Bionic Eye

For some months now I’ve been cleaning a spot off my glasses that doesn’t want to budge. I try squinting—no, that doesn’t work either. Perhaps, the OH suggests, you should see the optometrist. Know all.

A week later I am diagnosed with a cataract and referred to a specialist who recommends a lens implant. I have worn glasses for myopia since my early teens and the lens implant will also (allegedly) correct my short-sightedness, allowing me to be glasses free for the first time in memory. I am not convinced.

The staff at the facility are very helpful and considerate—with the exception of the receptionist who has a face like a cat’s bum. Well, not really like a cat’s bum, but she has that pursed, sour expression, and an attitude that goes with it. She takes my file then hands it back to me almost immediately ‘it’s next door for the booking—we are only diagnostic.’ Well I knew that Missy. The fact that there is a huge sign saying ‘Diagnostic’ over the desk is a dead give-away. I slink away; file clutched to my chest, and enter the surgical area.

A week later I’m back for the surgery. I make my way slowly to the desk, and sure enough it’s Cat’s Bum. Does the woman never leave? And would it kill her to smile? Well, apparently it would—she purses her lips even harder and squints (squints!) at my file. ‘Through there’, and she points to door marked Procedures. Now I’m not generally one to fret but a door marked Procedures seems ominous—especially when someone is going to poke about and stick needles in your eye.

A nurse comes along and we have a nice little chat, and she sticks a large coloured dot over my left eye; ‘wouldn’t want to do the wrong one now would we’. I have no answer to that. Fifteen minutes later I’m strapped to a gurney while a very nice anaesthetist chats away, and once we discover we’re both dog lovers we’re firm friends. At least I hope we are as she’s the one with the needle.

A mild sedative is inserted into the back of the hand so we’re all happily in the twilight zone by the time the needle approaches. Some patients sleep through the entire procedure while others drift awake part way through. As a drifter the only sensation felt was the pressure of the surgeon’s hand on my forehead and water running down the left side of my face.

Then it’s drapes off, wheeled out, and up you get. The actual procedure takes about 30 minutes.

Results can be amazing.

In my case I tossed the glasses within 48 hours—it was a liberating moment!

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