Real Patient Stories: Fear of surgery, Causing Horror Story Images all for Nothing

When many think of having surgery, common thoughts and images in our brain involve blood and sharp tools. Some patients even imagine their experience is going to be equivalent to their worst nightmare. That is what cataract patient, Nancy T., expressed. She said we “couldn’t even imagine the images she had in her head” prior to surgery.

Nancy T. described a lifetime of healthy vision. She joked that as a young girl she always wanted glasses because “everyone in my class wore glasses practically, so I wanted to wear glasses too.” As she got older she began to wear contacts for a small correction, but she noticed her vision recently had drastically worsened. She begin to “not enjoy reading as much” and when she rode her bike in the morning she wasn’t seeing “the deer where I usually see them, or birds and everything.” She expressed her vision was just not sharp anymore, and what she wanted was sharp vision.

After being diagnosed with cataracts, Nancy began to build anxiety around the procedure. She mentioned losing sleep and imagining images straight out of a horror film. She said she “could just see myself being laid out on the table with just knives coming at me.” Nancy’s fear was taking over. Everyone had told her “there’s nothing to it, nothing to it”, but she couldn’t bring herself to believe others. All she could imagine was what she described as a nightmare.

Despite her high anxiety and fear, Nancy proceeded with her scheduled procedure and her vision now is “good, it’s really good”. She said many of her friends checked in on her after surgery to ask how it was and she gave them the same answer they gave her before, “there is nothing to it, you guys, it was a piece of cake”. Nancy is looking forward to enjoying her new vision. She can see things, she hasn’t seen in a long time. She ended by saying “I should of listened to people when they said there is nothing to it”. For anyone letting their nerves get to them, “don’t put it off” she says, “I am telling you, it is easier than having a tooth filled”.

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