“Double, double toil and trouble”

The gas bubble always reminded me of the song of the three witches in ‘Macbeth’, so I thought I’d borrow from the Bard and have a bash at turning it into the song of the RD patient…

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Vitrectomy and large* gas bubble.

Stinging drops in open eye;
Lying flat, afraid to cry.
Holding breath and keeping still
In a mighty act of will.
Bright lights dim to dusky dark;
Tight clenched fists and beating heart.
Waiting for the surgeon’s hand;
Wishing to escape this land.

Double double, toil and trouble;
Vitrectomy and large gas bubble.

Instruments dive in and out;
Causing urge to scream and shout.
Listening to voices low;
“Cutter please”, (do take it slow!).
“Laser” next, then “Gas now, please”;
Clearly not the time to sneeze!
Stitches last then almost done;
Head and roof of mouth feel numb.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Vitrectomy and large gas bubble.

Now more torture, lying flat;
Face down only, not on back.
Aching neck and shoulders tight;
Difficult to sleep at night.
Eye drops in ten-minute break;
“Hold head still, try not to shake!”
Gritting teeth and ploughing on,
Wishing it would all be gone.

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Vitrectomy and large gas bubble.

Finally the gas breaks down,
Upright now, so lost the frown.
Magically, above the line
Vision, though ’tis strange this time.
Colours dim and lines not sharp;
Lava lamps and flickers dart.
Bubble waves and disappears;
Left lonely, facing sightless fears.

Double, double toil and trouble;
Vitrectomy and large gas bubble.

* Try as I might, I simply couldn’t get ‘intraocular gas bubble’ to fit with Shakespeare’s metre and rhyme scheme, so I had to go for ‘large gas bubble’ instead.

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