I can see clearly now

48 years 7 months 13 days

If anyone is reading this, sorry for the delay. Also, can we talk about how cheesy the title of this entry is? Lets not.

I was born with cataracts. They’re called Posterior Polar Cataracts, and are most likely from some kind of antibiotic or anti-nausea medication that my mom was given during pregnancy. I found out I had them in my late twenties, but I figured I didn’t need to do anything about them. I mean, I could see pretty well — 20/20 for most of my life.

I avoided glasses until I hit my thirties, and even then just needed a light prescription. By the end of 2017, I noticed that in bright light, I couldn’t really see anything. If you have never had one of these cataracts, it is as if you’re looking through a ball of yarn. In fact, in school, all of my diagrams from looking through a microscope looked like a scribble of a tangled ball of string. I thought that’s just what it looked like! I also had a hard time reading because I’d lose track of which line I was reading, because I was looking at a white, reflective page with black letters. The cataracts were, later in life, affecting my work as well, because, as a Software Developer/Computer person, I couldn’t see the monitors well, being lit from behind. Dark mode was my friend (and it still is, just because it’s cool).

I feel like I’m not being clear. In bright light situations, my pupil would contract, as normal, but then my field of vision would be constricted to looking through this…thing. It was like someone standing in front of me, and I tried to look around them, but they kept moving.

By 2017, and after cancelling the surgery once, I rescheduled. My dad was still around at the time, so he drove me to the surgery. I was by far the youngest patient, and he was by far the oldest person there to drive someone home. I had never had surgery before, so I was a little nervous, and I won’t go into the details, but suffice it to say that the staff was super nice and laughed at my jokes. That put me at ease.

It was all a blur, no pun intended. The waiting felt like forever, the surgery felt like about 3 minutes. Apparently I was the only patient who said, “Oh my god, I can see” as soon as they sat me up. I think it was the right eye that was fixed first, and I’d return in a couple of weeks to get the left eye done, but I couldn’t believe what had happened to me. My whole life, even those times that I thought I could see, I really couldn’t see. I would walk around the neighborhood (with the glaucoma sunglasses they gave me to wear) and be fascinated by leaves. Before the surgery, leaves were just clumps of greenish-brownish stuff on trees. Now, I could count individual leaves, see them move – and it moved me to tears a couple of times.

This entry is short, and banal, I feel, and cliché in that the above made me think what other things am I looking through, metaphorically of course. This was really the impetus of me burning everything to the ground.

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