Thursday, January 16, 2014

Oh, say, I can see.

By Michael Nettleton 

Wednesday, I willingly let another human being cut open my eyeball. Okay, okay he was a doctor and all, but still, the prospect terrified me. Being basically a major chicken, I had visions of all kinds of dreadful things happening including: excruciating pain, double, no triple vision, total blindness, (even though he only operated on one eye) and sudden death. 

The bandage came off today (For 24 hours or so, I looked like some kind of hapless pirate wannabe).

But, guess what? For the first time since I was 5 or 6 years old the vision in my left eye is full strength, without the aid of glasses, contact lenses, or the Hubble Telescope. Ain’t science a wonderful thing? Even if it proves global warming is real even though you don’t want to believe it.
If you receive a diagnosis of cataracts in one or both eyes, don’t panic. The operation is fast, painless and quite routine. Dr. Kim, the wizard who choreographed mine through Vancouver Eye Clinic’s surgical facility, has performed so many of these, and can whip them out so fast, they’re considering opening a drive-up window. Then, you could also get fries and a large cola to accompany it. (Disclaimer for the terminally gullible. I made that up.) 

They use the twilight anesthesia, so all I remember about the procedure is the friendly nurse saying they were going to hook up the IV, a series of flashing lights, the low murmur of voices and my wife telling me it was time to go home. (All of this is not unlike my memories of the years 1967-1972) 

The nurses reassured me that I was a good patient and even told several jokes while Dr. Kim worked his magic. I have no memory of it. I hope I didn’t mess up the punch line. 

 Weird as it may sound, I look forward to a diagnosis of milky eyeball (cataracts) in my right eye, so I can have it corrected and leave the contact lenses behind forever. I will have traveled from that coke-bottle lens bespectacled little boy, to my destination as a clear-visioned, sharp-as-a-tack, lean-bodied senior citizen. (For the terminally gullible, I made the sharp-as-a-tack, lean-bodied part up, too). What a long, strange, fuzzy trip it’s been. 

This all plays into my master plan to live forever. So far, so good.


  1. Hi Mike,

    So glad the operation was such a great success for you, although you are never going to convince me that anyone (doctor or otherwise) coming anywhere near my eyes with a sharp instrument, is ever going to happen!

    I have an absolute phobia about losing my sight and have always maintained that I would rather lose any of my other senses or faculties, so long as I was left with my vision .... I think (make that, I KNOW) I'll stick to the spectacles!!


  2. Yvonne. I felt the same way, but several people I've talked to told me this process was a breeze and they were right. I'm 2 weeks past it now and other than feeling like the 3 little bottles of medicinal eyedrops automatically regenerate themselves (never empty) things are good. I go back in for a followup in a week and a half. We'll see what the doctor says.

  3. Congratulations, you will love your new "look" (pun intended). I had Lasik at Will Vision two years ago and went from the coke bottle glasses to near-perfect distance vision (still need reading glasses and have a tiny bit of astigmatism ) I'd worn glasses since age 5 and it took 20 years for the technology to catch up to fix the staggering amount of nearsightedness I had. Best investment ever. I did all-laser since I was a bit scared of the knife thing too. Without sedation. Recovery time is fast given the settling-down process it needs. Wrapping my brain around instinctive reach-for-glasses takes longer. I am still scared of cataract surgery but this is helpful for when that time comes.