Last year, in December of 2020, I braved COVID and had the cataract removed from my right eye. The surgery was a success. I went from not being able to see birds in trees to seeing things far away. As a photographer, that was important to me. To this day, I can spot the movement of the leaves and anything hiding in them, and I love it.
Yesterday, about a year later, I had the cataract in the left eye removed while still braving COVID. The surgery was unremarkable, and I went home, where it felt like someone had put glass under the eyelid. 😉 If you’ve never had it done, expect this. It’s common to feel like someone is sticking a pick in your eye. Swallow a painkiller and wait it out; it gets better quickly.
My eye doc wanted to see me first thing the next morning, so yesterday, I was up early for the drive from Avon Park to Lake Placid. I was somewhat concerned about it, as that eye was still blurry even wearing my glasses, but that paled in comparison when I realized the area was blanketed in a thick fog.
Wonderful! Blurry “new” eye and can’t see anything farther than a car’s distance away. I soldiered on, and it was just as shitty on the highway as it had been in my driveway. People were driving more carefully than ever though, and I had warning about red stoplights ahead as I crept through Sebring because I could see the brake lights of stopped cars if I squinted through the windshield and stayed alert. Nerve-wracking drive! Sheesh.
The eye doc saw me right away, did his exam, and said casually, “You can wear your glasses or not from now on; your judgment.”
Jaw drop. I’ve worn glasses since I was eleven, and I remember being told, “You must wear them every minute you’re awake, or you could lose the sight in your right eye.”
That’s the really bad one, and that’s why it was done first. During the last year, I discovered I could read without glasses, which was a real treat, as I do a lot of that in bed before sleeping.
Despite Omicron sweeping the country (and especially Florida, thanks to the snowbirds), I’d really wanted to get the left eye dealt with, and I also knew the pandemic was bound to get worse, not better, and that’s why I scheduled the operation when I did. That, and my Medicare deduction was already paid for 2021. I’d also scheduled a couple weeks off work at the end of the year for recovery, though you really only need a few days.
The doc said everything looked good and told me to return Monday morning for another post-op check. The fog was just as thick and low when I left. I stopped to buy a few groceries and some wine, then drove home, still peering through the windshield. That fog didn’t fully lift until afternoon. So strange!
When you get a cataract removed, you can almost immediately return to your usual things. I drove the next morning, barely 24 hours after coming out of anesthesia and having someone cut around on my eye. I watched TV and read. And for a while afterward, you get very good at putting drops in your eye.
I have three different kinds, and I have to bathe my eye with them three times a day until the doc says I can stop. One’s an antibiotic. I have no idea what the other two do, but I’m religious about this. I don’t want to chance screwing this up when I’m so close to seeing better.
It’s Friday morning. My operation was done Wednesday morning around ten. I read last night without glasses. I’m typing this at the computer without glasses. I can see across the room without glasses.
WOW. There’s a lot you can say about how humans fucked up our planet, but we did a lot of good things, too. Like learning how to replace faulty, cloudy eye lenses with something we created, that lets us see better than ever.
I may or may not get a new pair of glasses in six weeks, when my eye is fully healed. I don’t know yet if I’ll need them. In the meantime, it’s fun waking up each morning and discovering how much better I can see the world around me without prescription lenses.
I only have two new pics for you today, as I’ve been occupied with other things lately. 🙂 the first is a black vulture. I’ve been seeing them lately in the woods across the street. They aren’t classically beautiful–some people may even say they’re ugly–but they perform an important service by removing roadkill and possibly ridding us of horrible new diseases. So appreciate them! I do.
And in direct opposition to the vulture, a closeup of a gorgeous snowy egret. They’re beautiful no matter what they’re doing. I love to watch them strutting on the shore or stirring up the water for food.
Have a safe New Year. See you next time. Maybe without new glasses! 🙂