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Wednesday, October 19


This morning, bright and early and without coffee, I find myself yet again in a facility with nurses and doctors and solemn looking waiting room people and the smell of pine-sol and ammonia in the air. The usual furniture, this year's color appears to be teal, Are there no decent magazines willing to sit on waiting room tables? Is it only fishing periodicals and medical journals that get the nod? Where is the New Yorker? Vanity Fair? The Esquire Summer short story issue? I mean, it's bad enough without trying to pretend the price of waders is enough to hold your attention while you wait for your name to be called.

Yes, I'm digressing again.

So, today was a good thing. I was to finally get the sight in my left eye back with a simple cataract surgery. It has been 8 months of walking into people, squinting, searching for glasses. Even with all the reassurances in the world about how simple and painless this procedure is, I want it to be over. The endless questions with the usual answers. the IV, the unknown, the shower caps. and that smell. The smell that says "not gonna like this".

You get to keep your street clothes on but they still wheel you down that hall full of supplies (don't any hospitals have closets for this stuff?) and back you into a room with a lot of light and even more supplies. This brought back unpleasant memories of last year at this time, but I chided myself silently. This, after all, was to be a happy surgery. And it was. The only ting I felt was cold drops every so often that ran down my face. The visions were pretty cool. Dancing cotton balls, mostly 3D. Weird. And then a kaleidoscope of dancing silver circles as the new lens was slipped into place. They pulled off the drape that had been on my face. That was actually the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing. Then my little cart was off again, this time away from the bad place and into a curtained cubby with a window and a comfy chair where I was served..finally! and urged to relax for a few minutes. Russell came in, happy to see me, carrying my stuff and it was then that I looked, really looked out the window and realized I could see. Out of both eyes. I could see.

OK, the blinds were wavy and focusing was a tad odd. It was like twisting the lens on my Nikon. A tweak here, there, once more..Aha! But I could see. It had been 8 months , almost to the day, that I lost the sight in that eye. Boy, the world is wide!

Now, I have to admit I am a little peeved that the eye seems over corrected which means I will probably need reading glasses. But maybe it will be better tomorrow. we did, after all, have lengthy discussions about how this was my reading eye, uncorrected, just fine as it was, so please just make it as delightfully near sighted as it always was. The contact in my other eye serves for distance. My brain accepts this chaos and switches seamlessly from near to far to middle without a flutter of indecision. A person could pretend they had normal eyesight with this system (called monovision) It was perfect for a decade. I am sad to lose it mostly because I can't keep track of my reading glasses. For 8 moths now I have been unable to keep track of my reading glasses. You'd think a person would learn.

I admit to getting a bit teary about it this afternoon. I was weakened by the happy shot they gave me in surgery. I had been waiting a long time to see normally again and, it appears, that is not going to happen after all. So I had a short pity party. Until I remembered that besides the fact that I am lucky to be alive right now, I am also lucky to have regained the sight in my eye at all. What is wrong with me? Cripes.

I'm not sure whether to look up to the heavens when I say thanks, or directly at the assorted Docs who did the work or the sweet man who sits beside my bed/chair/table during all of it. But thanks I say. No more pity party. I'm going to buy the most kick ass pair of readers you ever saw and get on with it.

After I do a little jig to "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone....."


Louise's Son-in-law said...

As always, I love your writing, but next time don't scare the %$@# out us with an opening paragraph like that! We love you!

Peg Cherre said...