Cataract Surgery Day

593 words.

This is probably the last chance I’ll have to write anything before I get a cataract removed from my right eye. I’ll have scheduled this post to publish Tuesday morning, theoretically about the time of the surgery.

I say “theoretically” because there are a lot of moving parts that have to come together and I feel like there’s at least a 50% chance I’ll arrive at the appointment and they’ll tell me, “Sorry we can’t proceed because some random thing wasn’t done right. And of course we’ll have to charge you for wasting our time. Have a nice day!” There were a lot of logistical things to coordinate (getting a “permission slip” from my regular doctor, getting eye drops from the pharmacy, etc.). I _think_everything is in place as I write this (Monday), but who knows? I’m very good at imagining all the things that could go wrong.

Quite a bit more than the surgery itself. That will be the easy part because I just have to lie there. They call it “surgery” although I’ll be awake the whole time and it’s supposed to take just 10 minutes. I’ll spare you the details in case anyone is squeamish. Most human beings will probably have to get this procedure done at some point in their lives if they live long enough and care about seeing, because human eyes (at least the lenses) apparently weren’t designed to last as long as human bodies. So I wouldn’t want anyone to worry about it. Incidentally, cataract surgeon seems like a great racket if you’re looking for job security.

One thing that thankfully won’t be a factor is Hurricane Florence. It has very nicely decided to hook completely around my state, leaving me with little more than a lot of gray cloudy days in a row, a light breeze, and some rain. Last Thursday the track showed that it might be parked right over central Virginia this morning, which probably wouldn’t have stopped the surgery but it sure would have made me wonder a lot if they had a plan for a power outage right in the middle of it.

Well, Florence wasn’t an issue except for this late-breaking near-disaster: Monday evening, thanks to the remnants of Florence, tornadoes touched down in the exact vicinity where my cataract surgery will be taking place. We don’t get tornadoes very often where I live, but when we do, they often follow dying hurricanes.

I’m not really sure what my life is going to look like after the surgery. It’s possible, though exceedingly unlikely, that I could be dead. It’s also possible, though equally unlikely, that I could be blind in one eye for the rest of my life. (The surgeon made sure to stress those two possibilities, presumably for legal reasons.)

The most likely outcome though is that I’ll have a bandage covering one eye, but then maybe not even that. If everything goes well I’m supposed to be cleared for driving again the following day. Then I’ll have to make an appointment with my optometrist to get new glasses. I’m not really sure how well I’ll be able to see until then (for example, computer screens). They said the new bionic lens would be far-sighted. (Normally human eyes become more far-sighted as you age until you get into your 60s-the artificial lens skips all the way to the end of that aging process.) In any case, I imagine everything is going to look weird for a while, and I might not be super into writing or playing games much.

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