Working in Fortaleza: View Clinic

My host parents own a vision clinic, Clinida da Visao, where my host dad performs eye surgeries and my host mom keeps up with the book work. I’ve mostly been just helping Amelia, my host mom, out with things she needs done like putting stickers on their magazines, running things to and from, etc. Easy stuff that doesn’t require more Portuguese than I can handle. Today however I got to watch Jorge, my host dad, perform cataract surgeries. I’ve never seen any kind of surgery live in person before. I admit I got a little squeamish but after seeing him do about 5 or 6 of them I was fine. The cataract surgery is actually pretty cool to watch. The first thing he does is puts a salve on the patient’s eye, then puts a surgery sheet over it and opens the eye with this crazy looking tool that looks like a tiny torture device. The anesthesia eye drops come next so that the patient won’t feel a thing. He makes an incision in the eye right outside of the color (I’m no ophthalmology major…I have no clue what that part of the eye is called, sorry!) and then goes underneath the surface of it to inject a ton of solution. What kind of solution that is was lost in translation to me haha. After that he pretty much breaks down the cataract part of the eye with a tiny little knife and sucks it out through this little tube device, then puts in a tiny lens that clears the vision. None of the patients seemed like they were in any pain at all. The oldest patient however (she was maybe in her 70s or 80s) did get a little nervous and you could totally tell, but she was fine after about 5 minutes. The surgeons were really kind to her and helped calm her down so she’d stop moving around so much. The entire cataract surgery takes about 20 minutes. I unfortunately didn’t get to take any photos of the surgery, mostly because I didn’t want to be a distraction, but I did get some pictures of the clinic. I really like going to work there, even though I don’t really know exactly what I’m doing yet. My host mom is great about speaking slowly and explaining things to me. It’s really helping me expand my Portuguese, and plus it’s not every day that you get to witness live eye surgery in a foreign country.

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^^My host mom taking care of business!



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^^Most of Brazil is Catholic. They have crosses and saints everywhere.

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Maybe next time I watch him perform a surgery I can snap a few photos! Until next time!

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