Tuesday, January 31, 2012

LOFT LIFE: The eyes are the windows of the soul - Part two

Note: Please read Part one first. This is Part two of my cataract surgery experience:

My anesthesiologist, Susan said, “Do you journal?”
“I’m a writer,” I replied.
“Yes,” said she, “but do you journal? If you do, journal about this experience.”
So here it is:
“I don’t want drugs,” I told Susan. She chatted about that with me, and told me I didn’t have to have the valium. There was just a drug that put me out for a few seconds, long enough for the doc to inject my cheek and numb my eye so that he could perform the surgery. That was fine. I was amazed. Most of my anxiety was about the drugs.
“I don’t need Valium, Susan,” I said. “I have you.” She was so calming.
She was informative, compassionate, empathetic and kind. Oh, and believe it or not, this surgical center belongs to the first doc I had left. I guess his surgical staff is different than the office gals. How’s that for irony?
A surgical tech came around. “I sense some anxiety here,” she said.
I confessed.
“It’s a short surgery,” she comforted.
“Oh it’s not the surgery I don’t like,” I said, turning to Susan. “It’s the drugs; it’s you!” I told Susan, who by now knew me well enough to take the humor. She smiled. So did I. I had told her about my terrible experience with Vicodin.
“I hate Vicodin too,” she confessed. We were buddies.
When the light for the surgery came on, Susan was holding my hand. She did this throughout the surgery.
Suddenly, I calmed in that light. It was a corridor of light, like a large open tunnel with no walls. I knew it was just a surgical light, but it felt so much more--like “the light” you expect passing from earth to heaven, one dimension to another. But, there was no fear.
I assure you I was not drugged. I was completely aware of my doctor and my surroundings, but I really didn’t want to concentrate on those. I wanted more of this transformational, heavenly light.
I heard my doc tell the nurse how much more he liked the new product that allowed him to lift out (I believe it was either the cataract or my lens) better than with the old product. “Hey Jude” sounded from the speakers and my doc sang a few bars. He was cheerful, confident. This was assuring. But, it was the light that brought me peace.
I stared straight into it, glued to it, spellbound. All anxiety had left me. I didn’t cough; I didn’t vomit; I didn’t need the potty. All those worries had been unnecessary.
I didn’t even want to speak or ask questions. I didn’t want this light to end.
I had asked Dr. E. if I had a seven or ten minute cataract. When it was over, he said, “Fifteen.”
The light went out. The patch was taped to my eye. I could rest a moment or so across the room. They didn’t give me the crackers, after I had asked if they were whole grain. I did get the orange juice. :)
It had been two hours, start to finish, of painless, positive energy. Prayers for me, Dr. E., the surgery must have been flowing.
I felt God smile.
Thank you Dr. E. and thank you to the surgical staff.
Maybe there is some hope for the health care of the new millennium--at least as long as there are still doctors like Dr. E. out there.