So, the moment finally arrived. The cataract surgery that was postponed on March 17 due to Pandemic “shut down” rules was finally performed this morning, five months delayed!! I have been extremely nearsighted all of my life, and to add insult to injury, I also developed cataracts in my aging process. As time moved forward, I knew that I would need to have surgery to remove them.
My good fortune is that I was born in a day and age of modern medicine and in a country that could correct my vision issues every step of the way. My first correction came in the form of glasses when I was around 6 years old! I lived in a world full of many minute details that went completely unnoticed by me because my world was one great big blur. I could not see details unless I was literally a foot away from anything. The day I put on my first pair of glasses opened the windows to the world’s details for me with crisp clear imaging. I could not contain my excitement as I pointed at objects I had not seen before, ordinary things like a red stop sign which I now saw had lettering on it and I was excitedly spelling out the letters s-t-o-p to my father on our way home from my eye appointment! That was my first visual miracle because it opened intricate details of the world I had never seen before! My new eyeglasses were my most valued treasure!
The second visual miracle came about when I was in high school the day I purchased my first pair of contact lenses. They were a new advance in visual correction and I was thrilled to be able to expand my vision with something another person could not see on me! They would assume I had natural 20/20 vision.
The day I walked out of the Ophthalmologist office wearing contact lenses, I enjoyed a wide expanse of vision that was no longer confined to my limited view through the lenses within the frames of my eyeglasses. I could not stop smiling over the fact that I could see without glasses resting on my face. With my level of nearsightedness, glasses were heavy and cumbersome, so wearing contacts literally took weight off of my face. No more glasses steaming up when leaving the cold outdoors and entering warm interiors. No more steaming of lenses when lifting a lid off of a boiling pot of water or when peeking into a steamy oven! My second miracle came in the form of eyeglass liberation and with it came full, unimpeded peripheral vision.
This morning I was feeling a little breathless with excitement in anticipation of the cataract surgery ahead. I was going in to have my cataract removed from my left eye which was the less obstructive cataract. The right eye gets done next week! I opted to go with a panoptic lens which allows a person to see three distances, far, intermediate, and near. It is a relatively new procedure, therefore expensive, but Al said “go for it!”. My dear, sweet Al who is always my champion in life. He knows how little I can see without glasses or contacts and he felt I should have the gift of good vision without contacts or glasses at least once in this life. It seems a little reckless at my age to spend so much money on this new type of lens, but he assured me the kids would be more than happy that I took the funds out of their inheritance! Lol!
We were at the surgery center by 6:30 a.m. with actual surgery being done at 8 a.m. The surgery itself only took about 15 minutes and while I was awake for it, I was in a very relaxed state because an i.v. was dripping anti-anxiety medication into my system. I saw the whole surgery from the inside looking out and did not feel a thing as I watched the laser doing its work, followed by bits and pieces of debris from the cataract being lifted out. Then came the lens and I watched them insert it in my eye through numbed up distorted vision. Done! It was SO quick! They wheeled me out into the waiting room where they gave me instructions of what to do and what to expect when I got home and then they wheeled me outside to the car where Al was waiting! This is my third visual miracle!
I am presently wearing a clear vented patch over my left eye and over this patch, I am wearing eyeglasses to offer vision to my Cataract inflicted right eye. Despite the distortion of the glasses to my left eye, I could see an enormous change in light and color! I was so surprised to see what I had not realized before, which was that the cataract had taken away light from my vision and had added a yellowish, brownish hue to everything! Because this cataract developed over a period of many years, I had not noticed the change.
I was beyond thrilled to see the proper color of things again. My amber hued world now only remains in my right eye until a week from now when the larger cataract gets removed! On the way home I kept alternating in closing my right eyelid with my left, one at a time, so I could see the new difference in light and pure color! Each time I saw the difference between two objects I would laugh with sheer joy!
I told Al that I could not wait to see the color we had chosen to paint the outside of our house this past year. When I stepped out of the car, I did my left to right eye blink comparison and laughed again! It was astounding to see how different it looked. The creamy trim on the house of my cataract vision was now a crisp white linen. The darker sand colored paint was now a lighter taupe! I kept chuckling and was filled with anticipation of the inside of our home. We stepped indoors and with my new eye, saw that the interior was filled with lighter, brighter colors, whereas with my cataract eye, it had looked dim and almost dingy! I had just presumed that everything we had repainted a few years ago once again needed new paint! I laughed aloud in pleasure and then went from room to room looking at walls we had painted in the last few years of our update. I stood in the middle of each and every room and just gushed over how lovely it all looked! To think I had picked colors through cataract impaired eyes! I thought they were nice colors before, but now it feels like the house has been repainted in fresher lighter palettes!
I have an appointment to see my Dr. tomorrow in a surgery follow up exam and I am going to have a hard time restraining myself from giving this young man a big hug! That would probably not be a good idea in normal times but especially forbidden in the middle of a Pandemic! Haha! But, I think I love him and I want to tell him so! Al says he loves him too after giving me this new lease on life!
How BLESSED my life has been to have been born in the day and age of modern medicine where new medical techniques are developing all the time! Today is Day One, the same day of surgery and in the midst of all my gratitude I am looking through a clear, vented, plastic eye protector, so haven’t had a chance to experience crystal clear vision yet! Day 2 is bound to be equally exciting in its own way..I highly anticipate laughing a lot tomorrow as well!
If you are hesitating on getting cataracts removed, hesitate NO MORE! You have a miracle waiting just for you!
I will let you know what tomorrow brings! My heart is so full!