Q) First let me say thank you for agreeing to do the interview. I believe you came “to see” me about 3 or 4 years ago?
Yes. It was definitely before the pandemic. I believe it was 2018.
Q) Refresh my memory, over what period of time did your cataracts become visually significant?
It happened over the course of a year. You said that the steroids I was taking for another condition may have led to an accelerated progression.
Q) Looking back at my chart, I see that your vision was 20/400 in each eye at our first visit. What was it like having your vision decline so quickly?
It was pretty demoralizing. I couldn’t drive, I couldn’t watch TV. I couldn’t do puzzles with my grandkids.
Q) Despite your poor vision, were you nervous about the surgery?
Yes. I trusted you, but I was still very nervous. I don’t understand why you don’t put people to sleep for cataract surgery.
Q) What about after the first eye was done, and you were seeing more clearly. Were you nervous about the second eye?
I was less nervous. However, during the second surgery I was more aware of what was going on, which was disconcerting.
Q) I’m very sorry about that. It’s actually pretty common for people to be more aware of what’s happening when we do the fellow eye. Were you aware of the conversations between me and the OR staff? Or the music playing in the background?
Yes. I heard some interesting music and just tried to focus on that. I think there was some Nina Simone mixed in.
Q) Do you remember the moment we removed the patch from the first eye?. How did you feel?
Honestly, that’s a pretty amazing trick. I was really grateful. I almost wanted to cry.
Q) Any advice for people regarding your experience?
Don’t get cataracts. But if you do, be glad that you live in the 21st century. I’m not a religious person, but it’s miraculous.
Interview with Rob Gonzalez.
Interview conducted by Eric Dessner MD
Rob Gonzalez FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1691686057870815