The eyes have it


I have been reluctant to say anything, thinking most people might not care to read about this. But so many of you have asked about my eyesight, or even said you have prayed for me, that I thought I had maybe give an update.

As some of you know, I had the natural lenses replaced in both eyes replaced under two outpatient procedures, meaning I had to take time off from work. It has meant eyedrops (as much as four times a day, now down to two a day), not bending, wearing plastic coverings on each eye for a week after surgery, and, for a while, not driving. 

The recovery has been vexing, to say the least. I had to listen to audio shows or lectures for a while, and people like James Phillips, Greg Reed and my father helped me with getting food. (I even did Door Dash a couple of times, although that is not cheap. I will say when a dessert wasn't delivered, I told the driver and within an hour it was refunded.)

As for the eyes, since fifth-grade, I have been near-sighted but needed corrective lenses for distance (as I could not see the blackboard in school). A few years ago I had to go bifocal, and it has gotten only blurrier. I had been warned for years, by two different doctors, that I would need to deal with cataracts and then I was told it was now time. And when it happened, I was told recently, it would restore my long-distance vision - but I would loose my short vision. I was surprised, but I don't think I really was prepared. 

I will say, in the end, the distance vision has improved quite a bit. Last night I wondered if it was weaker in terms of looking at a signage way down the hall, but I was driving today and seeing signs perfectly blocks away, without glasses, so I guess it is OK. (Maybe it is the fluorescent lighting in the office.) But I can see photos of people on the walls of my bedroom I couldn't see before without glasses, and driving is fine. I suppose I can even wear sunglasses again. I won't say it is perfect really - I still sometimes have blurry elements sometimes, when reading, but it is better. 

But that has all but been overshadowed by the fact I lost my short reading vision, which is not good for someone in the news business who writes as well, and who gets texts and messages constantly on the phone. The eyes are still settling, I'm told, so I am just using temporary cheap Walmart glasses, between 1 and 2 in strength. I've used one for reading and one for the computer, although I may just go with the computer glasses, a "1" on the scale. 

The thing I really don't like is pulling glasses out of my pocket every five minutes, and unfolding the arms, which is another step. I have thought about getting what they call online "armless glasses," which is really a new design take on the pince-nez glasses like Woodrow Wilson used to wear, maybe with a lanyard to hang around my neck. Several companies actually sell those online, although usually it is the case you hang them by; I would rather it be the glasses themselves. And I don't know how they would fit, so that experiment might not work. Also, if the camera hangs from my neck, will the glasses be in the way? 

Fortunately, I have been able to continue camera work without much problem. The Nikon camera can focus automatically; I might not can tell much on the camera without reading glasses, but looking later on the computer I don't see many problems. I noticed taping the commission meeting the other day with the iPhone I needed the reading glasses to tell what was being displayed. (I still have more problems trying to set up and control the tripod I purchased, getting it even and smoothly panning left to right. I do notice tight close ups are losing quality, so it may be more two or three people in the frame more often.) 

Of course, at home or at work, I have to constantly get out the glasses. I now have to have them at bedside in case I want to look at my phone in the night, outside of looking at the time. I did bump up the type one level in font size, which helped some; I can "play trombone" with my arm outstretched and sometimes tell what is said, perhaps as the doctor said I appear to retain a little nearsightedness in one eye, by sheer luck.

But I made it through without much physical discomfort (a little on the second one, from eating too much at lunch the day of surgery, but not for long), and the doctor is very, very pleased with the progress of the healing. So we will see.

I did tell Greg Reed it was a heck of a note. When I got my first glasses in the fifth-grade, I think I had some halfway attractive features as a youth, but I was not really popular with some of the kids - awkward as an only child, I guess. But then I got the glasses, the thick dark frame type that are popular now, but was pretty much glasses you got cheaper then from being on the union plan from Bruno's. Glasses are more fashionable now in general, in fact, and then they were not at all.

I got those glasses and thought they signaled "nerd" to the rest of the world, and pretty much felt my dating life was through before it started. (Judging from the reaction from other women, I was right - and maybe that was true even before the glasses!)

So now, 40-something years later, I find that I am rid of the glasses. But the hair fell out and the pounds and wrinkles piled on. I think this new advantage does me no good on the battlefield of love. Too late, too late...

But I do thank all of you for your good wishes and prayers in my recovery. But if it takes me a minute to text back, you can almost bet I'm fumbling for the glasses.