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Elective hiatus

I haven’t been posting much about myself lately. This would be one of the uncommon exceptions. In about 12 hours, I will undergo surgery for cataract in my left eye. I don’t know how it will go (and I know more than most what can go wrong in this procedure! :D), so I can’t say when I will be back to posting. Hopefully by the weekend, or even earlier?

Forty is not the usual age to develop such a condition. My cataract has a long and chequered history. In a way it’s ironic that as an eye-surgeon I underwent so many issues with my own eye.

It started with a viral conjunctivitis; simple enough, one of the hazards of my erstwhile trade, no matter how many precautions I take. Unable to check my own eye of course, I went to one of the leading personages in the field, and came back satisfied.

When it refused to get better in a couple of days, I suspected it wasn’t this simple. So I stood in front of a mirror and examined my own eye. Lo and behold, bacteria had followed in the virus’ foot-steps. There were thick membranes under both lids. With no option, I heat-sterilized an eyebrow plucker and strippped off those membranes from my own eye, using the mirror as my assistant. Quite a bloody procedure it was!

With modified therapy,the infection came under control and eventually subsided. But it left in its wake small, white spots on my cornea. Sub-epithelial infiltrates, the little dots played havoc with my vision. Any light passing through these was refracted all over the place and I could barely open my eye in sunlight. Reading a screen became a nightmare. Driving was even worse.

The only treatment for these was steroid drops, so I started those. My stroll through Kanski’s chapters wasn’t over yet. I turned out I was a steroid responder, which means that every drop of prednisolone acetate sent my intra-ocular pressure through the roof. I felt this vague pain and heaviness, turns out I was clocking at 35 mm Hg (normal pressures are 10-21). This was steroid-induced glaucoma. I tried all anti-glaucoma medicine (I was quite an expert in the field back then), but even oral therapy was only able to bring my pressures down to the mid-20s (as an example, pressures around 35-40 continuously for 7 days can irreversibly damage the optic nerve and permanently reduce your vision). Having tried all combinations of steroids and anti-glaucoma meds, I reluctantly gave up all therapy. My pressures came back to normal, but the spots re-appeared.

Over the past year or so, I made my peace with reduced vision in one eye; life carried on. It was frustrating to have to turn my head to glance left, and at times the strain was too much, but I adapted. What else was there to do in any case?

A month or so back, I went to get my glasses checked. I realized that my left eye was functionally blind! I had no idea when this happened, my right eye compensated and I was used to not using the left one anymore.

Turns out the steroids had one parting shot, they’d given me cataract, something that would outlast their use.

So here I stand, a cataractous eye at 40, due for surgery and a prosthetic implantation, a procedure I performed uncounted times. It should be an interesting experience and I aim to tell all about it, if it goes well!

I should end my ramble here. Hope to see you guys binocularly, and soon!


About hbhatnagar

I need to fill this up with much better content than I had populated it with earlier. Why I write a blog maybe? I started blogging in 2009 or thereabouts. I was a newly turned atheist and wanted to converse with others of the same persuasion. We're not exactly a big population group in India! It didn't go very well and I sort of lost interest, posting a few things now and then. I got a lot more regular over the last few months and have been posting almost daily since February '15. There were many reasons why I gradually became more regular in posting, but one way or the other, here I am! So this blog has taken shape, being at different points in time my showcase, my comedy club, my art gallery, my book club, my therapist, my close friend, my innermost self....but always my little corner of the world. You are all welcome to visit and I hope you stay awhile! A few points about me because I don't want to lead anyone on(and trust me this does become an issue more often than I'd care to admit). I'm Indian, the brown-skinned variety; if race, ethnicity or skin colour is an issue, you don't have to get to know me any more than what you see on my blog. I'm 40, so if age is an issue, please be informed accordingly. I was a doctor, an ophthalmic surgeon for 10 years before I quit practice.


28 thoughts on “Elective hiatus

  1. I have cataract in my Right eye. I’m have chronic allergy. I’m afraid what if I start sneezing , my eye ball will go out. It’s frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Indira | 15/08/2017, 11:33 AM
  2. Good luck with the surgery and a speedy recovery .. I can’t imagine the problems you have endured. Looking forward to your return πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Julie@frogpondfarm | 28/07/2017, 1:15 AM
  3. Hope it all went well, Himanshu, so good luck retrospectively!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Mick Canning | 26/07/2017, 1:39 PM
  4. Good luck with the procedure and I’m looking forward to your return.πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by A Curious Introvert | 26/07/2017, 4:47 AM
  5. Damn steroids! All the best Dr H!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by 10000hoursleft | 26/07/2017, 3:07 AM
  6. Good luck, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by crow | 26/07/2017, 1:22 AM
  7. You have endured for a long while… Hope the surgery will solve the problem and bring back your vision. Take care, Dr. Hb. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Amy | 25/07/2017, 11:25 PM
  8. Wish you all the best and speedy recovery. Going to miss you. Please be back soon HB!

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Himali Shah | 25/07/2017, 11:18 PM
  9. Oh, wow! Good luck with the procedure. May your surgeon have steady hands and your eye/vision have a great result. I look forward to hearing your reflections on it after! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Victo Dolore | 25/07/2017, 11:04 PM
  10. Hope all goes well and you’re able to get back to blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by alongtheinterstice | 25/07/2017, 9:58 PM
    • Thank you. I hope to be back soon too. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/07/2017, 5:54 AM
      • Are you okay, for goodness’ sake? It is a good thing I checked in here, or else I would not have known what was up with you. It is sad that as a consequence of doing your job, you had an infection and now the long term consequences to deal with. I want to know where you’re being laid up so I can call the hospital and bother the staff about pampering you. I am sending out loads of well wishes to you and the surgical team. Peace out.

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by Sabiscuit | 26/07/2017, 11:16 AM
      • Thanks Sabiscuit. ☺️

        Liked by 1 person

        Posted by hbhatnagar | 26/07/2017, 6:10 PM

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