Last Wednesday I had cataract surgery.
Quick backstory: I have worn contact lenses since I was 16 (“You mean you’re supposed to be able to SEE the individual leaves on trees? Who knew?!”). About six years ago, I began to need reading glasses for “close in” vision; about two years ago I found a marvelous contact lens technician who turned my right eye into my reading eye and my left eye into my distance eye and voila! No more reading glasses.
Until the vision out of my right eye grew more and more opaque — only the grace of God moved the DMV attendant to approve my vision test — and then just before Coronavirus hit, the doctor diagnosed me with a right eye cataract. At 58. I vividly remember my dad having cataract surgery when he was 60 (I was 10!), so the genetics made sense. So here are five reflections regarding last Wednesday and the six days since:
One. “Talbot. Alan. Davis. 11.14.1961. Cataract surgery in my right eye.” Julie drove me up to the surgery center and in this era of pandemic waited in the car. Upon arriving and checking in, I was asked my name, birth date, and what the surgery would be. And I do not exaggerate: I was asked those same questions by five more people throughout the morning. They REALLY wanted to make sure they did the right surgery on the right 58 year old man.
Two. “When Am I Gonna Get My Meds?” While waiting in the holding area, I grew a bit more anxious. I had been told multiple times that I’d receive both anesthesia in my eye (not interested in being awake for that) AND something that would make me loopy, relaxed, and forgetful (more interested in that as I pondered sharp objects in my eye). Yet the promised loopiness kept not appearing.
Three. Until … Ultimately, I was wheeled in to the surgical room and which was BRIGHTLY LIT and full of people. They meant business. That’s when I thought, “this is sterile and scary and they still haven’t given me the stuff that will make me forget it all. What if they forget to make me forget? PLEASE don’t make me aware of sharp objects in my eye!” That’s about the time the anesthesiologist said, “I’m giving you some Versed now and that will make you relaxed.” I remember thinking, “I wonder when I’m going to start feeling relaxed?” Next thing I knew, I was in the car on the way home. Versed works. The rest of Wednesday is pretty much a sleep-filled blur.
Four. Clear Patch. To protect the incision, the new lens, and the entire operation, the team fitted me with a clear eye patch.
A pirate’s life really is the life for me! Needless to say, Julie had a hard time taking me seriously the rest of the day.
Five. Texts throughout the day. From the time I got up EARLY on Wednesday all the way through bed time that night, I received text messages from people in my two LifeGroups letting me know that I was being prayed for. That’s what a living relationship with Jesus is all about … living things don’t live alone.
Six. The Difference Since. I now no longer wear a contact lens in my right eye. It’s configured for close in vision, my left eye gets a contact to give me a long view, and so I now I only have to use half as much Lens Solution as before. My morning & nighttime eye care ritual is 50% shorter. Maybe I’ll get a cataract in my LEFT EYE soon and get to do it all over again!