Sunday, August 7, 2022

A much clearer view.


Lynne Cantwell 2022
So the cataract surgery -- for both eyes -- is in the rear-view mirror. And as you can see from the photo above, which approximates the post-surgery view from my right eye, it went pretty darned fabulously well.

I had a fair amount of anxiety about the procedure ahead of time, given that somebody was going to be, y'know, cutting open my eye. But when I asked friends who'd been through it what to expect, they mostly just said, "You'll love it!" Which didn't really answer my questions. So I thought I'd write a post about my experience while it's all still fresh in my mind, so that I can refer other folks to it later.

I had my surgeries pretty close together -- July 20th for the right (worst) eye and July 25th for the left eye. Usually the procedures are scheduled at least two weeks apart, but my original surgeon ended up needing surgery and so I was rescheduled with a different surgeon whose calendar then had to be worked around. The shorter time frame between eyes didn't seem to make a difference.

The information sheet I received before the first surgery said, in part, "You will be able to see out of the operative eye during the first 1-2 weeks of healing, but your vision may be blurred throughout this period of adjustment." I'll be able to "see", huh? What, specifically, does that mean? Well, here's what it meant for me: 

At the post-op appointment the day after the first surgery, I had 20/50 vision in my right eye. Everything was brighter; I felt a little like I was in one of those old laundry soap ads where your whites are whiter and your colors are brighter. Best of all, the cataract that had been clouding my vision was gone, so I could see things at a distance with startling clarity. And I had my depth perception back, which was really nice.

They took the right lens out of my old glasses, so I kept wearing them -- and I kept relying on the reading-glasses part of my bifocal lens for close-up vision. Here's a thing that is probably obvious to opthalmologists but wasn't to me: our brains are remarkably adept at relying on one eye when the vision in the other eye goes screwy. I had basically been relying on my left eye for months, and that continued to be the case after the first surgery.

Then I had the second surgery, which also went well. At the post-op appointment on the day after the second surgery, I had 20/40 vision in the left eye and almost 20/15 vision in the right eye. I was cleared to drive -- yay! 

Here is the annoying part, though: I am constantly switching glasses back and forth. I bought a couple of pairs of reading glasses before the second surgery, and I find myself wearing them around the house, so my vision is still blurry a lot of the time -- it's just that now it's my fault. Also, I really miss my photogrey (a.k.a. Transition) lenses, which I've worn for the past several decades. I'm required to wear sunglasses outside post-surgery for about four weeks total, so I still need glasses to drive -- it's just that they're sunglasses. Plus any time I need to see a price tag or a menu, I need to swap the sunglasses for reading glasses, or put the sunglasses over the reading glasses, and keep track of them all, and well. It's annoying, that's all. 

The final thing the info sheet warned about: "After your eye heals, you may need to wear glasses for your best vision." The vast majority of folks will need reading glasses -- your original lenses probably didn't focus close-up as well as they did when you were a kid, but the new equipment doesn't change focus at all. And for those of us with astigmatism, the new lenses may not compensate for it. Replacement lenses for astigmatism do exist, but my insurance wouldn't pay for them. So for my best vision, I will need to wear glasses.

But that's actually good news! Because once I have my final appointment in a couple of weeks, I can get a new pair of bifocals with photogrey lenses. I'll be able to ditch the sunglasses and reading glasses, and go back to having one pair of glasses that rules them all. 

And unless something goes really screwy with my vision later on, I'll never need a different prescription for glasses again. Now that's something to look forward to.

These moments of bloggy clarity have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed and boosted!

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Still taking a break.

 As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I'm out this week. See you back here next Sunday, August 7th.


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Taking a break.

 As I mentioned last week, I'm out this week and next. See you back here on Sunday, August 7th.

Sunday, July 17, 2022

Through a lens blurrily.

So for starters, I wanted to let y'all know that I'm going to be taking a blogging break for the next couple of weeks. I'm having cataract surgery on my right eye on Wednesday and on my left eye next week, and I don't know whether I'll be able to see well enough to write a post either next Sunday or the Sunday after that. 

This picture approximates what I'm seeing out of my right eye (the blurriness, not the crosshatching or other imperfections) right now.

As you can imagine, I'm pretty anxious to get this done.

I anticipate I'll get back to blogging Sunday, August 7th. If things don't go as planned for some reason, I'll put up a short post on the 7th to let you know.


So to while away the time until I can see properly again, I've been watching A Discovery of Witches. The book was recommended to me many years ago, and the show has been recommended to me since then, so I figured I ought to give it a try.

I have so many problems with this show.

For starters, hereditary witches aren't a real thing in our world; witches are simply humans who practice magic. The magic they've been doing in the show so far (I'm about halfway through season two) is pretty well divorced from reality, too. I can maybe see using five candles (for the points of a pentagram?) instead of four (for the cardinal directions) when you cast a circle. But why is Aunt Em not inside the circle herself? Casting a circle puts up a magical barrier, creating a safe space in which to work. It makes no sense to cast a circle that leaves the magic wielder outside it, and therefore vulnerable to interference. Besides, magic almost never results in the sort of special effects that you see in these sorts of shows. Rarely do you get whizbang pyrotechnics. At best, a spell will nudge something or someone toward the outcome the magician desires. 

To be honest, these kinds of depictions of magic set up unrealistic expectations, both for would-be magicians and for regular folks. When the "powers" on display in TV shows are so outlandish, it makes it difficult for newbies to tell whether their spell worked -- and easy for doubters to dismiss magic entirely.

Second, how can there be only three categories of "creatures" in the world? Vampires, but no werewolves? Demons, but no ghosts? No chupacabra? No La Llorona? There are so many different types of magical beings in folklore, but this series has, for some reason, narrowed them to just three.

Leaving aside all that: The main character is Diana Bishop, a normal young woman who eventually twigs to the fact that she's a powerful witch whose natural magical ability has somehow been suppressed. Regardless of her powers (or lack of same), though, she's still just a babe who needs to be protected; her favorite vampire, Matthew, is constantly trying to "keep her safe," no matter how many times she tells him to knock it off and no matter how many times she proves that she can take care of herself. It's such a tired trope that I've been about to hurl something through my TV screen multiple times.

And yet, as you so rightly observe, I continue to watch the show. 

I guess I'm invested at this point. I want to see how it all turns out. So I guess on that level at least, A Discovery of Witches works. Just don't expect to learn anything about magic from watching it.


These moments of blurry blogginess have been brought to you, as a public service, by Lynne Cantwell. Get vaxxed and boosted! See you back here in two weeks!