One eye down and one to go...
My indigent and deaf neighbor Harry (not his real name) and I finally made it to the eye surgeon today. It has been in the works for a few months (see prior post).
I have been sweating bigger bullets than Harry, because I suspect that he'll blame me for anything that goes wrong. Honestly, I have partially signed up for that, independent of his prophyllactic accusations.
The day actually began the day before, when I wrote the final set of instructions to him and posted them on his apartment door. They unambiguously reiterated our discussions of the last few weeks, and I told him I'd be by for him at 8:00 AM to take him to surgery. Surgery was actually at 10, but in the back of my mind, I gave us plenty of time to get to the hospital, .... just in case!
Well, on the way to pick him up at his apartment this morning, I find him instead at his usual haunt in front of a downtown insurance agency and jerk the car to a stop to find out what the hell is going on? Frantic scibbling on the notepad and some puzzled looks yield that he thought Wednesday meant NEXT Wednesday! More scribbling, some taxi work and in 30 minutes, we were at the hospital waiting for the scalpel.
This story could go on for a while, but it basically ends with a successful cataract removal and lens implant, provided he will continue to use the eye drops properly and ward off potential infection. Already, he is relating that he can see better, and complaining as expected.
Doc was pleased with the results, especially since when doing two eyes, it is soooooo much better to have the first one go off without a hitch. He was giddy, almost. The cataract that was removed was mostly opaque on the inside of the lens, and when he looked at it last month, Doc assessed it as less occlusive than it actually was. The boy was damned near blind and Doc relates that this is a great and beautiful improvement.
In the abstract, of course. Harry still looks like Death warmed over munching crackers on a tombstone, to quote my hillbilly sister.
His eye will continue to improve each day for a week, and maybe, just maybe, this success will give me enough creds with him to sell him on some desparately needed social training that can truly benefit his life. I've recently connected him with some State aid workers, too, and they will take over as professionals where I leave off as an amateur.
I dropped in to check on him this afternoon, and make plans for the next few days. I stopped at a local deli on the way in and had them make a nice heaped turkey sandwich for him. When I arrived, I told him that where I come from, when someone has surgery, the neighbors bring food. Not true, but what the hell? I was proud of him and what do you do for a man who has nothing?
Next step is the other eye next month.