Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Sharper Images

This is not quite how I see, but my photo
editing software doesn't blur any worse than this.
Four years ago, I had retina surgery. This is something I don't really like to think about - the idea of someone doing things to my eyes is squick - but it happened, and it kept me from having a far worse surgery, as it turned out.

My regular eye doctor, a lovely man who pays very close attention to things that most regular eye doctors do not, was the one who found the retina irregularity. He also, two years ago, told me that I was developing cataracts on both eyes. 

The right, he said, was far worse, but the left would catch up eventually. And my left eye is my "good" eye, the one that didn't have surgery, that has a much lighter prescription. The eye that's basically doing all the work these days because I needed new glasses after the retina surgery but there didn't seem much point when there was still work to do.

Last year, I thought seriously about getting my cataracts done. I was starting to see vague differences in color between my right and left eyes, and there was  noticeable blur on the right, but that being my "bad" eye, I didn't know if it was the cataract or just my crappy vision.

In December, I finally sucked it up and got a referral to a cataract specialist, and my consultation was on December 30. She did a full exam and referred me to their in-house retina guy to sign off on the previous work. I also had a physical (at an urgent care, because my GP retired years ago and I've been meaning to replace him). So I'm 4 appointments in and nothing's actually happened yet.

The first surgery is Tuesday, January 17, on the right eye, followed a week later by my left eye. The doctor thinks that she can get me to 20% of my current eyeglass prescription, which would be amazing. I'd had no idea that it would actually improve my prescription, but apparently removing that fogged up lens will do that. She wanted to insert a lens that would help with my mild astigmatism, but it's not covered by my health benefits, so we'll do that with glasses instead.

It's not that I'm bargain-shopping my healthcare, but the astigmatism lens would cost $3,000 out of pocket as opposed to completely covered for the standard lens, when it's the exact same procedure and same doctor. That makes as much sense as dental insurance covering root canal but considering a crown to cover the exposed root to be cosmetic dentistry.

But whatever. I can buy a lot of glasses with $3,000. Though right now, all I want is one pair that I can see out of, and maybe a pair or two of prescription sunglasses so I stop staring into the sun like an idiot and doing the same damage all over again.

Here's to 2023 being a year of clarity. Of vision, and everything else.


Eve said...

Karen, you should see a vast improvement in your vision with the cataract surgery. I also have mild astigmatism that the implants did not solve, so I rely on glasses for computer and close work (sewing and reading small characters). Otherwise, no more glasses ! All the best to you !

BetsyV said...

Also to reassure you: My mother-in-law had cataract surgery 2 years ago at age 96. When my husband asked her about getting her new glasses after the procedures, she refused, swore she did not need them at all! This is a woman who had been so nearsighted her whole life that, even with glasses, she was never comfortable driving.

Carol in Denver said...

It is interesting that your vision is challenging yet the font you use on your blog is tiny and somewhat hard to read! So many blogs use a tiny, pale font that sometimes I just give up in frustration trying to read them. Pressing Control/Shift/+ on the keyboard usually helps, though.