Surgery Day

Let’s start this one off with a Pro Tip…one should just avoid downtown Miami FL during rush hour…just don’t do it.

I wish I could report great things happening since we arrived in North Fort Myers and my last post…but I can’t…so I’ll tell ya about Connie’s eye stuff instead.

The reason we came down early…and I recommend against coming this far south in September as it’s just way, way too darned hot…was to get Connie’s eye worked on since she had some leftover scar tissue from her detached retina repair back in May. So we headed 45 miles south to the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Naples branch on Sep 14 to have an appointment with Dr. Smiddy to see about getting it fixed. They tested her vision and even with her glasses on she was seeing less than 50% of the letters on the 20/350 line on the eye chart so she was 20/400 rated. He confirmed that she needed the surgery…explaining that the scar tissue was caused by retina back side cells that had floated free during the detachment attaching themselves to the front side of the retina…and they sort of scrunch the retina up like a crumpled kleenex…the scrunched retina causes a hump which interferes with proper focusing of the lens onto the retina. The treatment is to surgically remove the scar tissue…basically the scrape it off…and that lets the retina go flat again…although it retains the wrinkles it used to have while it was scrunched up and hence she should not expect to get back to vision the way it was before the detachment. He said “let’s talk about scheduling” and then “how about tomorrow”. He does surgery over in Miami Mondays and Thursdays and wants to see her the day after surgery and it was either Sep 16 or wait 2 weeks as he’s spending all of next week over in Miami seeing patients there. So we opted for Sep 16 and he told us to be there (downtown Miami) at 0800.

Now the Institute over there is 157 miles from Seminole…so you know that meant we got up at 0dark30 to head over. We were on the road with Big Red shortly after 0400 and it’s a good thing we left earlier than we thought necessary as we had about 15 miles of stop and go traffic with associated idiots cutting in and out and generally doing stupid things to get a car length ahead…we got to the Institute about 0730. First problem was that the parking garage was too low for Big Red to fit into…but luckily we spotted a surface lot and got in there then hustled up to the 5th floor. 

We started with one of their PAs Terry about 0805 with medical history and a review of the procedures she was getting. First up was a vitrectomy which sucks all the goop out of your eye…this makes space for them to work with their tools and makes it easier to see. They cut a couple of 1/8” or so long incisions in the white part of the eye and stick their tools in while viewing things through the lens at the front. The second procedure was a somthing_or_other_ectomy…well, one of those ectomy words anyway…which is the actual procedure for scraping off the scar tissue. Why can’t they call it just plain old “scraping off the scar tissue” I have no idea…but they’re doctors so they need to make it sound more complicate than it really is I guess. They told us it would be 4-6 hours and gave Neil a super secret patient number…it was 13406…so he could track her progress through pre-op, anesthesia, start and stop of the procedure, surgery complete, and recovery as things went along.


This neat little status board was in the waiting room so he followed her along…sure enough, her scheduled 1030 surgery started about 1015 and finished at 1043…just about the half hour that Dr. Smiddy said it would take. He told her as he left the OR that everything went as expected and he would see her Friday morning over in Naples. 

She was on some IV stuff that made her pretty loopy as well as some local shot into the eye area…the recovery nurse came and got Neil about 1110 and took him back…we finished up the post-op instructions, she got dressed, and we headed for the parking lot about 1130. Neil offered to go and get Big Red…she declined…then when we went out into the sunlight she was completely blind as her operated on eye had a patch on it and the bright light washed out her right eye as it normally does…I gotta tell ya she was pretty freaked out by that.

Neil offered her his elbow like you do for a blind person and we spent a good 10 minutes negotiating the block and a half over to the parking lot then headed out for home. We kept looking for lunch and finally spotted the Golden Arches about 30 minutes later so we grabbed a couple of burgers and pressed on arriving back at the house about 1515. We immediately took a nap for a couple of hours as we were wiped out.

Once we got up…Neil said she looked like a pirate…her response was Aaaaarrggh!!


After dinner we headed off to bed early…and showed up Friday morning Sep 16 at 1010 for our first followup visit. They took the patch off, she popped on her glasses…and her immediate comment was “Wow, I can see better.” A quick eye chart scan showed her getting 4/5 on the 20/200 line so she’s already got significant improvement and it should only get better from here. We go back in 2 weeks for another follow up on Sep 30 and she has some drops for Neil to put in 4x a day until they run out. The gauze pad she’s supposed to leave on until the eye feels the same with or without it…probably 2 days or so…and she needs to keep either the hard protecting patch or her glasses on to serve as a mechanical shield for the eye at least until that appointment so when the gauze comes off she’ll just use glasses during the day and the patch at night.

We’re glad that things are looking up…hopefully they’ll continue to improve as expected over the next 6 weeks…she may need a new lens prescription for that eye as well but we’ll worry about that later. She’ll probably also need cataract surgery within a year to fix it as well but again…we’ll worry about that later.

We now pause for a short political rant.

  • Why is it that liberals are quick to excuse behavior by their selected political candidates while condemning the identical behavior by the other side’s candidate?
  • Why do liberals…and tea party people as well…always claim that the other side’s lies are way worse than their side’s lies?
  • Why do families whose kids  run and then pull a gun on a cop while being investigated for what turns out to be an admitted armed robbery…and then the kid gets shot…claim that it was murder and that the cops should have used a taser on him…then complain that “it was only a BB guy” when it looks exactly like a 9mm semi-automatic pistol? Don’t cops have a right to go home at the end of their shift?
  • Why can’t we have a presidential candidate…I would settle for one, just one…that’s worthy of the office. We’ve got a choice this year of a complete moron liar who doesn’t understand the constitution…and a complete moron liar who lies about everything…why tell the truth when a lie will do…and breaks the law but is given a pass.
  • Why do liberal always want the “rich” to “pay their fair share” when they’re already paying the vast majority of personal income tax dollars…especially when you could confiscate 100% of the wealth and income of the “rich” and still not have enough to pay for all the income redistribution programs they want to have?
  • Why do liberals not understand that communism doesn’t work…or that the utopia which is the end effect of what their economic and social demands will accomplish won’t work either?
  • Why do tea partiers not understand the constitution?
  • Why does the various news media always write headlines designed to foment unrest and riots, particularly in any situation where more than one race is involved? What happened to the days when the news reported what we used to call facts…instead of politically slanted editorials (on both sides) masquerading as facts?
  • Why do tea partiers not understand that we’ll never be able to kick out the 11 million (or however many it really is) illegal aliens (or undocumented immigrants as the liberals cal them) of the country. The government doesn’t have the staff, money, facilities…and more importantly the competence…to collect them and kick them out.
  • Why don’t tea partiers understand that we cannot force the Mexican government to pay for a wall on the border…or understand that it won’t keep people out anyway…or understand that the net immigration the past few years across the US/Mexican border has been to the south?
  • Why doesn’t anybody in our government understand that peace in the Middle East just ain’t gonna happen…those folks have been killing each other for thousands of years so what hope do they possibly have that we can affect that. Heck…they kill each other over religion over there…that went out with the Crusades for western civilization. Connie and Neil are Roman Catholics…but they know hundreds of Baptists, Methodists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, and what have you…and I can reliably report that neither of them has ever, ever even considered killing them just because they’re Baptists, Methodists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Muslims, or what have you.
  • Why doesn’t our current administration and the Russian government understand that they can’t declare a cease fire in a country where the majority of the fighting is being done by the government in that country and rebels against it?
  • What makes most reasonably normal people turn into absolute assholes when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle?
  • Why do most cars you see on the road display a complete lack of any blinker fluid…you know, the stuff that the turn signals need to operate?
  • Why do politicians insist on saying stupid things…don’t they realize that “We don’t have any information yet.” is a perfectly good answer. After the bombing over the weekend in New York City…the mayor said it was an intentional act but definitely not terrorism…and the governor said it was clearly terrorism but definitely not international terrorism. Then Monday morning the police released the name and a photo of the suspected bomber…and while I don’t want to cast any undue aspersions on any group he does have a Middle Eastern name…so I’m guessing that he’s pretty likely to be involved with some terrorist or organization with terrorist sympathies. Just sayin’. 

Sorry about that…I had to wrestle the keyboard back from Kara…she’s getting terribly unforgiving in her old age ya know. I had to go outside for a bit…ya know what bears gotta do in the woods…and she snuck in and picked up the keyboard while I wasn’t lookin’. Dadgum that woman…she’s always fomenting some sort of trouble.

On to interesting things found on the net this week.

Here’s a link to The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity a paper written by an Italian named Carlo M. Cupola…an economist who worked at Cal Berkley.

Meanwhile at


Ya know…size _does_ matter.


Ya don’t say.


So…not bottomless after all I guess.

So NotBottomless

Came in a little too hot on the landing.


And finally…we’ve come to a fork in the road.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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