I thought it might be time to give a little update on my vision. Very often, when I greet someone I haven’t seen in a long time, he or she asks “How are your eyes?” I usually reply with a one word answer – “Stable.” My vision has stabilized and I am thrilled about it. I don’t ever want to take my vision for granted, but it’s nice to not have to think every day about what is happening with my eyes.
Since my cataract surgery a year ago, my vision has improved. I can see pretty well at a distance. Actually, I can see very well at the distance of the eye chart at the doctor’s office, since that is where I am corrected. I have worn glasses since my surgery, thin lenses that are very different from the “coke bottle” glasses I wore in high school. I have to have additional magnification to read. I usually put on a pair of strong reading glasses right over my glasses. It looks silly, but it allows me to read most things. Just a couple of weeks ago, I was allowed to try contacts again. It has been surprisingly hard to get used to them. I thought it would be easy since I wore contacts daily for thirty years prior to my surgery. Nope. Itchy and scratchy and teary and crusty for the last two weeks. I always used to see better with my contacts. Now, that’s not the case. But, it is much easier to see to read with my contacts plus reading glasses.
I have blind spots, but my brain has mostly learned to work around them. I am most aware of them when I am watching tv and there are words printed on the screen. I can not read those words because there seem to be “holes” in the letters. I seem to be able to deal with my blind spots. My depth perception still stinks. Thanks to mobility training, I have learned techniques to help me navigate sidewalks safely. I sometimes forget that I have this trouble until I am somewhere unfamiliar and thump down a curb that I hadn’t noticed or trip down a step that looked flat.
One aspect of my vision that has not changed is that I do not see well enough to drive. I have learned to love bus travel, though, and really don’t miss driving all that much. I hate when people feel sorry for me about not being able to drive. I think that I would continue to take the bus even if I were magically able to drive again. It is inexpensive, better for the environment, and very interesting.
My vision is stable and I revel in that every day. I don’t take it for granted. When I visit my retina specialist, he is quick to remind me that my underlying problems are still present and vision deterioration could resume at any time. I try not to think about losing more vision. I have learned to live with my vision the way it is now and I know I could learn to live with it if it deteriorates further. Meanwhile, I am still trying to find beauty underneath the surface appearance of things and seeking grace in my daily life.