Adventures in Cataract Land–And a Market Note

I thought – long as I’m going in for surgery this morning – that I would do a comparison of how the process works now, as compared with 25 years ago when I had my first cataract surgeries.

The first time around, having cataracts out while young was a two-part process.

The first was the removal of the cataract itself.  This was followed by wearing “Coke-bottle glasses” for about 10-years.  After a month, I was fitted for “soft” contacts and that seemed to work well, except for things like swimming.

When I finally got the implants, it was a one-night stay in the hospital and then the eye patch came off in a few days.  The patch looked like an aluminum egg-strainer that had been cut in half and had tabs on it, which was bandaged all around. 

Still, it was several days with the eye covered.

From what I understand – having read up on things this morning – it looks like recovery is a much faster process now.  In a lot of cases, the covering is off the eye same day and useable vision is back in a day – or less!

When I had the implants the first time, the grossest part of the procedure was the shot through the temple to deaden the optic nerve.  That was a little scary:  Ever get a shot in the temple, before?  Not the kind of thing you look forward to – and I hope this is not part of medical history.  We’ll find out this morning…

The reason for writing this down is simple:  Almost everyone who lives a long enough life will get cataracts. Some of the material in the eye is like “egg white” – and over time, many factors can conspired to “cook it” and as the process moves along, the quality of vision degrades as the white becomes cloudy and then white.

Specific irritants are one way this happens, but 50-years of exposure to high UV levels, low-lever inflammation  and allergies will do the trick, too.

In terms of pre-op, I didn’t get any special instructions like don’t eat, but I’m not – just in case.

Also, while no one told me to do it, I have been on the low-dose aspirin routine and I will skip the dose this morning in order to not bleed as readily.

The initial assessment, from the local eye doc was $82.  That included the dilating and checking out the eye.  Not sure how doctors work their “back-end” referral business, but that is an area for further study.

Although I could have had the surgery done in Palestine, I elected to go to a specialty practice in Tyler.

Nothing against the local fellow – who has an excellent reputation.  But I look at medical procedures a lot like baseball:  I want someone who is well-equipped and has a lot of practice.  I figure the more experience, the better.

If this all goes “according to plan” the columns will be back on track in no time.

In fact, thinking about it, the “bad eye” (the 20-100 feller) might get red9one.

I’ll ask this morning if they have a “two for one” package or a coupon.  Not likely, but since we all know Everything is a Business Model, it never hurts to ask.

May post an update (or dictate one, we’ll see, lol) this afternoon. 

And if things go ridiculously perfectly, I will at least get the Peoplenomics charts up tomorrow because we are (going into this morning’s action) at a “make or break.”

This week’s action, and next, will determine if we are going back down to the S&P 1,860 kind of level, or if we will bust on up and see new all-time highs in short order.

I’m agnostic on this break, other than finding it a technically interesting pivot.  If we get new highs right away, that will mean the length of our fifth and final move up from 2009 will be truncated and the Second Depression would be game-on for 2017.

On the other hand, if we see the decline first, then the slope of the rally will be less vertical and we might have a chance to stretch things out until 2018.

I hope you noticed the remarks of Alan Greenspan recently, however.  He essentially said the monetary jiggling has gone about as far as it can while acknowledging that QE;s are becoming ever-less effective.

More later…and I’ll keep an eye out for developments…

Comments

Adventures in Cataract Land–And a Market Note — 27 Comments

  1. Just had both eyes done, one day after the other. Couldn’t believe how fast and easy it was.

  2. Nothing to add about the surgery, my OD tells me I will need it done eventually but so far so good, and I DO wear Sunglasses whenever I am out in strong light, wrap around sunglasses when around water or skiing – to limit side light intrusion).

    Best wishes for your surgery (now completed) and your recovery.

  3. All the best George! I had mine done about 3-4 years ago, so far so good !It was a little inconvenient but the outcome is glorious. I’ll say a prayer for fast recovery.

  4. We’ll keep an eye out for your next column. No lashing out at my humor or lack thereof.

  5. The proceeures now are:
    Jackson Juice to put you under,
    needle to optic nerve past the outside of eyeball,
    eye stabalizer device on eye,
    ultrasound to break up cataract,
    insertion of rolled up lens into eye,
    lens unrolls,
    eye covered, and you revisit doc 24 hours later,
    cover off and eye checked out.

    Take drops until prescription is gone.

  6. Best wishes.
    I just had cataract surgery. One lens went from good to opaque in six months, likely due to prednisone.
    The procedure was shockingly fast and trouble-free. Out before noon, could see well by the next day. Had to sleep with an eye guard for less than a week. I was surprised to discover the new lens has near-perfect vision. After a lifetime of lousy vision (-10 or so), being able to see clearly first thing in the morning (with one eye, anyway) was a revelation.
    Small downside: No glasses exist which can unify my two eyes (one close to perfect, one -10) into a single field of vision, so contact lenses are an absolute necessity to move around in a 3D world. But the lenses cost about $6 each these days, feel like they’re not there, and last a month or two. Cost was $6K (insurance pays a big chunk). Well worth it.
    I’m almost looking forward to the other eye clouding up so I can get it fixed and do without glasses or contacts altogether.

  7. George,

    I could see perfectly as soon as I came out of cataract recovery. But within half an hour it clouded over. quite worrying. It took a couple of weeks for it to gradually clear. Some folks have taken a couple of months to get great vision back. Just take your time and don’t worry about it, Your body has to heal and the eye is no different.

    Best regards,

    Denis

  8. Too bad you couldn’t have had it done in Bloomfield,New Jersey.My doctor,Joshua Gould,is the best.I had one eye done by another doctor-not as experienced-in the area,so I have a comparison basis.Dr.Gould had to repair the damage done by the first doctor.He dissolved the secondary cataract so completely that the eye now has 20/15 vision at age 66.Not all doctors are created equal.

  9. My sister had cataract surgery recently and I was surprised how quickly she recovered; although I must admit anything to do with ‘eyes’ personally scares me. Hope it went well and may the ‘new part’ last at least as long as the ‘old one’!!

  10. George, want to reprise a bit about yesterdays China gold sortie.
    Assuming that China will value gold in yuan, and set the price also, then technically they are backing the yuan in gold- IF another country can exchange their accumulated yuan for gold. The US values in USD, but in COMEX its only payable in more USD (or less if long and gold goes down). However, IF china alows a country to transfer gold to them for yuan, the USD is cooked. YOu can look at it anyway you like, but its value will drop precipituously. Why would any country want USD any longer when they can trade accumulated yuan for real physical gold?? The case that you have stated yesterday for yuan/gold price was always the case, ie, you could alwasy determine the usd for yuan rate and then value gold with it, in yuan. But that is irrelevant here, as china will value it direcly, but allow one to exchange yuan for it. Goerge, I dont think that you saw clearly enough and ‘missed the boat’on this one, so I hope that your eye correction surgery goes well! LOL!

  11. You would enjoy the book Second Suns by David Oliver Relin. It tells the amazing story of a doctor who developed a program in Nepal to deal with the huge problem of cataracts in high altitude, poor, remote areas. Truly a fascinating story of the Himalayan Cataract Project.

  12. Cataracts in 99% of the cases are caused by glycation, which is not only preventable, but reversible. Research this at life extension foundation, lef.org.

    LEF found the first step in extending human life was to stop allopathic physicians from killing and maiming their clients with accepted pharmaceuticals and medical procedures.

  13. Hi; Yep real easy. The Bride had both eyes done Feb. + Mar. Same day in and out. The cover is plastic now. Use day of surg and then three nights while sleeping. Both eyes but month between. Immediate vision correction. Drove to town alone for Dr. Visit next day. Want her to use reading glasses for a couple weeks for close work. Here in N.E.Pa. with med care and supplemental insur we selected Crystalens implants our share was $2500.00 per eye. $5000.00 total. Bride is really happy hasn’t used her glasses since the day first eye done. they tell us total results may take three months. Time will tell.

  14. I did my research on cataracts and you can add high carb consumption to the list of causes. Also, I looked for alternate healing/protection methods and found that the national health ministry of India recommends a homeopathic solution of Cineraria as treatment. Since they have single payer system, the gov wants folks to have access to cheap, effective medicine. You can buy it on Amazon for under $20. It says it can take months to remove the cloudiness. Customer reviews says it works marvelously on their dogs also. I have not tried it yet.

  15. Reading the popular economic/Wall Street columns, the consensus of opinion is that the can has been kicked down the road about as far as it is going to go.

    Notice that Obama is moving lots of heavy Military equipment into place in the Mideast. (Intentionally poking the Russian Bear in its’ cage)

    As Gerald Celente says, “when all else fails.. they take us to war.”

  16. PS, George. Have excellent feed back from friends and relatives with no indication of malpractice. I’m next in line at 73. Spent too much time in my youth sailing on the Maine coast w/o sunglasses!!

    The only “big” decision is selection of focal length of the implants. .fixed near, or distant vision.
    Cheers

  17. George, still have my cateracts for 15 years now. Been watching/Tracking their progress using the “pin hole effect”. Poke a pin hole in a dark sheet paper and peer thru it at a good light source (sky or sesk lamp). You will be able to see for your self what the doctor is describing looking into your eye…try it is amazing!!

  18. Hit the return by accident. Hope everything goes well for you and will be praying for you.
    Neil

  19. Going under the knife a week from Monday. Had the pre-measurements done yesterday. If the first eye is OK then three weeks after I’ll have the second done. I’ll be looking forward to your report. They say I’ll be 20/20 for the first time in my life. Wow.
    Neil

  20. I recently took my father-in-law to the hospital here in Italy for the cataract surgery, it was incredibly fast and painless. They do one eye, you leave with a patch over the eye, return next day to be checked, and that’s it, also make an appointment for the other eye. It was like an assembly line for senior citizens, they call your number and you are in and out in no time. Don’t worry George, every thing will be fine.

  21. And the entire world economy collapses while George is unable to see the keyboard and write about it. LOL
    Get better buddy!

  22. I had this done in 2008. No shot to the temple as I remember, just IV anesthetic. The doctor did tell me they were “not replaceable” without a much bigger operation, since to install them they slit the cornea and insert a prerolled lens in, once inside it unrolls and flattens out, then the cornea slit heals and you are good to go. Sometimes with a stitch or two in the cornea. To get them out required removing half the cornea cover (cutting around the perimeter I suppose), and sliding the old lens out. I was offered three types of lenses. One choice was close range only, glasses for distance, the other was long range only, glasses for reading (this is most common), the third choice was a “flex lens”, which would adjust to both close and long range (with practice), and require no glasses. Since I wore glasses all my life I went with the third choice and obtained a car loan to pay for them. Insurance wouldnt cover the flex lens (or anesthesia), so out of pocket was something like $8000 or so.
    They need to be cleaned (done with lasers) occasionally, but I have no insurance now so they are not going to get cleaned. Yup, a but fuzzy but I will deal with it. Good Luck George, hope all goes well.

  23. How timely for me, I’ll follow you thought all this next month and I’ll have much more first hand info now. I’ll be waiting tomorrow AM for the report and keep everything crossed thinking of you. A few well timed prayers too…….