white part had come very loose much more so than he thought, and it really needed to be corrected.

It was great having the patch removed. I have two sets of drops to put in four times a day and hydrating drops to put in every three hours each day for about a week. Oh joy! I have puffiness around my eye, and the eye is bloodshot. He said that should go away in a couple of days. He is hopeful of a good outcome when it comes to improving my runny eye. In a couple weeks, I come back for a second post op. And then in mid-May I plan to have the second eye done, since it has the same problems.

Wish me look on my eyes . . .  and my door!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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