Sunday, August 23, 2015

From Severely Myopic to....



I have been wearing glasses since I was 10.  It started with not being able to see the blackboard in the 4th grade and went rapidly downhill from there.  Name a kind of contact and I've probably warn it -- starting with hard lenses in the 8th grade (might slow the progression of your Myopia) and progressing to the ACUVUE daily wear lenses that have been my go to contacts for some time now.  Name a treatment for making eye glass lenses thinner, lighter, glare proof -- and I'm confident I've paid for it.

Last Friday, I had cataract surgery on my right eye and I'll have the left eye done in two weeks.  in my research before the surgery, I read something in the guidance for ophthalmologists that basically said:  "Your severely myopic patient will be among the most happy" -- true that (at least so far).  I admit, I'm a little young for cataract surgery but I had a particular kind of cataract that is common in people with severe myopia (try -16 in that right eye) called a posterior subcapsular cataract.  Basically, it blocks the light on its way to the retina (for more on cataracts).

I seem to be running through the "c's" when it comes to surgeries, having had a cheilectomy in 2013 (Wiggling My Toes, Bending My Toes, First Steps and New Toys, and Rolling through My Toes) and a cholecystectomy in 2006 (gallbladder removal).  Perhaps the hardest surgery I ever recovered from was a laparotomy sometime in the 1990s for ovarian cysts.  And then there was the tonsillectomy when I was a kid.

Having a cataract removed is quick -- although not entirely without pain and I was awake for the entire thing.  The first stage was a laser to remove my own lens.  It was kind of like watching a green and red light show on steroids.  Mercifully it was short and I managed to stay still.The coolest thing was the white fuzz once the lens was out and as I was being wheeled down for surgery part 2.  It reminded me of when the black and white Magnavox of my childhood got snowy.  I could see dark shapes but nothing was very clear.   The second stage was a bit longer and they twilighted me for it (basically they sedated me just enough to take the edge off but not put me out).  That stage seemed to take forever but I am pretty sure it was probably not all that long.  Then it was up to post op where I got to have coffee, a muffin, graham crackers, and saltines.  OK, was I supposed to eat all of those things?

Aside from the weirdness of having one eye that is still severely myopic (even more myopic than the one I just had the surgery on), the weirdest thing is how white everything seems when viewed through my right eye alone.  It's like a film has been lifted and the colors of the world are just popping.    I tried to capture the difference in how I see with photo at the front end of this post that has a sepia tone -- Herring Creek Farm (2/2).  It's a tad darker than the actual way I see with my left eye -- mainly to make the point that there is a difference in how I am seeing.  The photo at the end (Herring Creek Farm (1/2)) is closer to how I see now see out of my right eye.  If I had to describe it in words, white walls are now white walls, and red is now red.

The coolest thing is that I've gone from a world where everything at a distance was always a bit fuzzy to one where I can see the individual shingles on the roof of the Plaza Hotel from half a block away.  That's pretty awesome.  The downside is that I probably won't be able to cheat and read without my readers anymore.  That's a trade off I'll take.

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