By Michael Nettleton
Wednesday, I willingly let another human being cut open my eyeball. Okay, okay he was a doctor and all, but still, the prospect terrified me. Being basically a major chicken, I had visions of all kinds of dreadful things happening including: excruciating pain, double, no triple vision, total blindness, (even though he only operated on one eye) and sudden death.
The bandage came off today (For 24 hours or so, I looked like some kind of hapless pirate wannabe).
If you receive a diagnosis of cataracts in one or both eyes, don’t panic. The operation is fast, painless and quite routine. Dr. Kim, the wizard who choreographed mine through Vancouver Eye Clinic’s surgical facility, has performed so many of these, and can whip them out so fast, they’re considering opening a drive-up window. Then, you could also get fries and a large cola to accompany it. (Disclaimer for the terminally gullible. I made that up.)
They use the twilight anesthesia, so all I remember about the procedure is the friendly nurse saying they were going to hook up the IV, a series of flashing lights, the low murmur of voices and my wife telling me it was time to go home. (All of this is not unlike my memories of the years 1967-1972)
The nurses reassured me that I was a good patient and even told several jokes while Dr. Kim worked his magic. I have no memory of it. I hope I didn’t mess up the punch line.
Weird as it may sound, I look forward to a diagnosis of milky eyeball (cataracts) in my right eye, so I can have it corrected and leave the contact lenses behind forever. I will have traveled from that coke-bottle lens bespectacled little boy, to my destination as a clear-visioned, sharp-as-a-tack, lean-bodied senior citizen. (For the terminally gullible, I made the sharp-as-a-tack, lean-bodied part up, too). What a long, strange, fuzzy trip it’s been.
This all plays into my master plan to live forever. So far, so good.