I had Lasik surgery the summer of 2009 at age 45. I was considered a good candidate for the surgery. I had very good vision (20/15) for almost 2 years, but then started noticing changes. My regular eye doctor thought that I was simply suffering from dry eye. After about 8 months of treatment, the doctor could see cataracts forming. I just had cataract surgery on my left eye Feb 26, 2014 at age 50, only 2-1/2 years after noticing the first vision degradation. The cataract was rated 3+. This cataract caused blurring and multiple images, rather than cloudiness or discoloration. I also have a cataract forming in my right eye, though it isn't progressing as aggressively as the left eye did. I do not have any health issues such as diabetes, I never took steroids except for the eye drops after Lasik surgery, and I have never had any type of eye injury which would cause early cataracts. I believe that the Lasik surgery or follow-up eye drops caused me to develop early, aggressive cataracts.
On 12 June, 2014, Dr. Grife (out of Fredricksburg, Md.),was hired by the White River Jct., Vt. VA to remove my gall bladder . The main result of his deed was an umbilical hernia and consistent, painful, neuromas. The hernia was repaired in December but neuroma pains remains. After injections by Pain Clinic (Dartmouth Hitchcock medical Center, Lebanon, .) showed possible pain relief for a limited period of time it was recommended that neuromas be excised. That was December, ’14. Finally, after numerous letters including to the Director of the VA (which to her credit resulted in action started) I will be seeing a surgeon from DHMC at the VA on 22 June, 2015 for an evaluation as to a solution to alleviate pain. (On my 81st birthday!) Incidentally, the GI persons at the VA essentially washed their hands of my problem until the Directors associate got involved. The gastroenterologist suggested that the real problem was that I had a very low threshold for pain, that what I called a level “7” would only be a twinge to most people. After I showed him the report from the Pain Clinic doctor at DHMC he decided maybe I should see the surgeon capable of doing the neuroma surgery. I also showed him letters from WEBMD where it was not uncommon for neuromas to result after gall bladder surgery, and that some doctors when not knowing what action to take would claim the patient over-rated their pain level.
Bottom line: I’m hoping that the evaluation on 06/22/15 will lead to at least an easing of the pain.
I’ve been going to the Vt. VA for more than 40 years and have bragged about the care. (This included open chest surgery for removal of a cancerous thymus gland, a procedure discontinued a number of years back for lack of funds but which the present Director hopes to restore.) I’ve ceased my bragging this past year as the “old VA” never allowed a patient to go so long without a resolution to ones pain.
Galen A. Crandall jr., CPO, USN, Ret.
The only captain of the ship is your neurosurgeon. You should speak only to him (or her) directly if you have any serious questions or fears. Keep his business card at your bedside at all times. When in doubt, don’t be afraid to call him. Beware of the “all knowing” intern or family member. More importantly, understand the stress that your family and friends are under during this time. Beware of the game children play called “telephone;” never accept anything that your doctor has said by way of one, two, three or more intermediaries. Neurosurgeons tend to be straightforward, kind, and simple in their explanations. We rarely pull punches. We want your trust completely.