Contemplating Cataracts

Imagine, if you will, that while you’re sleeping… an insidious creature, creeps into your bedroom. And totally unbeknownst to you, this “thing,” applies a thin layer of a grey, Vaseline like substance, all over your eyeball! …and then it just slithers away, unnoticed.

You wake up the next day without a clue.. everything seems perfectly normal. Although you notice a bit more “sleepy” goo in the corners of your eye. “Hmm, what’s up with that?”

These visits go on night after night, week after week, month after month… until at some point, you start to realise that your world is looking just a wee bit dull, bland and lacklustre. You don’t see the sharp edges; there are no soft, round, graceful contours. You see only vague outlines, with no detail. And what happened to all the colours? Colours are flat, drab, muted and quite unexciting; like they’ve been whitewashed with grey paint!

The hundreds of tiny, delicate perfectly formed leaves on the succulent plants, you love so much, have morphed into what now looks like a grey/green glob.

The golden brown, antique wooden typesetting box, that holds, shells, twigs, mini oriental perfume bottles and other tiny treasures; just sits there looking quite boring and most uninspiring.

The beautiful Indian, Kliem cushion, that you bought in Seattle, WA. looks old, dirty and faded… “Oh, wait… *ahem* sorry, maybe it is old, dirty and faded, it’s been around for donkey’s years.”

I want my world back!

In my case, it only took a matter of a few months, for that slippery, bug eyed creature to steal my whole world! I went from being able to see things very, clearly (except when reading, of course) to seeing only vague outlines, of colourless masses; and even then I think half the time, I was “seeing” what my memory had stored and told me I was seeing, and not the actual thing!

Anyone can get cataracts! Yes, you too, young’uns!

I just learned that there’s such a thing as “infant cataracts.” So it’s not just an “old person,” thing; you are NOT immune hipsters! Sure it’s true, most cataracts develop because of ageing, but they are also caused by injury, inherited genetic disorders, past eye surgeries, medical conditions and the long-term use of steroid medications.

Me? It was the long-term use of a corticosteroid (for PMR/GCA), called Prednisolone that stole my vision. And in less than 5 months I went from having “normal” eyesight, to having impaired eyesight, to having ridiculously BAD eyesight, to the point where I was experiencing mild “Charles Bonnet Syndrome.” which is when you start to see things that aren’t really there… yes, hallucinations! And all of this… for free… without ingesting drugs?

Sign me up, right?

Wrong! I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy! For the past 5 months I have been lost in a grey, blurry, dull fog. Watching TV became impossible. Distinguishing people’s faces became a frustrating game of “Name That Face;” one which I always lost! The only fun part was looking at the Christmas lights… they were muted, faded sure, but they had an angelic like halo around them, making them seem larger and more twinkly. I saw magic, when other people saw Christmas lights.

Anyway, I digress… I finally had my cataract surgery (on my right eye) yesterday!!!!

Wooooo Hoooooo!

A big shout out and thank you to Mr Edward Hughes & the Nuffield Health Brighton Hospital. What a marvellous experience, start to finish! Professional, personable, empathetic, caring and human! I’ll be back in two weeks, with bells on for the left eye to be done!!!!

Today my world is bigger, better, brighter, clearer, and more colourful than it has been since I was a kid. I keep closing my right eye, and then my left eye, and then my right, and then my left… to see the difference when looking at a particular plant, vase, wall hanging…. whatever! The difference is astounding!

If you have good eyesight… cherish it!

If your glasses/contacts help you to see better, wear them; and stop bitchin.

If you have cataracts, but you’ve been weary of the surgery… don’t give it a second thought! Find a good surgeon and get it done! It was the single best decision (regarding my health and wellbeing) that I have ever made!

Do it!!! Do it now… after all that slippery, bug eyed creature is still out there and maybe coming to your house tonight!

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5 Comments

  1. I’ve been told I have the beginning of cataracts but the ophthalmologist said we should wait to operate. I need a lot more light than I use to. Glad you were able to have the surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, I went from “the beginning of cataracts,” in August to “yes you definitely have” cataracts in October… let’s check them again in February. In early January I went back because things were so bad….and I was beyond ready for the surgery. I would have had op in Jan, but the doctor I wanted was booked and the knee doc wouldn’t touch knee for 6 weeks after an eye surgery. So knee first and eye was done asap. good luck!

    Like

  3. Wonderful,
    After I had mine done, it was looking at my clothes in the wardrobe, some I didn’t even recognise by the colour. 😀 and 😲 response.
    You needed something good to happen.

    Like

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