….and it opened up my eyes….
So goes that 90’s song (and I write this with the famous matching dance-hand gestures).
Anyway, this is what happens when your 70-ish mom goes in for a cataract operation.
It hasn’t happened yet, though, because apparently, she-who-always-wants-things-done-now assumed that it can be done anytime, anywhere, as soon as she says “let’s do dizz!” She did not know her surgeon was going out of the country for a couple of weeks, so we will have to wait ’til she gets back.
Anyway, for the good children out there, who have elderly ‘rents that need this operation done, here are some prep work items, pre-op:
1. Medical clearances: the doctor may ask for a number of lab tests and clearances, depending on the history of the patient. In my mom’s case, she needed endocrine clearance because she had goiter in the past, as well as the standard cardiology clearance. Prepare for lab tests like blood chemistry, EGC, chest X-ray, etc, and also for the actual clearance itself.
2. Philhealth documents: if you have your parents as dependent, and you are employed, prepare your CF1 and Certificate of Philhealth Contribution, which you can get from your friendly Human Resources team (all HR are friendly. And I mean ALL! Ehem.) Also prepare your Member Data Record (MDR), which you have to get from the nearest Philhealth office.
Make copies of your MDR. Do not give the hospital your original copy, lest you want to get one everything you need it. Your choice.
Current benefit from Philhealth for cataract removal from either 1 or both eyes is PhP16,000.
3. Post-op assistance for the next couple of days: arrange for a companion or driver (let me guess, is this you? Well, it’s me.) to bring the patient home after. Also, some assistance in living arrangements may be in order, especially if they live independently. No heavy lifting for a few weeks, things like that. So tell mom to go easy on the barbells for a some time, or the operating of heavy equipment.
Hahaha. I crack me up!
4. Prepare for some emotional assistance: for some, having the eyesight go is a clear indication that they are old. That is not a thing that’s easy to accept, so expect a lot of down days, of nervousness, and sentimental “I am old and feeble” talk. Patience will also be required.
5. Toughen up: Yes, I am talking to you. This may be the start (if it hasn’t yet happened) of the reversal of roles in the family. The once pillar of strength that you call Dad or Mom, on whom you rely for every little or big thing, is reduced to a person who is vulnerable and needing attention. It is a reminder that they are not superhuman, but mere mortals who are now in the twilight of their years. It also points to your own mortality. How you are now, maybe, turning into them. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it can be a bit scary, don’t you think?
Well, at least that’s how it is for me.
I saw the sign, indeed.