I See

A year and a half ago, I was diagnosed with cataracts. The ophthalmologist wasn’t concerned. He told me that I would some day have to have them taken care of, just like many other older adults.

I didn’t realize “older adult” meant 45.

Although I knew for a while that my vision was changing, I put off going to the eye clinic until February. After several questions, chart tests and eye drops, I was declared “legally blind” and scheduled for cataract surgeries in March.

Today I am three days post-op on my second eye. To say I am thrilled by the results is almost an understatement. I can see details in the scenery I never noticed before. I am in awe of the vibrant colors around me. And, with the help of a pair of reading glasses, I can use the computer and kindle without enlarging the font to where my children could read what I was reading from the other end of the trailer.

Many people have asked me what it was like with cataracts. I had many of the classic symptoms—lights were extra bright and had a “starburst” appearance (I quit driving at night months ago due to this), scenery (and people) had soft edges and were muted in color. I also had some difficulty working on the computer, especially doing more detailed work (my

excuse

reason for not having our taxes finished yet).

As my eyes adjust, I discover “new” sights every day. The first new sight occurred the day after my first eye operation. As we were returning home, I looked up at Pass Mountain. I have been looking at this mountain every day since we arrived at Usery as camphosts last November. That day I could see the individual saguaro cacti that climb up the bottom part of the mountain. I could also see the color variation and rock edges in the tuff layer along the face of the mountain. Prior to this, I saw shades of green and brown moving up the mountain side and a brown swipe across the face. The difference is incredible. I find myself looking at the mountain various times each day, in awe of the details I can now see.

An interesting new sight I experienced yesterday had to do with people I have known for months. We attended a party for this season’s camp hosts. While talking with many individuals, I realized that I hadn’t been seeing these people very well. Patti has sun-kissed cheeks. Phyllis wears eye shadow. Charlie has hearing aids. Who knew?

I am still in the “recovery” phase and I need to be mindful of that. My eyes tire quickly—especially when I spend time on the computer. I still have multiple eye drops to put in my eyes 4 times a day (at one point I had to put 3 different drops in each eye at five minute intervals, four times a day) and I generally “rest my eyes” (as my Grandpa Rowe always said when he was cat-napping in his chair) a couple times a day. I am so grateful for my husband and children who have taken care of many of the “mom jobs” these past two weeks. I am hoping to relieve them more and more as the days go by.

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If my eyes continue to heal at this rate (I’ve received good reports at all post-op visits so far), we will be able to return to traveling/adventuring/exploring other regions of our country mid-April. In the meantime, we’re looking for mini-adventures and short-distance travels in this general area of Arizona.

I feel that a cloud has been lifted. True, my vision is clearer. But, I also feel the removal of a fog that had been clouding my interest in, well, life. It’s great to feel excited about things, again.

I can’t wait to SEE what the future holds.

The eyedrop regimen

The eyedrop regimen

MsBoyink models the eye protectors

MsBoyink models the eye protectors

Before cataract surgery the mountain looked something like this

Before cataract surgery the mountain looked something like this

After surgery the color and detail was much better

After surgery the color and detail was much better

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1 Comment I See

  1. Picture of StephanieStephanieMarch 24, 2013

    Oh my goodness…..what an ordeal you have been through!  I am so glad to hear that you are healing well, though, in more than one way. :)
    Thanks for sharing and rest up for the journeys ahead!

    Blessings,
    Steph

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