Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Post cataract world and other random crap

I got my cataracts removed in February. Wow, that was, well, not what I expected at all.

One of the things I never knew I really counted on was my close vision.  There was never anything I couldn't read---if I brought it close enough, I could read it.  The smallest print, the tiniest words, nothing was unavailable to me.  I'm realizing now that it was kind of my superpower. My husband laughs at me because hello, without glasses or contacts, the world was almost entirely unaccessible to me past about 8 inches (not even jokeing.  Myopia, people.  It's a thing.).   But it seems logical that if the broad world is unaccessible, it makes perfect sense that I would revel in what I *could* see, what my eyes *could* do unaided.

Cataract surgery makes it so seeing that close is impossible.  It has to do with the lens implant---it's not flexible, like a real eye, and so it's harder to focus close in.

This, my friends, blew my friggin' mind.

I was completely unprepared for it.  I mean, the idea of reading glasses sounds innocuous enough, but to actually be unable to read is sort of panic inducing for somebody who has always depended on bringing things close.  Again, my husband tried to get me to focus on the positive---after my right eye was done, I could DRIVE without aids---but it threw me for a huge giant loop not to have that close vision anymore.

My doctor anticipated that, and suggested we do the left eye with a close lens, something she called mono vision.  My right eye would be corrected for distance, my left eye for close, and my brain would make up the difference.

Yes, please, let's do that RIGHT NOW.

So she did, and it's worked out pretty much the way she intended, although there are still some gaps in my sight that I don't like.  For example, I can't thread a needle anymore---it's too small and requires too much close focus, even for my close eye.  I have to put on reading glasses for that.

I can't see ticks anymore on my family's skin, which may not sound like a big deal if you don't live where we live, but we do tick checks almost every night, and for good reason.  We live in tick heaven, and those babies are dangerous.  Just yesterday my husband found one in an, ahem, unmentionable place, and he couldn't reach it and needed my assistance.  I had to PUT ON MY GLASSES to get the damn thing.  The way I see now---it's completely different.  And I'm not sure I love it.

AGAIN, yes, I know, I can see without aids, and that's kinda huge for a gal who has been wearing coke bottles on her face since the second grade.  But I guess I kind of expected perfect vision.  I'm still struggling, which I wasn't prepared for.  Ah, the loveliness of high expectations, dashed against the rocks of reality.

Anyway, I see the doctor again this week, and I have glasses that are actually pretty awesome when I wear them at night to drive.  So, bit by bit we move on.

Speaking of moving on, the study with Dr. Steinman is concluded.  I'm now officially on my own in terms of my medical care, and need to go back to my local nephrologist. I haven't done that yet, only because I can't quite muster up the energy to make another doctor's appointment.  After the flurry of doctor stuff in January and February with my eyes (and my daughter's eyes--yup, she had surgery in March), voluntarily calling another doctor kind of makes me want to curl up in a ball and hide in my bed (which I did all day yesterday, actually.  It was a nice day.  Everybody needs a day off from the world sometimes.  Especially if that day includes a Sherlock marathon.   Benedict Cumberbatch.  Yum).

Whine, whine, whine.  Let's see, what's good around here?  The school year is coming to a close, and I think we're going to have a great summer.  I am trying to work towards doing a new kind of speech therapy that involves horses, which is crazy cool.  I have to find a mentor that can supervise my treatment hours, and I have to do some more classwork, and take some tests, which means that this whole idea may come to fruition a few years out, but if not when, now?  As my mother said, I can't do it any younger, so even though I'm a little late to the game, better late than never.

The Renal Support network sent me a form letter asking for submissions to their essay contest again.  I'm torn.  In 2012 I got an honorable mention.  Could I do better this year?  What if I do worse?  My writing is a little rusty--anybody who follows this blog (I think there are, like, 10 of you) knows that I've taken a break from blogging.  Not for any particular reason, it's just that sometimes I have less to say than at other times.

I also had another mommy blog that is now defunked, again, not for any particular reason, I think we all just said everything we had to say.  That, and our kids got older, and writing about how  your 12 year old had a meltdown because his basketball team lost their game and his math teacher scolded him for doing a math problem wrong is, generally speaking, less entertaining than when that same said 12 year old streaked naked through our neighborhood at age 3 and peed on our neighbor's lawn.  I mean, a naked 3 year old peeing on a neighbor's lawn? That's blogging comedy GOLD, people.  A 12 year old dealing with big boy problems, less so.  Plus, my kids are old enough to be picky about what I write about them.  They don't want the internet to know about these things.  Public urination as a toddler? That's fine.  Stuff that their peers can read about them now?  Again, less fine.

Anyway, I did spend the morning writing an essay for the contest.  I sent it to my husband to read/shred, and we'll see if I want to submit it.  First place is $500.  Seems like that's worth it a shot, right?

I'll keep you posted.

 No, really, I will.

I swear.


AlisonH said...

I've never understood the idea of making the eyes not match. But then, mine don't because of a head injury, where one eye is normal and the other sees bright things as close and dull things as far and too much visual stimulation and the whole thing throws me overboard with my balance collapsing. With thanks to the guy who rear-ended me. So the idea of deliberately making them not match... brave soul...

Anonymous said...

This 1/10 reader is glad to see that you are back!

Diagnose Rachel said...

Reader #3 checking in. Glad to hear the latest. Hope getting back to your nephrologist is smooth...

Aubrey Holloway said...

Cataracts are never fun, Heather. I'd understand your difficulty with focusing on objects. You'd have to do what your doctor suggested so it would be easier for you. Adjusting at this stage would lead to a better pay-off in the long run. You'd get used to it in no time!

Aubrey Holloway @ Primary Care Associates