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First cataract surgery done--medi-fest week continues


LexieCat

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I can't say it was fun, nor that I'm feeling/seeing that great ATM, but at least it's done. I was quite relieved the anesthesiology team managed to insert my IV without incident. They refused to try to access my port, but they took my concerns seriously and honored my request to TRY to get the IV in the inner elbow before attempting to insert it in my hand/wrist/forearm (all of which hurt like hell). And the nurse succeeded, first try, for which I was EXTREMELY grateful.

Anyway, I have to use three different eye drops multiple times a day and I've yet to experience any improved vision in that eye. It may take a few days, supposedly. I have to go back next week for another post-op visit. In addition, I have my routine GYN exam next week, as well as my re-scheduled orthopedic surgeon visit. And it looks like rain/sleet/snow will be going on all next week. I guess South Jersey was due--we haven't seen any serious winter weather for a few years. But annoying when I have all these appointments going on.

I decided to keep my appointment for the second cataract surgery for late April. Get it all done and get new glasses to accommodate both eyes as things (hopefully) start to open up again. 

 

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Thanks for the update. I appreciate hearing your experience with cataract surgery, since I'll be having it soon.  We have snow and ice here, maybe 3 inches of snow. The last time we had this much here was in 2017. Since we're not used to it, the city isn't equipped and it's Snowmageddon, no transit, etc. 
Enjoy your medi-fest!

 

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I have a feeling something went wrong with this surgery. My vision is still--two days later--substantially worse in that eye than it was before. Everything I've been reading online suggests it should be pretty good by the day after surgery--that it won't hit maximal improvement, perhaps, for a few weeks, but still that it should be much better than it was. 

Ugh. I have no doubt they'll eventually be able to fix it (apparently most problems can be fixed), but I really don't wanna have to screw around with this anymore. 

I'll call the surgeon tomorrow if it's still the same. I have a followup scheduled for Thursday but just in case he wants to see me sooner. 

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4 hours ago, Tom Galli said:

Now you've got me re-thinking having my cataract procedure....

Stay the course.

Tom

Nah, don't do that. By all accounts, the vast majority of the time it goes perfectly. You wouldn't tell someone to avoid a cancer treatment because one person had a bad experience, right? Obviously this isn't as critical as cancer treatment, but still, why wouldn't you want to dramatically improve your vision? 

I think this is disappointing me so much just because EVERYTHING is so difficult right now--it's like, really? What next?

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Managed to get in to see my ophthalmologist this morning--I called the surgeon, who contacted him. All he can see is that my eyes are VERY dry (which we both knew), along with some mild swelling. He also took photos of the inside of my eye and pointed out the early signs of macular degeneration.

He told me to use more regular eye drops (in addition to the prescription ones) and told me they would compare how my eye looks on Thursday (my already-scheduled post-op appt) with how it looks today. He saw no signs of infection or anything that is actually dangerous, so I guess we'll have to reassess on Thursday. 

 

 

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22 hours ago, LexieCat said:

 think this is disappointing me so much just because EVERYTHING is so difficult right now--it's like, really? What next?

What next? You sure got me on edge girl..(poor humor attempt)

Seriously, I hope your eyesite improves soon.

Peace

Tp.

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What next was my appt this morning with orthopedic surgeon re my broken clavicle. He took X-rays and examined my CT scans from last week. 

On the positive side, his manner with me was much more respectful and his explanations more thorough than last time--he did mention our previous run-in about the radiologist's report (which said they saw no signs of a fracture) and asked if the further response (from the radiologist, noting that they had a "limited view" in the Xray) helped. I said, yeah, I just wanted it documented somewhere that there was another interpretation of the same image (which even I could see). Maybe he was just having a bad day last time, or maybe my insistence on reaching out to the radiologist made him more conscientious.

In any event, apparently there really isn't much he feels can be done at this point. He noted that the CT and X-rays wouldn't really display the "callus" that forms on the ends of the broken bones. He said it seems to him that, since the pieces of the bone are staying mostly in place, there is probably some soft tissue holding them in place. He said he feared doing any kind of surgical repair would do more harm than good right now--because of my cancer treatment and because I'm not experiencing much pain and am able to use the arm. He also said the broken pieces were so tiny that to put a metal plate or anything there would be like trying to put a screw through sawdust rather than into a solid piece of wood. That made me cringe a bit but it pretty vividly explained the problem.

He recommended that I come back in three months (good--these more frequent appointments weren't really helping) so we can see where I'm at, at that point. He thinks it MAY continue to heal. In the meantime, he said I didn't have to be afraid of using it as much as I want to, as long as it doesn't hurt. He doesn't think lifting things or putting strain on it is likely to hurt anything at this point.

So I'm a bit disappointed nothing can be done, but glad to hear that I don't have to worry about doing damage to it in the meantime. Maybe at some point I'll reach out for a second opinion, but for right now I feel like I have enough on my plate.

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Aw, man, snow and ice today--my surgical followup for the cataract is scheduled for 6:15 pm. I REALLY don't want to wait another whole week to have the surgeon look at my eye. It doesn't sound like there will be more than an 2-3 inches of snow, but I already got notifications the courts are closed (I still get those notifications from my former life). 

I've also developed, over the past couple of days, rather severe pain in my right leg/hip when I walk. I can walk, but slowly and I'm limping.  I'm thinking again it might be the Zometa--I got an infusion last week and this is about the time in the cycle I developed the back pain last time. Hopefully it goes away over the next few days like it did before.

Crap.

I guess I shouldn't complain--I have power and heat. I feel for the folks in Texas. I can't even imagine. 

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Ophthalmologist called to see if I could make it in at noon to try to beat the weather. I said I'd try--then they called back half an hour later and said they were canceling ALL their appointments for today because it was getting bad. They will try to get me (and everyone else) back in to be seen as soon as possible. Glad they got me in earlier this week at least, or I'd really be stressing out. 

 

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Lexie,

Okay, I'm officially convinced that someone, somewhere has a voodoo doll of you and is using it.   
Seriously though; I had a cataract in one eye that was really impeding my vision and had it replaced with a clear lens...after the surgery I had a terrible time with my vision (blurriness and halos around any light source) and, in my case, it turned out to be caused by two factors.   1.  My eyes were super dry and once I used some tears there was a good improvement.   2.  I always had astigmatism in that eye and they were able to do some "slices" in the cornea that really reduced that for me.  In the end my vision improved pretty well and was much better than before.  The halos reduced over time and now are hardly noticeable.  I hope you recover well soon.

I'm also sorry to hear about your clavicle.  What a tough situation.  You're in my thoughts and prayers as you go through all this.

Lou

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Lou, did they do the corneal slices after the cataract surgery, or was it part of that? Yeah, it kinda sounds like your experience mirrors mine. I have pretty severe astigmatism in both eyes. The regular eyedrops recommended help a tiny bit but my eyes dry out again almost immediately. 

I hope mine gets better--

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I sure hope it improves, too, Lexie.  I haut keep thinking how life doesn't stop after a lung cancer diagnosis (although we wish it would when we feel too much on our plate already.  Love to you, Suzan

 

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Lexie, 

They did the slices after the surgery and he was very conservative in how he approached it so I had to go back 2 or 3 times (can't remember which).  I just know that the technique really reduced my astigmatism in that eye.  Even now I have occasions of dry eye (particularly in the right) that, while after a while of reading, can blur up pretty badly, but now I use my tears and "try" to blink more.  But, short answer is the reduction in astigmatism was impressive.  Good luck to you.

Lou

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I contacted my NP about my hip/leg pain--a couple of days ago it got so bad I could barely walk. Going upstairs was almost impossible. She told me to contact my PCP, who had prescribed the Meloxicam for arthritis a couple of years ago, when I had kind of similar pain on the other side. I've been taking Tylenol Arthritis formula, but it's been of limited help. The last couple of days the pain subsided a bit--at least intermittently--and I was able to move around almost normally, 

So today I had a telemedicine visit with my PCP. She had me show her exactly where it was hurting and decided first to order an MRI (she also put in an order for an Xray, just in case the insurance company required that, first). So hopefully this either resolves on its own or we can get to the bottom of what's causing it and do something to fix it.

Having at least one bone met (and a broken collarbone that won't heal), my brain can get carried away, visualizing more bone involvement. It's hard to feel optimistic when one is in pain. Hopefully it's a temporary effect of the Zometa and will go away in a couple more days. If it's the Zometa, I can put up with it as long as it goes away within a matter of days.

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Never thought I'd wish for a side effect but hoping this pain is just a side effect. Worst pain during chemo was bone pain from Taxol. Whew - woke me up in the night.

Sending you healing thoughts - you definitely need them right now.

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11 hours ago, Susan Cornett said:

Never thought I'd wish for a side effect but hoping this pain is just a side effect. Worst pain during chemo was bone pain from Taxol. Whew - woke me up in the night.

Yeah, when I had the back pain a few months ago, the pain interfered with my sleep. In fact, I felt better if I was up and around and worse lying down. This time, the pain is limited to when I'm up and walking or climbing steps. When pain interferes with your sleep it's way worse, I think--you feel like you never get a break from it.

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Appt. tonight with the eye surgeon. He, too, saw nothing apparently wrong with my eye, other than some possible swelling. He referred me to a retinal specialist and told me to keep using the prescription eye drops for two more weeks. He said best case, the eye improves over the next two weeks and I can cancel the additional appointment; worst case is he thinks I might need an injection (which my dad had to get for macular degeneration). Ugh--I know my dad found those injections very painful. Hopefully the surgeon's right and the swelling/vision problem will resolve with the continued use of the drops.

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In other news, I managed to score an MRI of my hip for today. When I called to make the appt., they told me there was a cancelation today and they could get me in at 12:30 in Philadelphia. Even though my PCP is affiliated with Cooper Hospital (where I had my lobectomy), she thought getting the imaging done at Penn might make it a bit more accessible to my current oncology treatment team.

 

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The MRI took over 2 hours! And I didn't take a pain med first--sure wish had. By the time they started the portion with contrast. I was pretty much in agony. I'm accustomed to being able to put a high pillow under my knees--apparently they can't do that with hip imaging. I was limping so badly going out to get dressed they were asking if I needed a wheelchair. 

Anyway, it's done. Hopefully they are able to nail down the cause of the pain. (And arrive at a solution!)

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Ugh! Sounds awful. I'm glad you were able to get through it.  Let us know the results.

If I ever have to have an MRI, I'll take a pain pill of some kind first. Laying flat in one position for very long is hard on my arthritic parts (lower back and knees).

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