Family Fog

I remember how sad I was when my Grandpa developed cataracts in the 1950s. His world got cloudy and blurry and then totally dark. He lived for 10 years this way.

And so it has come to pass for me – something I expected and now it’s here. My family has a history of cataract disease – my Grandpa, uncle Rocky, my Mother, and my Sister have had a bout of it. Now it’s my turn. But times have changed, thank God.

  • When Grandpa had the problem in the 1950s his case was hopeless. Inoperable. He could not have survived a 48 hour stretch of immobility in bed, his head restrained in a bunch of sandbags. Not in his 80s. So he went blind as so many other generations before him went blind.
  • My Uncle faced a serious operation in the 1970s but he made out alright. They removed the cataracts and his lenses and he lived the rest of his life with Coke-bottle glasses. But he could see.
  • By the time my Mother had this operation in the 1990s it was still surgery with stitches but they could put in a replacement lens. She had to be careful for a while but she was fine.
  • My Sister had her eyes fixed a couple of years ago with a pair of day surgery visits. That’s what I hope is in store for me. I don’t want my grandkids to worry the way I did about my Grandpa.

I had my consultation with the eye doctor this week. he asked me to describe my situation.

“Difficulty with reading road signs. Can’t drive at night. Glare bothers me.”

He chuckled. “An impressive list of symptoms.”

After he looked in my eyes with a bunch of bright lights he said: “Yep. You have cataracts all right.” No kidding, Sherlock.

Bottom line, I’m heading in on Nov. 7 to get my left eye fixed. If that works my right eye follows a month later.

I didn’t go for the deluxe Toric lenses. That may have corrected my distance vision but I would still need glasses to read. Instead I went for a minor upgrade (Tecnis lenses) to give me better contrast in night driving. Up here you need all the night vision you can get with deer all over the place. I’ll still have to wear glasses to drive a car, but after 30 years I don’t care anyway.

So that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.




Published by Ray MacDonald

Ray MacDonald is a retired food scientist who lives in Almonte, ON.
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