Dwight Brown

New Eyes

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Maybe not exactly a violin topic but I thought I would share with the group.  After about two years of frustration and a bit of having the crap scared out of me a few times I have a positive result.  I had surgery on both my eyes on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  The results are nothing short of amazing.  I had the lenses of both eyes removed and replaced with implants.  My right eye was 20/20 two hours after surgery and the left about the same the next day.  Wednesday after I got home I got a new driver's license that says I don't need glasses!  It's not just visual acuity, colors, shapes, and proportions are much different as well.  I am just using cheap over the counter readers as my eyes are corrected for distance.  My astigmatism is corrected as well.  I have needed glasses since I was about 8 years old so at 58 this is a huge change. The surgery took about 10 minuets and was over before I knew they had started.  I can use my beloved Leica rangefinder and other cameras with no problems at all now. I need to get the right power right for music reading but it's just trial and error and very cheap.

Sorry to carry on so much but this place is kind of my home away from home and I thought I would share as I imagine that this same sort of thing will happen to others.

DLB

 

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No need to be sorry, go right on ahead. We are all thankful for your contributions and comments over the years. 

Glad you will be able to share a new look on the world and viola farming in particular :)

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Congrats!  And thanks for the update! :)

I have poor vision to begin with (glasses at age 8 as well), and now age-related issues...I'm still okay, but am prepared for surgery at any time down the road.

I've been holding out...didn't want to try it earlier on - in case something went wrong (as it has in a few people I've talked with)...but at some point I figure it might be a good option!  You give me hope!

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Congratulations on your "new" eyes Dwight.  Definitely on topic for making.  I can't wait for my insurance company to agree that my cataracts (both eyes) has advanced enough for surgery.  I'm ready now!  In the mean time I am sure that my interpretation of color is skewed (not good for varnish application) and I have difficulty seeing straight lines as straight.  I hope to follow in your foot steps sooner rather than later.  Hmm, we're starting to form a pattern.  I started wearing glasses at 8 as well.

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40 minutes ago, Jim Bress said:

 I have difficulty seeing straight lines as straight.

I've developed this as well, along with seeing curved lines as straight.  All to a small degree.  Burgess mentioned on here once a kind of lens grind that corrects it or doesn't cause it.

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4 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

I've developed this as well, along with seeing curved lines as straight.  All to a small degree.  Burgess mentioned on here once a kind of lens grind that corrects it or doesn't cause it.

The problem with cataracts (as my eye optometrist tells me) is that your vision changes (for better and worse) because the cataract causes the light to bend.  I've noticed this with my own vision.  Sometimes better, sometimes worse.  Frustrating.  

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2 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

I had all kinds of problems with squares looking like keystones and circles looking like weird ovals.  Not now :-)

 

DLB

Printed out an eye chart, basicly 20/20 vision 2 days post op.

DLB

Now all your violas "look new" to you . :D

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5 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

 The results are nothing short of amazing.  I had the lenses of both eyes removed and replaced with implants.  My right eye was 20/20 two hours after surgery and the left about the same the next day.  Wednesday after I got home I got a new driver's license that says I don't need glasses!  It's not just visual acuity, colors, shapes, and proportions are much different as well. 

 

Have you looked at you viola gallery with the new eyes yet, and what did it do to your enthusiasm?

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3 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Have you looked at you viola gallery with the new eyes yet, and what did it do to your enthusiasm?

It really gave me a whole new appreciation for the maker's work.  The sense of proportion and color has been changed quite a bit.

 

DLB

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Dwight, this is very much a violin related topic, so thanks for posting it. Almost all of us will eventually be confronted with this, and I am on the cusp right now.

A couple of questions:

How did you choose which doctor or practice to perform this? There seem to better and not-so-good outcomes. I would prefer a better outcome, which you seem to have had. I'd rather travel to Texas to have this done, if it had a high probability of a better outcome, than roll the dice locally, if that's what it takes. A successful outcome is rather important to me. :)

I was thinking of having correction to my normal working distance, and then wearing glasses for distance tasks, like driving, kind of the opposite of what you did, since reading glasses give so much peripheral distortion, like lines not being straight when not looking through the center of the lens. Any thoughts on that?

Here's the downside of better vision: If you ever start making, you may not be able to attain the spontaneous wackiness of some Guarneris. :lol:

 

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41 minutes ago, ClefLover said:

I may be looking for a similar surgery in the near future.  If you don’t mind sharing, what is the ballpark cost for both eyes?  I know that may seem rude, but who cares?

No problem man,

I have moderately awful insurance that does not pay a cent until I hit $1500.00, not even for drugs.  After that it pays 80% if it feels like it. So far I have paid about $4600.00 out of pocket, but that includes about $2500.00 for upgraded lenses to correct astigmatism . One eye got a toric lenses and the other got a standard lens with extra work on the cornea.  It also includes Lasix down the road if I need it.  That actually never expires so I can use it in ten years if I want to.  I'm sure every doctor and every insurance situation is different.  It actually turned out to be less than I thought it would be and I had enough put aside so I was lucky to be able to pay cash for it.  I'm not wealthy by any measure but my kids are grown up and the house is payed for so I am very fortunate by any measure that really matters.

My darling wife and I have our 34th anniversary tomorrow to boot!  In that department I am extremely fortunate to have someone that puts up with me :-)

 

Sorry I left something out.  I have not gotten the bill from the anesthesiologist .  I don't know how big that will be.  I am guessing at about $400.00 after insurance but we will see.

DLB

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5 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

Maybe not exactly a violin topic but I thought I would share with the group.  After about two years of frustration and a bit of having the crap scared out of me a few times I have a positive result.  I had surgery on both my eyes on Monday and Tuesday of this week.  The results are nothing short of amazing.  I had the lenses of both eyes removed and replaced with implants.  My right eye was 20/20 two hours after surgery and the left about the same the next day.  Wednesday after I got home I got a new driver's license that says I don't need glasses!  It's not just visual acuity, colors, shapes, and proportions are much different as well.  I am just using cheap over the counter readers as my eyes are corrected for distance.  My astigmatism is corrected as well.  I have needed glasses since I was about 8 years old so at 58 this is a huge change. The surgery took about 10 minuets and was over before I knew they had started.  I can use my beloved Leica rangefinder and other cameras with no problems at all now. I need to get the right power right for music reading but it's just trial and error and very cheap.

Sorry to carry on so much but this place is kind of my home away from home and I thought I would share as I imagine that this same sort of thing will happen to others.

DLB

 

Wow! What exactly was the surgery?

my eyes are so astigmatic they are practically square and I’d ove to get them fixed.

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4 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Dwight, this is very much a violin related topic, so thanks for posting it. Almost all of us will eventually be confronted with this, and I am on the cusp right now.

A few questions:

How did you choose which doctor or practice to perform this? There seem to better and not-so-good outcomes. I would prefer a better outcome, which you seem to have had. I'd rather travel to Texas to have this done, if it had a high probability of a better outcome, than roll the dice locally, if that's what it takes. A successful outcome is rather important to me. :)

I was thinking of having correction to my normal working distance, and then wearing glasses for distance tasks, like driving, kind of the opposite of what you did, since reading glasses give so much peripheral distortion, like lines not being straight when not looking through the center of the lens. Any thoughts on that?

 

If you come to Texas, please bring a cello, and stop by Plano.

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I'm in NW Washington State.... I chose not to got with the Toric [astygmatism correcting] lenses as I was going to have to wear reading/close work glasses in any event, as Dwight has had to do. The Toric Lenses here would have been about $2000.00 per eye here , over and above the standard surgery and lens cost and would be out of pocket.

Medicare and my supplemental insurance covered the standard lens surgery completely.... $0 out of pocket.

Like many other medical procedure this has become quite routine.... takes about 7 minutes per eye, two weeks between eyes "on the table". 

David, I suspect that you could find a surgeon in your area that has a great reputation.... just start asking anyone you know who is over 60 tor so.... I was surprised at how many folks I know had already had it done.

If you can't find anyone in Michigan or Texas.... I know a great practice in Anacortes, WA

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1 minute ago, David Burgess said:

Dwight, this is very much a violin related topic, so thanks for contributing. Almost all of us will eventually be confronted with this, and I am on the cusp right now.

A few questions:

How did you choose which doctor or practice to perform this? There seem to better and not-so-good outcomes. I would prefer a better outcome, which you seem to have had. I'd rather travel to Texas to have this done, if it had a high probability of a better outcome, than roll the dice locally, if that's what it takes. A successful outcome is rather important to me. :)

I was thinking of having correction to my normal working distance, and then wearing glasses for distance tasks, like driving, kind of the opposite of what you did, since reading glasses give so much peripheral distortion, like lines not being straight when not looking through the center of the lens. Any thoughts on that?

 

 

David, (Maestro Burgess)

I went through a lot of uncertainty and not a little bit of fear as at first there were ideas of retinal problems, etc. and I could not get a straight answer.  I gave up for a while.  I had a recommendation from a friend here in nowhere Texas about a practice in the next town over that worked with surgeons in San Antonio.  They were helpful and very straight forward.  They do 1500 or so such operations every year and have a good track record.  I should think that Ann Arbor would have tons of good eye surgeons, but I would be happy to give you my doctor's info on PM or email.  He told me that I could have my vision corrected for any distance i wanted or even have multi focal lenses.  I opted for distance as I do a fair amount of night driving (early in the morning driving really) and I did not want to risk halos on lights, etc. I think that there are probably lots of options if you can get a doctor who will talk to you.  That was the main problem with the first bunch.  In any case I am yours to command and you can call me or anything, anytime If I can help.

DLB

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3 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

If you come to Texas, please bring a cello, and stop by Plano.

I don't have any cellos, but I could bring my Lie Nielsen plano, it the TSA doesn't consider it a weapon.....  ;)

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13 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Wow! What exactly was the surgery?

my eyes are so astigmatic they are practically square and I’d ove to get them fixed.

Philip, Basicly they make a tiny incision in the edge of the cornea and insert an instrument that breaks up and vacuums out the lens.  It is replaced with a plastic implant that is matched to your prescription.  It took about 10 min. They were done before I knew they had started.  No pain or even any sensation of pressure at all.

DLB

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6 minutes ago, Dwight Brown said:

Philip, Basicly they make a tiny incision in the edge of the cornea and insert an instrument that breaks up and vacuums out the lens.  It is replaced with a plastic implant that is matched to your prescription.  It took about 10 min. They were done before I knew they had started.  No pain or even any sensation of pressure at all.

DLB

I have this terrible nightmare about the guy going in with a knife and then suddenly sneezing, and slicing my face in half, or something like that

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11 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

I don't have any cellos, but I could bring my Lie Nielsen plano, it the TSA doesn't consider it a weapon.....  ;)

In Texas, there used to be a TV commercial about some company that made oil field equipment, and the spokes person was a pretty girl wearing a hardhat. At the end of every commercial she would howl at the camera, “if you don’t have an oil well, get one! You’ll love doing business with us!”

Such a Texas thing to say…

Anyway, the reason I mention that is to remind you, “if you don’t have a cello, make one!”

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