I spy, with my altered eye

Yesterday I had the cataract removed from my left eye. The whole experience reminded me of the complaint by Paul’s grandfather in A Hard Day’s Night: ‘So far all I’ve seen is a train and a room and a car and a room and a room and a room.’ Leave out the train and the car, and that was the central part of my day. There is a waiting room where you wait, and a waiting room where you stow your belongings and put on a hairnet and disposable bootees, and a waiting room where they put 105 different drops in your eye to numb it and dilate it and freeze it and make it dance the cha-cha, and then there is the O.R., where you are in and out in the time it takes to play four songs off Mika’s debut album.

That, mind you, includes the extra time Dr. Crichton required to get my artificial lens (which is custom-made, and corrects for my astigmatism) installed at the correct angle. Even with the various drops and anaesthetics, I had an uncomfortable feeling that he was crushing my eyeball while he worked the lens round with his instruments. ‘Now I know,’ I said drily, ‘how an olive feels when you stuff in the pimiento.’ It appears that I have an abnormally large eye, and that, counterintuitively, makes it harder to get the lens in the right position and angle.

But the whole thing was done, and I took a ruinously expensive taxi home and slept it off.

Today I had the 24-hour followup. They removed the plastic shield from my eye, and the gauze underneath it, and lo! I could see better with that eye than at any time since I was fourteen. My vision is 20/20, messieurs et dames – at a distance – for close vision I shall need reading glasses for ever more, but I’ll take that over cataracts any day. Dr. Crichton then briefly examined me, checked that I was following the multitude of post-op orders, and I took another ruinous taxi home.

I have now bought a pair of non-prescription sunglasses for a buck and a quarter, which work very well, and a pair of non-prescription reading glasses for the same price, which hardly work at all because they won’t sit still on my nose, but keep going slaunchwise. As I type this, I am wearing my old (prescription) reading glasses, and my right eye is doing all the work. With my left eye, the screen is a hopeless white blur; which tells you how strong my prescription was.

And that is about as much close work as I can do without fatiguing my half-corrected eyes, so my nefarious scheme to resume the writing business at the old stand will have to wait a little longer. Somewhere, no doubt, Snidely Whiplash is twirling his moustache and cursing.

Comments

  1. Mary Catelli says

    Hurrah! Hope all continues to go well!

  2. Huzzah! Thanks be to God!

  3. Suburbanbanshee says

    Oh, thank goodness. I was worrying about you.

    Re: nose, you can probably get some cheap nosepads to steady your reading glasses. Or you can play with the frames and very hot water, if the earpieces are the problem.

    • Alas, the problem is that the frames are made of cheap rubbery plastic and bend on a whim.

      However, for $1.25 I found out that the strength is correct, and that’s worth something. I can now order reading glasses online without fear.

  4. Eric Schmidt says

    Wonderful news!

  5. Infinite_Growth says

    I understand.

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