Yesterday, I went to the refractive surgeon after having been referred there by another ophthalmologist in the same office.  So, the cataract removal process has now commenced.  They did pretty much the same exam all over again which gave me a headache from the dilated pupils and the constant struggle to focus.

I am now scheduled for January 31.  Of course, at no point in the process did my own convenience enter ento the process.  I know the date but the time will not be assigned until the day before.  But on the plus side, I got to choose which lens implants I wanted.  It does not matter much – the difference between them on your life is minimal.  I chose the Fresnel-like implant because it will allow for easier close-in vision and because they look cool: like the lenses seen in lighthouses.  There is a post-op visit the next morning.

Then the other eye will be done on February 7. 

I can recall from the time I had LASIK that a lot of measurements were done on my eyes right before the surgery and up to now, none have been made.  Perhaps they will do that right before the procedure.  Either that or they made some measurements and didn’t tell me.  I think the latter may be true since I looked into several devices in quick succession but was not told what they were or whether any results were saved.  I know a lot about image processing from my job and so I could easily believe that a quick succession of images were saved and analyzed to derive some necessary values. That seems to be the way of things in the American health care system now: run tests but hide the results from the patients to avoid being sued when the patient shows the results to some other doctor.  Not that I’m suspicious or anything.

The doctor and staff are nice enough but obviously are used to dealing with people who meekly walk in and accept whatever the doctor advises and just want to know what the out of pocket expense is going to be.  I guess I’m like that too but I want to know more technical stuff.  Sadly, he did not budget enough time for all my questions but Wikipedia has proven quite useful.  The vast majority of information about this sort of thing is dumbed down into comic book form and the hard core information hidden behind paywalls.  I can have that info if I want to join the society of ophthalmic surgeons or whatever.  This irritates me but I will get the info I want in the end.  I can sneak in a question in between the times when the exam is done but before I walk out the door.  The doctor seems willing enough to share all this; he just seems unused to anybody asking so he only budgets time enough for his schpiel  and perhaps one superficial question from the patient.  I don’t want to ask anything during the procedure because I don’t want anybody to get confused and miss a step. 

One way or another, it’s going to be interesting.