THE EYES HAVE IT
You know that old expression, “The ayes have it,” don’t you? Actually, it could be a pretty controversial expression this week, given the debate about the popular vote versus the vote of the Electoral College. But I’m talking about the eyes, as in you cannot be grateful enough for good vision, particularly if you are a writer. Recently I’d noticed that I wasn’t seeing so well, even with my pricey Ralph Lauren faux tortoise-shell frames with navy blue sides. I’d pass exits on the highway and began confusing words. I’d see “promise” as “premise.” A trip to the eye doctor confirmed that my vision had declined and yes, I was a perfect candidate for cataract surgery. Me and five million other baby boomers. Knowing how pricey new glasses are and that they would likely be good for only a year, I signed the consent form and last week I had the left eye done. The second eye will be done two weeks later. The procedure is only momentarily painful, worse than the humility I felt at becoming Miss Daisy, driven by my husband everywhere for a day or two. I can’t say I enjoyed the feeling of being herded through a procession of appointments with my fellow AARP members, but I kept reminding myself not to be a curmudgeon and that the goal was to see better. I warned the students in a law class I teach that I would be a movie star last week, wearing over-sized sunglasses after the surgery to class under the glare of the fluorescent lights. They chuckled politely, but when one student sweetly suggested the class could send their emails in larger fonts, I experienced a combination of appreciation with suppressed indignation. The after-effects of the surgery on the first eye have been minimal. I told my husband that I thought highway driving at night might actually be more enjoyable for everyone if they could see the same illuminated angel wings I witnessed in the place of headlights. Someone shared the experience of thinking she was perfectly back to normal in one day until she poured wine between the two glasses she had placed on the counter. A little embarrassing, inconvenient, but no big deal. The real deal about having cataract surgery is this: You get your eyes back. It is amazing what I am seeing even less than one week later out of that lucky left eye that got to go first. The right eye is jealous, struggling to keep up with the print I can see on labels, the definition of objects, and especially in the words I read and write. I had no idea how much I was struggling. I also didn’t have enough appreciation for the gift of sight. So here’s a toast to the two little orbs sitting above our nose. Eye, eye! Have any of you learned to love your eyes the hard way? P.S. Please excuse any typos in the blog this week, but after that, cut me no slack.