I love playing Padel. What’s Padel you might ask?
Typically played in doubles, Padel is a racquet sport played on an enclosed court about a third the size of a tennis court. Scoring is the same as tennis and the balls are tennis balls but with a little less pressure in them.
The main difference is that the court has walls and the ball can be played off them, similar to squash. The racquets used are solid and stringless.
Padel was invented in 1969 by Enrique Corcuera in Mexico. It’s extremely popular in Spain but is spreading rapidly across Europe and other continents.
The most important padel circuit is World Padel Tour (WPT), which started in Spain though it has already reached international expansion traveling to Portugal, Argentina and Dubai in 2014.
In February 2016, whilst playing a friendly match, I was hit in the eye with a returning ball. The injury showed immediately. The eye filled with blood and the vision was blurred…. no surprise there then!!!! As it was an eye injury, I went to Accident and Emergency here in Spain. At this stage they said the vision should not be affected but that I should ” keep an eye on it”.
So I bought myself a pair of sports glasses for the following game and never play without them.
The following weeks saw a reduction in the redness but the vision did not return so I went to the opticians for a check. They said it looked like the trauma had caused a cataract and that I should see a specialist. So off I went to the G.P and sat in wait for my specialist appointment, which came through within a matter of months. He agreed it was a cataract but was not yet ready for surgery.
I was called back in November for a check and the cataract was now ‘ripe’ for a lens replacement, more waiting ensued and meanwhile the vision was deteriorating rapidly. As was my Padel game, my opponents quickly became aware that the peripheral vision in my right eye was not good and continually aimed their returns in that direction!!!!!
So, 4 months later I get a phone call from the hospital, ‘can you come in next week for your operation?’
And ‘next week’ was yesterday. With a mixture of excitement (at last my Padel game will improve), nervousness (I hate operations) and anticipation (what the hell are they going to do?), I arrived as told at 1400hrs.
Now everyone I asked who had already had a cataract operation, or knew somebody that had, told me it was ‘no problem’. ‘It doesn’t hurt’, ‘you don’t see anything’, ‘it’s over in 5 minutes’ and ‘you will be amazed at how much you can see immediately’. Well, maybe this is where I admit to being a wimp BECAUSE IT’S ALL BOLL***KS’.
I have considered that laser surgery might be different than actually having the lens cut out with a scalpel!!!! Or maybe I really am just a wimp!! BUT, it does hurt, you can see things, it took almost 30 minutes and 20 hours later my vision is still blurred!!!
Among my friends I am known as the research queen, but on this occasion I didn’t want to know anything, so on arrival at the hospital I had visions ha!ha! of it being like the opticians, sitting in a chair, chin on the machine and 15 minutes later walking out of there for an afternoon with my feet up.
So, if like me, you don’t want to know what happens, THEN STOP READING NOW.
On arrival I was asked to defrock and put a hospital robe on, I was then placed in a cubicle on a chair/bed whilst the nurses continually plied my eye with a series of drops. (first surprise)
The chair had a motorised recliner so I passed the next 2 hours occupying my time by sending the chair up and down to various positions and watching patients in other cubicles being wheeled in and out.
I was eventually wheeled by an orderly into an anti room where a nurse proceeded to fit me with a drip (second surprise)
After a wait of 20 minutes I was moved to the operating theatre…….. operating theatre….. OMG this was starting to feel serious!
An oxygen tube was placed up my nose and a heart monitor placed on my finger (which I continually heard beeping throughout the operation) I did consider holding my breath at one point just to see if the beeps stopped as well!
My eye was then taped open, which in itself is uncomfortable.
The surgeon placed a purpose made sheet over my face and removed a plastic square from over my eye, then the staff poured about 3 litres of liquid over my eye, presumably to wash and anaesthetise.
At this stage, the surgery began. To be honest there is no pain, just a lot of stinging and a feeling of pressure on the eye ball.
Although you can’t see anything clearly the view is one similar to looking through a kaleidoscope, quite pretty really. The colours and shapes changed at various stages of the surgery and probably as a result of my imagination I knew when he was cutting out the cataract and when he was fitting the new lens.
The eye was then covered with an eye pad and taped over with a plastic patch. I was wheeled back to the recovery area. My sister was waiting and my first words to her were ”NEVER AGAIN”.
After a cup of coffee and a biscuit and a bottle of paracetamol fed intravenously, I dressed and left for home. (Arriving almost 7 hours after leaving home that morning).
To my bed within an hour of getting home I woke at 4.00 this morning, feeling much brighter.
I went for a revision appointment at the hospital at 0830 this morning, I was told to wear sunglasses but they are difficult to keep on with the eye patch.
The doctor removed my patch, took a quick look and said ‘perfect’, which was very encouraging and at least the sunglasses fit better now.
Writing this blog has been quite cathartic, sitting here now I actually think it wasn’t really that bad, it was uncomfortable but, other than a slight headache, there wasn’t any pain.
Ok it took longer than I had anticipated but what’s 30 minutes out of your life for the benefit of good sight.
I didn’t really ‘see’ anything, the kaleidoscope colours were quite pretty and the rest was more down to my imagination than anything I could see and even whilst typing this blog my vision is getting clearer.
So, it really is all down to me being a wimp and what people told me is NOT BOLL**KS.
Would I have it done again if needed? Yes I would.
Post op I need to be careful while the lens heals, no bending, lifting, swimming etc. But with the continuing support of my wonderful sister, brother-in-law and friends I can forsee a speedy recovery.
As a footnote, the staff and surgeon (Dr. Perez) at Baza hospital are amazing and as a secondary footnote watch out my Padel opponents as my game is about to improve!!!!