Wednesday, February 12, 2014

If you were an eyeball you'd be irritated, too

My first cataract surgery, last week, was both better and worse than I expected.

Happily, the "worse" elements amount to nothing more than temporary discomforts. I was surprised that this minor surgery left me needing extra sleep for several days. I was surprised when my eye clouded up for three days, and again when the doctor told me it wouldn't be fully healed for two weeks or more. Note to self: The fact that you don't even change out of your clothes for this surgery does not mean you won't need to heal from it. 

Meanwhile the "better" element--improved sight--delights me every day. As Peter drove us home after the surgery I noticed immediately that I could read street and highway signs better than I had in years. I can read the newspaper again, something I stopped doing a few weeks ago because it was just too much trouble. I can clearly see the birds at the feeder farthest from the window. Yesterday I noticed, again, that I was easily reading the instructions on my medicated eye drops.

Oh, and there's this: I had assumed that my new glasses would be wildly wrong for my left eye with its newly implanted lens, and that I'd have great difficulty functioning until getting new ones. But the glasses seem near-perfect.

Periodically I play "right eye, left eye," covering one and then the other. I marvel at how poorly I was seeing, and I wonder how awesome things will be when the right eye is done. (And then of course I remind myself that the result could be less than perfect.)

Imagine someone's head in the middle of this picture...
On Saturday night, life played the right eye, left eye game and the result was pretty amusing. Attending a ballet in a poorly designed auditorium, I found my view of the stage bisected by the head of the woman in front of me. To the left of her head, everything was amazingly, wonderfully clear. But because of the angle, action just to the right of her head was visible only to my right eye, and it was blurry. Very blurry. Dancers swirled in and out of focus, crisp one moment and hazy the next. It made me laugh, but best of all it reminded me what a gift clear sight can be, even when you can't quite see center stage. I look forward to getting my right eye done next week. see ballet as I saw it last weekend.


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