Monday, May 12, 2014

Denial Ain't Just a River in Egypt

Yesterday, I wrote about the final eye surgery to repair my detached retina. It was part of a three day remembrance of May 11-13 2004. Today marks the midway point. As far as I knew, nothing bad was happening. Call it on odd breather between two distinct disasters.

I stayed overnight in North Carolina for a post op the next morning. I had this huge bandage that covered the right half of my face. It was packed with enough gauze that I probably could have been hit with a baseball bat on not been aware of it. Then again, I probably would have since my kisser was also swollen to about three times its normal size. I have never engaged in a fistfight in my life, but I am pretty sure I can empathize with the aftermath.

I got the second and third hints something was not quite right about my eye, but I rationalized both away immediately. I still was not ready to face the inevitable. The first instance was when the bandage came off. I had already had one surgery with a gas bubble and knew that I was supposed to see it in my line of vision. It is impossible to fill the entire eye without some escaping before sealing the incision, so there is always some part of your line of sight not covered. It was not so now. I could hardly see a thing, which was expected, but there was a brown tint over my entire line of vision.

I did not even ask about the difference this time from the previous. I lied to myself and said this is Duke University. They know how to fill the entire eye with gas. None leaked out this time. I did not want to hear any other answer, so I did not seek one out.

The second hint is when I was examined to determine if I was attached. The ophthalmologist shined every light in his arsenal while forcing me to contort in all sorts of twisted manner in order to get a good look. He finally said it was too dark in there to get a good look. I took that as confirmation my gas theory was correct. If I cannot see passed it, he surely cannot see through it, either. Today, I am confident he was waiting to hand me off to my regular ophthalmologist so he could give me the bad news instead.

I am being cynical about that. There is no way to at this pint exactly what happened. Like I said yesterday, I was prescribed prednisone, a steroid, to prevent scar tissue from forming. I had been taking it every four hours for two solid days at this point. No one realized I had diverticulitis, an inflammation of the colon, which is severely aggravated by steroids. It only took a little over 24 hours for it to have nasty results.

I already was feeling some effects, but chalked them up to the surgery. I probably did not have all the painkillers or anesthetic out of a system. My immune system was practically gone, too. Who knew what can of germs I might have gotten in the half dozen waiting rooms I had suffered through over the last three days? I thought it was just my luck to come down with a virus after all this mess.

If only.

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