Tuesday Feb 05, 2008

Miracles, Big and Small



I got my first pair of glasses in the first grade.  Throughout elementary school, every photo of me is some variation of me peeking out from behind thick lenses.  Teen years brought hard contact lenses.  Middle age brought dry eye, soft lenses and reading glasses.   Genetics brought retinal tears in my thirties, and a detachment in my forties.  And as I have written before (A Class Act), my fifties brought cataracts.

I was terrified of cataract surgery.  Absolutely terrified.  I didn't realize to what extent my anxiety had affected me until we saw some friends for dinner Saturday night, post-surgery, and they both commented on happy and relaxed I looked - like a different person.

The surgery was last Wednesday.  My sister, bless her heart, had flown in from Cleveland to be with me.  My husband took the day off, so they were both with me in the pre-op cubicle.  As I awaited the procedure, I did NOT resemble the NOL (nice old lady) of the educational film Kaiser showed me - I wasn't skipping or giggling.  I was just plain scared - and very ready for the happy juice.

Everyone who reassured me about this process (and there were lots of you - thank you for that) told me it was easy and painless.  And they were right.  Once the happy juice flowed, I relaxed, and aside from anxiety when they clamped my right eye open, I didn't feel a thing or particularly care. 

The miracle occurred 30 minutes later.  They removed the clamp and I saw the ceiling tiles above me.  Clearly.  I could see.  I could really see.

By the next day, my vision was 20/30 (it was 20/2000 prior to surgery).  By the weekend?  20/20.

So now, I  resemble a drunken sailor a bit - great vision out of my right eye, terrible vision from my left.  I'm adapting, and looking forward to getting my left eye fixed, if my opthamologist feels it safe (my left eye had the detachment).   I can read again.  I can do needlepoint with the canvas in my lap instead of inches from my nose.  My golden retriever is no longer worried about being displaced by a seeing eye dog.  Life is good.

Miracles come in all shapes and forms.  My Southern California Kaiser eye doctor, Dr Roer, was the instrument of this one.  I'm so grateful.


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terrymckenzie

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