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.