2004-08-20

Eye Surgery

For the 3rd time in just over a month, I have had a surgical procedure done to my right eye.

In May I went to see a general practice doctor about a stye. For treatment I was given a routine of daily washing and an antibiotic ointment. The stye got smaller but never went away. In early July, my eye was puffy and irritated. It looked like the stye had moved to the inside of my eyelid. I went to see another general practice doctor. She gave me antibiotic drops, oral antibiotics, and a referral to see an Opthalmist.

The first two procedures were performed by my opthalmist. She had the joyous task of trying to drain a chalazion (wikipedia).

My opthalmist always referred to my chalazion as “huge.” I would say, “it was big,” and she would say, “yours was huge.” It was huge and painful. Her treatment made it better but it still didn’t go away. During the second procedure she decided that my chalazion had developed into a cyst. She injected a steroid into my eyelid and sent me to see a third doctor, an oculoplastic surgeon.

This story wouldn’t be complete without also telling you how the chalazion is removed. First a cotton swab with numbing goo is placed under the inside of your eyelid. Then a clamp is used to fold your eyelid back. Novocaine is now injected into your eye with the instructions, “there is a needle in your eye, try not to move.” After watching the doctor scrape the chalazion from your eyelid, remember your eyelid is being force-held open, there is nothing to do but watch. The bleeding wound is cauterized. This is done with the human soldering iron. I’m sure they pay much more for this tool than you would down at your local Radio Shack, but it operates, and looks, just like your everyday cordless soldering iron. It even produces smoke during operation. Only this isn’t solder burning, it’s your flesh. I told my doctor that the smell was sick. She asked if I was a vegetarian.

The oculoplastic surgeon had his turn today. He says I am the only “Dusty” that he has ever met. He took great joy in asking where I parked my horse. He was very quick, and relatively painless. He started with a small shot to deaden the pain of the shots to come. Two larger injections followed. These caused a odd swelling sensation in my eyelid. My eyelid felt like it was being filled with fluid. I could no longer control what it was doing. I couldn’t open or close my eye and eventually my jaw and teeth went numb. He said I wouldn’t feel a thing and he meant it.

He cut a pea sized growth from the inside of my eyelid and put some stitches in its place. He finished quickly. A large amount of antibiotic goo, and a gauze patch to hold my eye open finished my procedure. I asked for a “pirate” style patch, but he said they only had the gauze patch. I should know the results of the biopsy by Wednesday, and my eye should go completely back to normal within two weeks.

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