Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Right Corneal Transplant


"Hey, Can I have some more of those numbing drops?" My husband asked as he awoke from his right corneal transplant. "Sure, let's get some of those over here," The doctor stated as he was finishing sewing up the last of the stitches.

That morning had been a long morning. Probably my longest ever. We woke up before the sun rose and drove to the first surgery center. While I waited in a room, Dr. Bowden cut my husband's right cornea in the other room. They left it in place, patched it up and we went to Baptist Surgery Center to complete the operation. While I drove my husband, I asked him, "How do you feel?". He said, "Well that was a weird experience. But they did give me some valium." It was funny, he was relaxed. I on the other hand was nervous and scared about the major procedure about to occur. Why did he have to get his eye cut at one place? Well, the doctor wanted to do a zigzag cut that would be more precise and allow better healing when the new cornea was installed. We both know he was the expert, so we didn't question the procedure.

When we arrived at Baptist Surgical Center, We waited in the waiting room. Dr. Bowden had to finish up with the patients at his center, then also drive to the surgical center. I think we waited an hour. My husband was number 3 in line, but he was the only corneal transplant that day. When they called my husband back, they prepped him to wait in the back before the surgery. They placed an IV in his hand, a heart monitor complete with stickers to the chest, a gown on his upper body and placed his shoes in a bag. He was ready! I looked at the doctors board and noticed he was an hour behind. I could see the other two patients ahead of us in make shift rooms as there were only blue curtains between us. And so we waited...again.

Over an hour later, we were still waiting. It was lunch time. The nurses were warming their lunches in the breakroom and the smell of chinese food caught wind. Sniff...Mmmmm. We were both hungry. My husband jokingly asked where his was and the nurses laughed. "It's wrong you know to have a patient lose 65lbs just to have surgery and on the day of, you decide to smell the hallway with food smells!" He stated. We laughed about it and continued to wait. Finally the anesthesiologist came to my husband and introduced himself. We also watched the two other men go back to the operating room and then go to the recovery room. The time had come. I knew I had to slip out to the waiting room and wished my husband well with a kiss.

An hour passed and I was still in the waiting room. Two hours passed. I went to the nurses desk to ask if the procedure was over. "Not yet, Mrs. H. We will call you back when it is." They told me. I called a few family members and friends to talk about my husband's status and to check on my girls. Finally, after what seemed like forever, they called me back. When I approached the back, he was patched up and sitting up. He was eating graham crackers and drinking water. The nurse stated he would be ready to leave in about 15 minutes!!

As I said, this was a long day on August 4, 2014. We woke up at 5:30am and didn't return to our home until 2:30pm!! I had a headache after only eating a pop-tart, coffee, some crackers and a lot more coffee!! My husband needed help up the stairs and Grammy still had the girls. I called her to check on their status as my husband soon fell asleep. Whew..my 3 year old had just laid down for a nap. So I decided to take one too after this long day. As they say, now the real work begins as my husband's restrictions are to do...NOTHING! And I will talk later about how he is currently doing as well as his eyesight in a later posting. For now, gotta go...come back Sew Hungry for More.