Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Seeing through a glass darkly

The meaning of I Corinthians 13:12 refers to "seeing" the Kingdom of God only dimly in this life.  But it has a new meaning for me.  Last week, I had surgery to remove the cataract from my right eye.  When this is done, the old lens is removed and a new, completely clear, lens is implanted.  The new lens has the correct focal point so corrective lenses (glasses) are no longer needed for most purposes.   I now own a scrap of paper with the "model number" and "serial number" of my new lens -- makes me feel a little bit bionic!  

While I wait for the passage of two weeks prior to similar surgery on my left eye, I feel like I'm looking through "drunk goggles" most of the time.  I must still wear my bifocal glasses for my left eye, though since I had an extra pair of glasses, I had the right lens removed from them prior to the surgery.   My distance vision with my "new" right eye and corrected left is a little shaky and "off", but (barely) bearable.  Oddly enough, the midrange/computer viewing vision is the best, which is fortunate since my job is almost entirely based on working at a computer.  Luckily, working on the sewing machine falls into that midrange area, as does hand sewing (though I can't even find the eye of a needle with the needle-threader, much less the thread!)

But reading... READING... what a pain -- almost literally!   I see double when I try to focus on the page.  Mind you,  I have both the two-lens and the one-lens eye-glasses.  I went out and bought the "readers" the O.D. recommended as a stop-gap.  I even have a pair of "computer" glasses which I used to use sometimes for mid-range.  None of them offers much assistance in helping me read, so I end up reading with one eye (the "new" one) closed.  Head-ache inducing -- and just before a trip downtheshore where I had hoped to get in some quality time with a couple of books!

At the end of the day, I am exhausted.  Sounds odd, doesn't it?  Think about it.  Just for a moment, imagine that, to walk, you had to think about each part of the process: shift weight to left leg, raise right leg, put right foot down ahead, lift left leg while shifting weight to right leg, put left foot down in front of right foot and shift weight to it.  Wouldn't that take a great deal of effort and be quite stressful in the process?   Wouldn't take long to get really tired, would it?   That's sort of what it's like to have to concentrate on seeing.   I can drive, but I have to work at it like I haven't had to since I was a newbie behind the wheel.   Therefore, I'm very grateful that D#2 now has her license as I can let her take over as my chauffeur. 

So, you ask, what does all this have to do with the title of the post?   It's a lead-in, I answer.  Patience, dear readers, patience, please. 

The only "symptom" I had from having cataracts was related to light(s).  Some time ago, I found I needed more light to read or sew but that was easily accomplished -- I turned on another light or upped the wattage of the lightbulb.  There was no "workaround", though for driving at night, when the light from oncoming cars was glaring and scattered, making me uncomfortable about driving long distances in the dark.  I'd heard that cataracts could also affect the way colors are seen, but pooh-poohed that idea as I was seeing a full range of colors quite well, thank you!   After all, as a quilter, I deal with color all the time and had no problem at all perceiving the wonderful brights, pure whites, and ebony blacks that are my quilt-making materials. 

I was wrong.  A few days post-surgery, when my "new" eye was beginning to focus (or rather my brain was beginning to process what I was seeing with it), I noticed that, if I closed the left eye, it was like taking a picture with flash, as opposed to without.   Not a huge difference, but perceptible nevertheless. 

Left eye -- "old" lens:


Right eye -- "new" lens: 


The photos exaggerate the difference, but it was shocking to me how dingy the whites look with my "old" eye and how the tint of bright colors just gets turned up a notch when viewed with the "new" one!

One week from today, I will undergo surgery on my left eye.  Praying that all goes as well then as it seems it did the first time.  When I am healed, not only will I no longer need to wear glasses from when I first wake up in the morning until I retire for the night, but I will have a "brighter" outlook on life.  Visually, at least.  

3 comments:

Nancy, Near Philadelphia said...

Like. So they've got it down to two weeks, now -- that's terrific. When I did mine there was a three-week interval. I felt like I would be doing drops for the rest of my life! Hang in there . . . .

Bobbi said...

Wow, that's amazing, the difference. Makes me almost want. . .

Hope your healing goes well, if you need anything during the 2nd procedure recovery time, let me know. Will you still have girls home?

Susan said...

Hope the second surgery went well and you are completely healed by now.