Pre­cious sight

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - SENIOR -

ed us. She was shocked that my fa­ther had re­fused to even con­sider con­sult­ing the eye spe­cial­ist. My friend sug­gested that I talk to my doc­tor friends and ar­ranged for my fa­ther to be se­dated and brought to the hos­pi­tal for a cataract op­er­a­tion, if cataract was the cause of his fail­ing eye­sight.

I was touched by her con­cern and it got me think­ing. My fa­ther could barely see any more and he had very poor short-term me­mory. Why can’t I just put him in the car and tell him that we were go­ing to the shop­ping mall?

So a week af­ter Hari Raya last year, I did just that. I told my fa­ther to get ready as we were go­ing to spend some time at the shop­ping mall. He didn’t ask any ques­tions, and qui­etly got ready.

I drove him straight to the hos­pi­tal to see the eye spe­cial­ist. Thank­fully, the cause of his blind­ness was cataract.

The doc­tor ad­vised that my fa­ther be given a gen­eral check-up and car­diac work-up to as­sess his fit­ness for surgery.

Un­for­tu­nately my fa­ther had long-stand­ing hy­per­ten­sion and his heart was en­larged; he had poor car­diac func­tion. Gen­eral anes­the­sia would be too risky. So the doc­tor de­cided to re­move his cataracts un­der seda- tion and lo­cal anes­the­sia.

Two days later, I bun­dled my fa­ther into the car and told him we were go­ing to the su­per­mar­ket. He did not protest. At the hos­pi­tal, we put him onto his bed and told him that we were at a re­sort and will be stay­ing there for a while. We could get away with all this since he could not see a thing and had no re­call of re­cent events.

The nurse ap­plied eye-drops to di­late his pupils. My fa­ther made a huge fuss and wanted to go home. We kept re­as­sur­ing him and coaxed him to be pa­tient. Fi­nally, his turn came for the surgery. I waited anx­iously out­side. Af­ter about 20 min­utes, the anes­thetist came out to as­sure me that the sur­geon had com­pleted the cataract op­er­a­tion on one eye, and was about to pro­ce­dure with the other eye.

When the surgery was com­pleted, both his eyes were cov­ered with trans­par­ent eye­guards. He was rest­less and con­fused due to the ef­fects of the se­da­tion. I stayed with him to calm him down. By evening he was sta­ble enough to go home.

We con­tin­ued ap­ply­ing the eye-drops un­til he fell asleep. The next morn­ing, both the eye-guards were not in place. He was rest­less all night and had pulled them off.

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