Clear Lens Exchange – Part 1
Where it all began.
Once upon a time a mid 20 something young woman worked for the NHS as the Sister-in-Charge of the Fracture Clinic at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and yes, that 20 something was me.
During my time there, and in my orthopeadic training before that, one of the things I recall is the number of 60+ year old women who would trip, put out an outstretched hand to steady themselves and a break, a fracture, in one, or both, of their wrist bones, radius and ulna, would ensue. This form of wrist fracture is known as a Colles fracture, named after Abraham Colles who first described it in 1814. Women tended to experience this fracture more than men due to the added complication of osteoporosis.
This usually required some form of a plaster cast and/or surgery depending on the extent of the injury.
In the clinic we referred to this type of plaster cast as below elbow and we applied and reapplied many of them, week in and week out.
I spoke with many women on this topic and the over-riding memory of those conversations was that they wore bi-focal glasses, now more likely to be vari-focal, playing a part in them missing a step as they were going up or down them. They also spoke of a general deterioration in their eyesight adding to them being more clumsy in general.
I clearly recall my thoughts on this at the time. I knew then that if there was any way I could avoid the wearing of glasses as I got older I would. I have resisted the laser eye treatment that I could have had a few years ago. Something about this just wasn’t right for me.
Fast forward several years and I’m scrolling through social media, about 5 years ago now, and a video of an opthalmologist, a doctor who has specialised in the treatment of eyes, was talking about the replacement of the natural eye lens with an artificial one. This treatment could be the way forward, he was saying, and the need for glasses could one day be a thing of the past. And I knew then that this was for me. My whole body did a lurch forward.
A couple of years ago my amazing 80+ year old mum-in-law had come to stay. As a family we toddled of to Manchester for the day to enjoy the Christmas markets, a bit of shopping and a meal out together. All was going well until she tripped and fell flat on her face, knocking out several teeth and giving herself a black eye.
For one ghastly moment I thought she was dead as I stood looking down at her. In the briefest of moments she stood up and thankfully she was just shocked. As she stood up it became clear what had happened. She hadn’t seen the edge of the kerb as she stepped into the road. Down she went and her face took a battering.
She is thankfully still with us, 87 years young and living life to the full.
And so at the beginning of this year I had my 60th birthday and I knew now was the time. For my birthday present this is what I wanted, more than anything, a change in my sight that would, were possible, mean that I didn’t go around screwing up my face to focus on things or have to wear glasses of any sort for most of the time and reduce my risk of trips and falls.
My husband is a doctor and I asked him if he would ask his colleagues for recommendations. He duly did this and I looked at the clinics suggested, followed my knowing and made a final choice.
I truly had no idea what would be the best form of treatment for me, I knew what I was hoping would be the best treatment for me, and so booked my first appointment for AVC, Advanced Vision Care, 77 Harley street, London, in May this year.
Find out how I got on in part 2, next week.
With ease, joy, glory and gratitude to one and all.