Cataract Surgery

Update February 2015

I was added to the "rush" waiting list for surgery - partly because I've already waited so long, and partly because my vision has deteriorated to the point where it's almost dangerous to even walk around town by myself. I have difficulty now seeing the street lights at crosswalks; and although I can see cars (sort of) most are really just a blob of colour, and the exact shape is impossible to determine. Seeing people more than 1 or 2 feet from my face is difficult now. I can see a person's shape and size, but can't distinguish who they are. My computer's text is set at 200% and with my face less than a foot from the screen, I can read it too.

Distances are difficult to judge now. I'm always concerned that vehicles or bicycles (when I can see them) are closer than I actually think they are ... plus, I can't determine or judge the speed any longer because the vehicles aren't clear enough to me.

Surgery was already being scheduled for patients well into 2016 - a year away. I was lucky. I got added to a cancellation list, and I have my first schedule cataract surgery on Sept. 21, 2015. They won't do both at the same time, even though I requested it. The second one is scheduled for November 2nd.

Wish me luck!

Update January 2013:

My most recent appointment has shown that the cataracts are now affecting my vision to the
point where my world is pretty much blurry all the time. I have an appointment towards the end of the month to discuss surgery for removal of the cataracts and replacement of the lens. While the surgery is often successful enough that glasses aren’t required, in many cases even if you didn’t need glasses before, you may need them afterwards. Right now, my close-up vision is mostly okay. I can read a book without glasses, but seeing anything more than a few feet away is tougher. I can see a large screen TV fine, but not if I have to read any text on the screen. Right now, I haven’t any idea where my chances of success lay, so I’ll update this again after surgery with more information on the procedure and my own results.

June 2013:

Since the last update I've cancelled my cataract surgery. Not because I don't want or need it (my vision is now deteriorating even more rapidly), but because my husband's health issues have taken precedence over my cataract surgery. From the end of January on he's been stuck in wheelchair unable to walk, then was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, and then lost all movement and control over his hands, arms and upper body.

Nobody's sure why his arms and legs have decided to suddenly take a vacation, but he's been unable to do anything for himself and has been hospitalized since the last week of January 2013 in another city.

December 2013:

Progress is being made, finally. Two surgeries later (first cervical vertebrae, then thoracic vertebrae) and he's in physiotherapy - he's moving with a walker a little. Until he's capable of looking after himself though, and at least preparing our meals during the couple of days of my cataract surgery, the surgery is still put off. His A.L.L. has been in remission since his first chemotherapy treatment, but he's got another 14 months of chemo to complete the treatment. The chemo treatments are apparently the reason for the slow recovery of the nerves in his body (all of which pass through the cervical discs which were badly compressed).

July 2013:

So it looks as though the time has come to finally arrange my own cataract surgery. He's walking with a cane (been out of the chair for several months, and it's relegated to the garage) and he's able to drive again. My eye surgeon is on holidays right now, but his phone number is pinned to the screen of my computer! Updates will continue as I have more to report.

J.Gracey Stinson