Yup! I gathered up my courage and had the surgery. I know cataract surgery is a routine thing these days, but since I’ve already lost my hearing monkeying with my sight is scary. I fear becoming Helen Keller. In that event, I asked my daughter, Mo, to off me. She’s a critical care nurse. She should know how to do it painlessly. She refused. Something about losing her license. Geez, her priorities are mixed up.
My vision has gotten so bad. I see huge smudges around lights and driving at night is terrifying. Yesterday was my first operation. They began with my left eye. Jim and I bundled up for the surgery center. They keep the place as cold as a meat locker.
We showed up at 8:00 a.m. Then we were on a conveyor belt leading from room to room to answer the same questions, have technicians peer into my eyes, and get drops to dilate my eye. Finally, at about 10, I was taken into a large room, put into a hospital chair, and hooked up to an IV. The room was crowded with other patients in similar chairs. I was allowed to keep my street clothes on but draped with a bright yellow flimsy gown and had a blue shower cap put on my head. My left hearing aid was removed. Nurse Jill put a post-it note on my chest stating, “HOH. Speak into the right ear.” No idea what HOH stood for.
House of Hope?
Hearing off, Hollar?
Hogs or Hounds?
Then the surgery was explained. I would see six bright lights. Then a single light. Somewhere in there, the laser would zap my eye. But I was given anesthesia so I don’t remember much.
By 11 a.m. it was all over. I was told to keep my eyes closed as much as possible for twenty-four hours. That wasn’t happening. Jim took me to lunch. I had bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese. Stellar. Then we went to Costco and bought giant size containers of stuff, finally home again.
I wasn’t allowed to read so watched some weird British movie about kids who were cloned. Their purpose was to be organ donors, giving up body parts until they eventually succumbed to death. It was slow and stupid, but I hung in there for the entire thing.
My left eye is seeing hula hoops of sparkles around lights. My sister had this surgery some time ago. She said those hula hoops last a while. In fact, when they finally left she missed her “circles.” The circles are created because the lens I chose has concentric rings to allow for vision at different distances. It’s called Symfony and it cost $3000 extra an eye. I’ll be eating Meow Mix in my old age, but I’ll have 20/20 vision!
Here is what I’ve learned. The sink and toilet in our bathroom are not almond color. They are white! My right eye still has its cataract and sees everything as kind of tea stained. But the left eye now sees color clearly. The orange pavers around our pool are, in fact, pink.
I was hoping to bring the cataract home in a jar like Mo kept her tonsils for show and tell. However, I was told the cataract liquefies when zapped with the laser. It’s sucked out and dumped into a container of water.
Last night we went to friends for birthday cake, then out to dinner. We sat outside. There were strings of party lights hanging over our heads. The hula hoops made the lights look like brilliant Slinkys.
The hospital just called to check on me. Yes, I’m fine. Yes, I miss my make-up. Yes, I’m putting my drops in every four hours. No, I didn’t keep my eyes closed for 24 hours. And guess what? My toilet is white.
Next surgery two weeks from yesterday. In the meantime, I tape a clear plastic eye patch over my left eye while sleeping. I just get more and more stunning at bedtime!
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P.S. My brilliant son-in-law just informed me “HOH” means “hard of hearing.” Duh. Why didn’t I know that?