My Journey With Cataracts and Surgery
This has been a journey of around 5 years for me. I had my eyes examed before I married my husband. I was told at this time that I would need cataract surgery some time as I had the start of cataracts on both of my eyes. I was scared as I had no insurance and my job didn't pay well enough to put money away, I figured it would have to wait till I turned 65 and got my Medicare.
Life went off without a hitch for about 3 years and then my vision started getting fuzzy. I had a film in front of my eyes nearly all the time but I could still function. I could drive with care and walking was no problem. Then my vision started to get worse where I couldn't see the middle line in the road. I told my husband that we had to get him his driver's license. I became more aware that I depended on him to help me down from steps. We lived in an upstairs apartment.
I was in counseling for my depression and went for my session one day and I was feeling very low. I told her that I felt I was losing my identity because I had to depend on my husband. My vision had gotten very bad now and I could see white, gray and black. I walked out in front of three cars on a highway because I couldn't see them. My last act was to get my husband his driver's license and then I gave up. My counselor told me to stop feeling sorry for myself and get proactive. This was not what I had been expecting. She gave me a number to an organization for the visually impaired and blind.
I called the number and talked to a nice gentleman that said he would come and see me and my husband see if I met their guidelines. Well, he came around and filled out paperwork and left. I was sure that it wouldn't work for me as anything when I needed help before I had ever helped. A week later he called me and said he would be around with the paperwork to get started to see what was wrong with my eyes and see if they would help. I thought to myself how did I get so lucky.
He showed up and I was set up for an eye exam with an eye surgeon and flunked the eye exam big time. She said it was important that the cataracts were taken care of immediately. I told her it had to be approved by the agency. Two weeks later my Wednesdays flew out the window. My schedule became very busy. I had to have a physical. One week later I had my first cataract removed. I will admit that I was scared. I had to be at the hospital at 7 am and surgery at 8:30. Well after surgery seen the surgeon that afternoon and then again in one week. Then they scheduled the other eye the following week so I had no time to ask what was next. I had to laugh after the first cataract was taken off my husband and I got home. The husband opened the door and I asked him why he hadn't told me the apartment was so dirty. I could see colors that were so vivid and this is with just one eye. My second eye I wasn't so scared. I wanted to see what the world would look like with both eyes clear. I had worn glasses for at least 52 of my 53 years. The surgeon told me not to wear glasses to adjust to my new vision. I will tell you it was hard to not wear glasses. I asked the doctor what appendix of my body I was supposed to cut off. I couldn't believe how much better and brighter the world was.
One week later I had my eyes checked and all was well. It would be around a month with no glasses before I would get my reading glasses. Reading glasses seemed like a dream to me. I had my eye exam with the glasses doctor and he told me more good news. I had always had a prism in my lenses before and now I didn't need that either. I was on cloud nine. I find it hard to believe I can now see the television with no glasses and just need glasses to read. I will never take my vision for granted again.
The organization that my counselor had recommended also covered all the costs. I learned two lessons. One is that I don't lose my identity by having to depend on people. The second lesson was that some organizations do work for me.
It has been a few months since I can see without glasses and the world is a new place. My husband said I would have my cataracts removed in time to see the real white stuff. He was right. Two weeks after I got my reading glasses it snowed and hasn't quite. It seems strange but I can say with this white stuff there is a lot more color than I had before. There are bare trees and roads and cars. I can't believe the difference and how it has made me feel inside.