Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

I've inherited something from my father that I'd hope would skip a generation, but sadly it has not. Tomorrow, I have surgery to deal with the dreaded C-word.
No, thankfully not that C-word. I mean the other one: cataracts.
I'm pretty much blind in my right eye; the world it sees is one of indistinct blurs and overpowering glare.
My left eye (which also has a cataract that so far has not impaired its vision) is taking up all the work of providing details and textures. It's done such a good job so far that my total vision is hardly impaired at all, but my right is another story. In bright conditions, like a sunny day, it's useless.
I walked across a street downtown today and just for fun, I closed my good eye to see what I could see. It wasn't much. I couldn't even tell what colour the traffic light was.
So tomorrow I have surgery on my right. I'll be in the hospital about two hours; the procedure itself only takes about 15 minutes. This is a far cry from my father's day when the surgery took hours, and weeks were spent lying still and recovering. In my father's case, the operations on both his eyes were botched; he went blind in his right eye, and it was a miracle he could see anything out of his left eye. His glasses lens was a quadfocal and seemed to be made from a pound and a half of glass.
As you might imagine, thoughts of my father weigh heavily on me today.
Of course, today's surgical techniques are totally different. Tomorrow, they will cut a small incision in my eye and insert an instrument that will break up my cloudy lens. The same instrument will suck the bits of destroyed lens out of my eye.
At this point, I really will be blind in that eye.
A second instrument will be inserted that will deploy a new plastic lens. Hopefully the lens will seat properly and I will be able to see something afterward. It's hard to predict exactly what my vision will be like afterwords. The odds are that I will need glasses.
And later this year, the left eye will get done.
Chances are everything will go fine; there are no signs of anything else wrong my eyes, so the prognosis is good. I'll know more tomorrow after the surgery.
Tune in then. Same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

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