Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

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We Move and It’s Eye Surgery Day

Monday July 20-Wednesday July 22, 2015                                                   Previous Post:
Charlottesville, Virginia                                                                               The Newlyweds Come for a Visit







Today we move Winnona out of Big Meadows where we have been both before and after her surgery for a month.  Loft Mountain campground is at 3050 elevation and according to Weather.com is cooler even than Big Meadows.  We shall see.

The campground is up up up from the Skyline Drive.  Things are not as walkable here.  Also unlike Big Meadows, there is no visitor’s center and the Wayside is right on Skyline Drive at the foot of the campground road.   The amphitheater is a pretty good walk from the campground as are the Camp Store and the showers.  But walking is good for you and we are here to hike so it’s all good.   A really big plus here is that there are many many fewer people and they are a quiet bunch.




The campground has nearly 200 sites and it appears that it was designed for tents.  However these are pretty cadillac tent sites with pull through drives and secluded “yards”.  There is an outer look around the campground, Loop A, which has some wonderful walk in sites.  The other “loops” aren’t really loops but rather curving roads from one side of Loop A to the cross side.  These curves go up and over the slopes so while most of the “yards” are flat for the tents, the driveways are not.  Some are and those are the ones in high demand by the RVers.   We can’t find a site that has both sun and a level drive and, I almost forgot, has your door not facing the road on these one way roads.  This means your site must be on the right hand side.  If you are a tenter of course you don’t care about your car doors.   Seems most of the non shady sites are on the left.






Like Big Meadows, this is a largely wooded campground which I love but my solar has to have sun so only a few sites, like about 6 out of nearly 200, meet our requirements for mostly level, good sun, fairly distant neighbors.  E 106 meets most of these although it is on a bit of a slope.  We are able to get around that with our horse mats.  Otherwise our tires would be off the ground.





Minor drawbacks, for most people, to the Loft Mountain campground are no hook ups and pay showers.  The major drawback for us is the even more difficult than Big Meadows cell signal and internet.  But at $15 a night ($7.50 with the Sr. Pass) we are giving it a try.

We get Winnona settled in and then lock her up and head down to Charlottesville.  My eye surgery is on Tomorrow but at this point, the day before, I don’t know what time.   How can that be you ask?  Read on.



I’ve had a lot of difficulty getting the appointment time for the surgery. In the UVA Outpatient Surgery Center they call you two days before your surgery with the time. I, of course, am in a place where I can not receive phone calls. They call me, they have to leave a message saying to call them back. I go up to the highest point at Loft Mountain, listen to my phone messages and call them back. I get their answering machine and leave a message. They call me back and we repeat the process. They won’t leave the time without talking to me to tell me all the rules and regulations that are printed very clearly in the materials they gave me at the screening meeting where we set the date but not the time of the surgery.

SO finally, when we arrive in Charlottesville in mid afternoon today I call them and leave a message. They finally call me back and I am able to receive the call where I find out the surgery time is 2:30 and that I cannot eat anything after midnight which is way beyond my bed time. So I can have dinner at say 6:00 tonight night and nothing until after the surgery tomorrow which is 4:00 in the afternoon at the earliest.  22 hours.   I am going to be one hungry patient by then. Plus I cannot have anything to drink after 10:30 in the morning tomorrow and must be at the surgery center at 12:30. Two hours before the surgery.





So by Tuesday morning I do know my time and it’s 2:30 in the afternoon.  I’m either their last patient for the day or next to last.  I suspect it’s because they could not confirm the time with me so they made me last.  SIGH!

After all my trepidations and difficulty deciding what lenses to have put in my eyes after my cataracts are removed, today is the day and the decision is final and permanent.   I’m going with monovision like I have had with contact lenses for nearly 25 years prior to the cataracts making it impossible for my vision to be corrected well enough with contacts.  About 3 years ago I had to move to glasses for any distance needs.   Inside my near sightedness made it possible for me to see everything I wanted in the coach, on the computer and reading with no lenses of any kind.



I’m still not totally sure about this permanent monovision.  One one hand, having distance vision lenses in both eyes gives me 20/20 at distances which I haven’t had since I was a child.  But it also means I have to wear glasses for both computer work and reading which I’ve never had to do in my life.  But the decision has been made and we arrive at the surgery center right on time.

Today I’m the one with the arm band and David is the “next of kin”.  Quite a change for us.





They are quick and efficient in getting me into a room and into a heated gown.  Anyone who has ever been in a hospital knows that they keep the temperature about like want your refrigerator.  Most people who work there wear long sleeves.  One of the nurses tells me that the resident wears long underwear under his scrubs.

This heated gown is the bees knees.  It has a warm air hose that you can see coming down over my pillow which connects at any of several points on the gown depending on where you’d like it and blows hot air into the gown’s liner.  Really love it.  I’d think the patent holder is making millions.  And of course these are throw away gowns which I don’t love so much.




Here I am waving good bye to David with my fashionable hat on my head.  I’m off to surgery.  The removal of the lens and replacement with a new one takes Dr. Osakovsky all of 8 to 10 minutes I’m told.  Since this is a teaching hospital she does have residents but none of them does the surgery on her patients.  They watch and then they assist and ultimately they will do the surgery in their own clinics overseen by a faculty member.   Having worked in this teaching hospital I knew enough to know that I don’t really want residents, from any hospital, “practicing” on me.  So my criteria for choosing a doctor was not only reputation, recommendations and success rate but that s/he did her own surgery.


She does and here I am back already with my eye patch.



Arrrgg Matey!



I’m out of the hospital and home by 5:00.   Tomorrow I have a follow up with Dr. O where she will remove the patch and see how things are.





My follow up is this morning at 9:30 at Dr. O’s office.  Her assistant removes the patch, the tape of which nearly pulls my face off.  I do not understand why in the world they do not use the ‘doesn’t tear your skin’ tape which you can buy in any drugstore.   I have to wear this patch to bed at night for a week and you can bet that’s what I’ll be using.

When the assistant says, well now you’ve got some bruising, I had no idea it was this bad.  I didn’t really see it until I got home and looked in the mirror and this picture was taken late Thursday afternoon so it wasn’t quite as black as it had been. It’s definitely the worst bruising I’ve ever had in my life.




Back to my appointment.  Dr. O checks my vision and says things are doing fine but that it will take several days for my vision to settle in.  I’m released with two sets of eye drops to be put in my eye 3 times each day and an appointment to return next Monday afternoon to check and make sure everything is going OK before the second eye is done next Tuesday.

Since everything seems to be fine, we head back up to Winnona this afternoon and set up the screen tent and hammock in our “yard”.  Perfect for my R&R!   I am able to read in the hammock which shows me “so far, so good”.




Winnona from the path to our yard.



I’m eliminating the flies that came in while we were setting the screen up over the picnic table and putting the hammock inside.




Now this is more like it.




Maybe we’ll still be here by the time these wine berries along the edge of our site ripen.  I think I’ll be back hiking by tomorrow



  1. Here's to a quick and successful recovery.

  2. I agree with Erin. I hope your vision recovers quickly.

  3. Looking good, Sherry! eye patch, bruising and all. Like the reclining photo of you with the book in the tent. Perfect. And, I loved those heated gowns when I was at the hospital. Vacuum hose and all. Too fun. What won't they think of next.

  4. Glad to hear the first surgery went well. I've heard of people having both eyes done at once, but I think your way it better..just in case there was a problem.

    You said you chose the monovision like you had with your contacts for so long. I thought you had one contact for close up and one for distance? Are the new lenses different? I know I'll be making those same decisions soon, so I'm trying to learn from your experience.

    I've heard of the horse pads before, but didn't realize they could be used to help level your site. Our current site slopes to the rear and those would be great. The way it is now, we have to extend the rear jacks a lot and I don't like doing that, even though the front tires are on the ground. I think I'll have to pick some up. Thanks for showing the picture.

    I hope your site is cool for you. It's been unusually hot here in Blairsville this year and we're sure looking for some cooler weather.

    Good luck on your next surgery (you've probably had it by now) and enjoy your new site.

  5. I guess by now you've had the second surgery and things are going well. Looking forward to hearing about how your vision is going!

  6. It doesn't look like you are wearing glasses to read. Does that mean the right eye is over compensating for the eye with surgery so you can read?

  7. Hopefully the bruising fades off quickly. Phone tag is never fun!

  8. One down, one to go. You'll be glad to get this all behind you. I hope you're going to be as happy with the results as I am after having both eyes done. I didn't get a shiner though, wonder why you did. :c(

  9. Yay, first one seems successful and it'll all be over soon!

  10. I am totally behind - had no idea you had the surgery already!! I knew it was coming but I guess just didn't register the dates... Glad it went well (well, at least on side one - trusting that it will for the second one too)! I love your bug free tent so you can have a bit of both worlds out there!

  11. I've been waiting for this post about your eye surgery I'm still a little confused about the lenses but I guess I will about that with my eye doctor when I go back to Florida in the fall I think I'm going to check and see if I can have it done then.... that is really nice site you have there I love the screen porch and I wanted to tell you that on the 29th of July I posted pictures of those too vintage lamps that my sister got at the yard sale for $ 1 if you want to take a look

  12. I love that hammock...need to check it out;o)) You look like you lost the battle, but I know you will win the war;o)) Do what the doctor orders and don't forget those eye drops!!!

  13. You are a brave woman, hope all turns out as well as planned.

  14. Your eye sure did bruise but hey if it helps you see better then OK hope all goes well with your second surgery

  15. Looks like my mom's eye that time she bent down to look at my knee as I rose my knee knowing she wanted to look at it...BAM, game mom a big ole black eye. Glad this part is over, in a few weeks you are going to be so happy it is done. I say that only from the stand point of other family members who have had it...as for me, not needed yet. --Dave (GoingRvWay.com)

  16. Glad everything went so well. Looks like a nice campsite and the price is right for sure.

  17. Very informative post about the Loft Mountain campground! I want to try out that reading hammock in that nice tent! That was some impressive brusing, but hopefully, all turns out well in the end!

  18. So glad to know that your surgery went well. That was quite the bruise! Looks like you have a nice set up for your recovery in your outdoor screened room. I think we need to get something like that for our trip to Florida next winter. But I need something with fine enough screening to keep out the no-see-ums!

  19. Glad all is going well. Be interested to find out how you like your new vision. Take it easy for awhile till everything heals.

  20. We had the same dueling messages with a campground in Spokane. Could not get them to confirm availability for our dates (which included Labor Day) on a message, just kept saying they were returning my call. So frustrating! Finally got a live person yesterday and we're in, but geeeeeez! Those bruises look like they did the surgery with a wooden spoon :-( A very sweet set-up at your new spot, hope it's cooler as predicted and you've been back on the trail with two new eyes (and no more bruises).

  21. You look so comfy in your hammock, Sherry! But I noticed no eyeglasses while you are reading.
    This is a good time for you too to take it easy and not smell the roses.

  22. thrilled that you are getting the eyes "fixed". . .sometimes we all need a tune-up. . .

  23. Holy cow noneof our patients ever came in for their post op with bruises like that!

  24. I don't remember getting bruising that bad. With my first eye they had an anesthesiologist and I felt absolutely nothing. With the 2nd eye they used a nurse who was trained in administering the anesthesia, and I was aware of what was going on, even if groggy. I remember having a metal thing around my eye on my face and I saw the dr. struggling with it. Since I was mostly out of it I really don't know what was going on, but I think some device to hold your eye open is what caused the bruising.


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