Seeing (more) clearly

          I’m scheduled for cataract surgery next at the end of the month. That in itself is no particularly big deal. I happens all the time. And when I describe the coming surgery, people involuntarily cringe quite the same way they when you describe the insertion of a catheter. But I don’t, and that’s kind of the point of all this: First, you don’t really feel the eye surgery as you would the catheter. Your eye is numbed and you are just barely awake (thanks to some marvelous drugs) and only slightly responsive to instructions from the doctor. But the idea of this surgery (and necessarily the next one on the other eye) has me literally quite giddy.

          The prospect of reading street signs ahead of time; of following the pristine flight of a golf ball as it soars into the woods; of recognizing faces BEFORE hearing their voices! All of these and hundreds of other sights will again be open to me. While waiting for the cataracts to “mature” enough for surgery, even new eyeglass prescriptions were only marginally helpful , and within a short time would begin to lose their effect as the cataracts further blurred and shadowed my vision. And, trust me, I’m well aware that millions of people are in the same boat, waiting for their shot at having the cataracts removed from their eyes.

          Perhaps the most immediate benefit will be work related: I deliver prescription for a local pharmacy. Some of the ridiculous things I’ve had to do to see the addresses on homes as I work would not be believed. In one instance, six or seven homes in a row had unreadable addresses, and the numbers were not sequential to begin with. I had to look for the last number below the target, then find the next number above the target, and guesstimate where the target address would be and approach the house to see the actual number Turned out I was 2 houses off!) And reading the target address on the delivery package sometimes means stopping the car and bringing the label close enough to read. (Glad my boss doesn’t know I blog!)

          Even personal relationships are effected. A month ago I played golf with a dear friend for the first time. He had to guide me to my ball several times and must have thought I was just too lazy to watch it. My putting has never been any good, but by last month I three-and-four-putted greens that just weren’t that difficult. Now planning an outing on the course the day BEFORE my surgery. and I have every expectation of embarrassing myself further. Luckily, he’s just not the kind of guy who will think any the worse of me, he’ll just assume I’m a lousy golfer – and I am. At least I can use the opportunity to cook him (and his wonderful wing-woman) a nice dinner, or perhaps treat them to dinner out that evening, their choice. I should admit, also, that I’ve driven my poor wife a little crazier than usual with my constantly asking what is clearly printed on the TV screen. IT’s nice to have people who understand.

          With every other surgery os even office “procedure” I’ve undergone there has always been at least a little trepidation – a little anxiety – on my part, but mot this time. In fact, I’ll probably pester the doctor to schedule the second eye as soon as possible. I want to see!

vince katarzynski


6 thoughts on “Seeing (more) clearly

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