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Kiddo with Cataracts

By Belinda

I noticed increasing blurriness in my right eye about 6 months ago. I figured I just needed to get my eyes tested at first, but gradually realized it was more than that. Looking through that eye is like looking through a dirty window. I mentioned it to the doctor when I went for my physical in November. He shone a light in the eye and pronounced, "That looks like a cataract."

On one level I was relieved because it could have been much worse but on the other hand, well, I wasn't quite ready for cataracts.

I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist and he confirmed the diagnosis. He said he'd connect me with the surgeon right away.

"Don't I have to wait for it to get to a certain point?" I asked. I had heard about cataracts having to "ripen," like cheese or something.

He laughed at me. "It's pretty bad," he said, "You are a tough woman. This has seriously compromised your life, though you probably don't realize it."

I had my appointment with the eye surgeon and he wants to take very specific measurements (that's good with me!) which means I have to go without the contact lenses that I normally wear for three weeks prior to the test on February 4. This is fine except none of the three pairs of glasses that I own really work very well.  I've been wearing them and they help for distance, but close up work and paperwork is blurry and a strain. I've tried wearing just one contact in the other eye (it has a cataract too, but isn't affected by it yet.) That helps me see fine close up but distance is a blur. Oh my, I am looking forward to May when the surgery will be scheduled.

Meanwhile, I am surviving and trying not to mind the occasional teasing of friends and family and remembering to be grateful that surgery is coming up and excited that I may need no corrective lenses at all for that eye after it is done. Clear vision is something we take for granted when we have it. I will appreciate it so much when I get it again!

But today after several hours of squinting at paperwork and feeling old and tired, it was so nice to come home and find a cheery email from a friend who is younger than me, but with the subject line, "Yo Kiddo!"

Yes, I may have a cataract or two but I am "Kiddo" to somebody and that feels like a good thing right now! Thanks Dave. :)

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