While living in Connecticut my father was diagnosed with cataracts. Cataract surgery is so often successful I’ve never heard of the operation failing until my dad. He was left with absolutely no vision in his left eye.
I’m not going to get into the attempts to repair the damage. Least it to say they were as difficult as they were unsuccessful.
My dad was left with one working eye. It too had cataracts.
My father’s vision was bad and getting worse and, without a left eye, he had no depth perception or peripheral vision to the left. You can stand next to my dad and unless he hears you he won’t know you’re there.
“You know, you don’t get a discount,” my father said on the phone tonight. He was kidding around about eyeglasses. He only needs one lens. He’s charged for two.
“How about a monocle?” I replied.
With just one working eye he decided to pass on the surgery. Too much risk. Who could blame him?
Over the last few months his one working eye has continued downhill at an accelerating pace.
If you read his Facebook postings or get email from him you can see the misspellings that come with barely being able to make out the screen. He can no longer identify who he’s seeing on TV. He long ago lost the ability to see much less read road signs.
He doesn’t drive and probably shouldn’t even walk in unfamiliar surroundings by himself.
My mom and dad visited their newborn great grandson in Milwaukee recently. My sister watched and was concerned. In essence my dad had become functionally blind. Left alone in an unfamiliar place, like a store, he was helpless.
The cataract surgery he’s put off for the last decade or so has gone from option to necessity. There’s little left to lose. He called the doctor and set up an appointment.
Early tomorrow morning my dad goes for his surgery. The doctor is fully aware of his situation and full of reassurance, but it’s got to be a really scary night for my dad. He’s got everything to lose!
If everything goes as planned he’ll be home by afternoon and seeing within a day or two. He’ll need eyeglasses… err…. an eyeglass but his sight should be back to where it was–probably better– than when this whole thing started a decade ago.
The left eye is lost forever. He’s learned to live with that. It’s the right one that will go under the knife.
At age 84 my dad shakes and quivers. He has trouble hearing. His mind is fully sound.
He deserves to see again.
Please keep him in your thoughts.