Cataract Aftermath



I had cataract surgery on both eyes over the past month, and only now can I finally get back to writing. The actual procedure took only about ten minutes or so, and it was painless. The hard part was figuring out the eye drops.

They gave me three different kinds of eye drops. Two days before the surgery on my right eye, I was instructed to take two of them four times a day, and one of them once a day. Then, about a week after the surgery, I was to stop one of them altogether, and change one of the others to once per day, and the other one to twice per day—for a month. Now, before I finished with those eye drops, they did the surgery on my left eye. So, two days before the second surgery, I had to start putting one of the drops in my left eye once per day and two of them in my left eye four times a day, then quit taking one of them in a week, and change one of the others to once per day and the other to twice a day a week later, while I was still trying to remember what to do with my right eye. I was constantly standing in front of the bathroom mirror shouting “Which is the one I take once?” And my wife, Saint Mary, would re-explain it to me. It was so complicated, I couldn’t help but think the government was involved.

In addition to the eye drops, I was instructed to wear a cover for my eye at night. I guess they thought I would have a bad dream and poke myself in the eye. I thought it would be a really cool black eye patch, like a pirate? It wasn’t. It was just a clear cover and I had to tape it all the way around my eye before bedtime. I looked like that dog in The Little Rascals.

And speaking of dogs, in the middle of this complex, incomprehensible eye drop fiasco, Joe The Dog hurt his eye. He came in the kitchen, pawing his face. I stared at him (as best I could through the eye cover) and his right eye looked all droopy. I told Saint Mary that I didn’t know what he had done. I said it looked like he had poked himself in the eye or something. So that was an expensive trip to the animal clinic, where the veterinarian looked at him, shrugged and said, “I don’t really know what he’s done. Looks like he’s poked himself in the eye or something.” He got paid for saying that.

Joe The Dog was miserable, and we paid an additional fortune for—you guessed it—eye drops. These were to be administered twice a day. That night, Joe lay in his bed and I sat beside him. I had the eye cover taped on, and Joe stared at me. I looked like Spanky and Alfalfa’s dog. He looked like Marty Feldman.

I’m better today. I can see things without my eyeglasses and colors I haven’t seen in twenty years. The eye cover is gone, and I’m down to eye drops twice a day on only one eye. Joe the Dog takes his last eye drops today, and feels much better. I believe we’ll both pull through.

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