I knew the eyesight in my left eye was bad. Had been for years. My right eye carried the load as best it could. I rarely noticed my left eye wasn’t stepping up until something would come between them—say, a beverage cup—and half the world became as out of focus as the Tea Party’s deficit plans.
I knew the top letter on eye chart was E because I’d seen it before; looking at it with just my left eye, I couldn’t tell which way it pointed. I learned last month the left lens in my eyeglasses was clear, as there is only so much difference in prescription your brain can handle before it goes permanently off-center and your sense of balance is destroyed so badly you can only walk in circles that gradually veer to the right. (All right. I made that last part up. It’s still bad.)
Last Wednesday I had surgery to remove a cataract in my left eye, which was, apparently, 90% occluded.
I’ve spent most of the past week going around looking at stuff. Taking my glasses off, covering my right eye, which is now the weaker of the two. I can watch television, see clocks from across the room, almost drive. I’d guess my vision is about 20/40 without correction now.
There’s a whole world out there to my left I’d been missing. Seeing all those overtaking vehicles over there makes me wonder how I got to be this old. My left arm does not suffer from an undiagnosed necrotic disease that sometimes makes it difficult to tell where it ends. Things that are closer to me actually look closer, as in three-dimensional. Who knew?
The whole procedure took about five minutes. I was awake and on the most excellent drugs so I was not at all disturbed by the fact a relative stranger was slicing a hole in my eye, sucking out the lens, and sticking a hunk of plastic in there. Fine, whatever. Put a picture window into my brain while you’re up there. It’s all good with me.
Now I can hardly wait until August 17, when Dr. Grundy will fix the right eye. That won’t be as pronounced a difference, but it will be nice to have a matched set for the first time since—oh, I don’t know—ever. Then I can get glasses to even up that whole nearsighted/farsighted thing, and I’ll be one sighted motherfucker.
Better eyesight isn’t all cold beer and juicy steaks. I don’t know who lets that fat, unkempt asshole into my bathroom every morning, but it can stop any time now.