My “fish bowl” look is gone.
Less than 24 hours after operating, Dr. Lorri Wilson can smile and I’ll see her angelic face from newly restored vision in my left eye.
She performed cataract surgery on me yesterday. Was awake during the entire procedure, having received only a mild sedative as she used modern science to remove the cloudy substance covering my eye and insert a plastic lens that will remain with me and this body more than 200 years upon separating.
It was the second eye “operation” in less than 18 hours, having undergone a laser procedure in the other eye to “seal up” lattices that had formed thus increasing the propensity for another torn retina, the right one.
That hurt! Sat in a metal chair that glided back allowing Dr. Ali Zaidi to laser more than 525 spots from my eye. I never yelled or cried out, but couldn’t stop thinking of a young Dustin Hoffman in “Marathon Man” as Sir Lawrence Olivier interrogated him with a dentist drill in one hand, and Hoffman’s open jaw in the other. “Is it safe?” the crazed Nazi scientist character asked ever so gently while slowly bringing the drill closer to the exposed nerves on the “Rainman’s” gums.
My legs shook as I raised them from the foot rest, trying to “shake off” the discomfort the laser was producing. The laser itself didn’t hurt so much as the pressure that seemed to “drill” in the front of the eye and out the back.
It was the third laser procedure I underwent. Nearly 900 spots all total were “repaired” giving my eyes a better chance for continued sight.
The cataract operation took less than an hour, with no discomfort. I had meditated earlier, and welcome the “numbing” drops in the eye as I simply enjoyed the pampering provided by the nurses and technicians at the VA Hospital of Philadelphia. I joked, saying I should have scheduled surgery for Father’s Day because of all the wonderful attention I was receiving from everyone. I felt loving kindness and compassion from all, including the hospital chaplain that shared insights into life as we also swapped stories of growing up in North Philadelphia.
Since Jan 22, 2010, when Dr. Dan Will, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, operated and repaired a detached retina, I have “seen” people from a “fish bowl” lens. The center of my vision caused objects to appear smaller, while the peripheral vision kept the more proper perspective. Most people I met started looking like Michael Keaton when he played Beetlejuice, and a witch doctor shrunk his head for switching ticket numbers while waiting in line.
I would meditate and imagine I had entered a new world, kinda like my very own Twilight Zone when I wanted to see a different reality.
Gone is my nearsightedness. Well, let’s just say, “it’s going.” You get two benefits for the price of one when a cataract is removed. You get a new lens and a corrected vision. My left eye is starting see as good as my “good” right eye, and will improve even more.
Might have to undergo an operation on the right eye to correct that vision if the combined “outlook” from the two eyes causes discomfort.
And it will come at a time in this man’s journey when I am trying to “see” more in life by looking within!