The Eyes Have It….

artwork by JD Munder


I had cataracts.

Notice I said “had”?

Over the past two Fridays I’ve gotten up with the roosters, walked into a surgery center where an ophthalmologist sliced open one of my eyes, pulled out a defective, cataract laden lens, and placed a shiny new lens right where the old one had been.

Upon arrival the nurses plopped me in a weird reclining chair, plugged electronics all over me, stuck me with an IV – the nurse said so the anesthesiologist could give me a happy shot which would be like drinking seven margaritas making me all happy and where I just wouldn’t give a fudge but it would allow me to still follow directions on command.

Next she told me to lean my head back, open my eye so they could put gel in it that would numb the eye and make it dilated. Just as the glob of gel hit my eye, she said – “oh yeah, this is going to sting really bad.” AND IT DID – you would have thought they would have given me that seven margarita shot first.

Then it came time to wait until my turn in the operating room – picture it – I am sitting in the weird reclining chair, I don’t have my glasses on so I can’t see a thing with the eye not having surgery and the one being prepared for surgery is patched and full of stinging gel – so the nurse hands me the TV controls for the television that is hanging from the ceiling probably 10 or 15 feet away – and suggests I watch something to help me take my mind off the surgery. I couldn’t even see the remote in my hand let alone the TV.

Eventually, the anesthesiologist walked in with the happy shot. I was pretty excited to see him because I had heard all kinds of stories from people about how you could actually see the tools being used to remove your cataract… not something I wanted to experience.

Unfortunately, the shot didn’t make me feel too happy – either I have a high tolerance for margaritas or I’m a bad drunk….because even with my gooey, dilated eye, I saw the top of the doctor’s head, something shimmery moving toward my eyeball, felt the pressure on the eye, and swear I saw something moving (possibly the lens being removed or put in?) Then there were lights – red, black, white, yellow – I could hear everyone’s conversations about vacations, etc – at one point the conversation was so good even I jumped in to make a comment…

Within an hour, I was rolled back into my little waiting room – still in the same chair – and within 15 minutes, I was disconnected from electronics and IVs, put in a wheel chair, rolled out the door and sent home with a list of instructions:

  • No diving into the deep end of the pool (can’t say I have ever done that in my life)
  • No bending my head lower than my waist (so much for downward dog yoga)
  • Sleep with a plastic bubble on my eye for a week (yes, I look like a Star Trek Borg)
  • Don’t lift anything over 10 lbs (well okay – no grocery shopping, cleaning house, or doing laundry)
  • Don’t sleep on the surgery side (I am a side sleeper – two eyes with surgery meant sleeping on my back so our recliner has been my friend)
  • Put lots and lots of drops in my eyes multiple times a day for the next month

I did not like the surgery – I’m not going to lie to you about that – but so far I do like the results. No more glasses, my distance vision is pretty sharp, the world was so much brighter and the colors of trees, bushes, and flowers so much more vibrant. My near vision is coming in more and more every day as my second eye heels.

I’ve been told that my eyes are brighter and shinier; and that I actually look younger – I’ll take those compliments with pleasure.

Thanks for letting me share my story – stop by next week if you have time. I should have my latest art project ready to share. I’m experimenting with pyrography (wood burning) and watercolors.

Take Care


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