The Arsenal

A year ago last November I had cataract surgery for both eyes. I stopped driving a couple of months before that—I couldn’t read street signs. Really, I couldn’t read books and magazines even with my progressive lenses, and watching television was impossible no matter where I sat or angled my head. And all lights had a huge halo around them.

Cataract surgery is the one of the safest, most commonly performed procedures, but that didn’t make me want to go through it, LOL. I’ve been wearing glasses since the fourth grade, with a brief contact lens era in my thirties. I used to be known for my big brown eyes, and in my heyday I wore eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara to emphasize them. Even though I’ve abandoned such gilding of the aging lily, the thought of someone, even a qualified eye surgeon, messing with my eyes was scary.

I’m a very visual person, a lover of art museums and a dabbler in art myself, not to mention I spend all day in front of a computer screen trying to kill people. I don’t mind being a bit hard of hearing; a lot of life can be aurally ignored with no harmful effects, and in fact can be a blessing. But sight is my most precious sense.

I’m happy to report all went well. I can see things in the distance for the first time in decades, but I do have trouble with close vision, even with new progressives. (At the time of the surgery, I could have opted for additional artificial lenses to be inserted at additional expense, but I didn’t.) So I now have an arsenal for the fine print. Both my desktop and my Kindle’s fonts are magically enlarged by the press of a button. My lit magnifying glass makes me feel like a 21st century Lady Sherlock, and I own a necklace that’s as useful as it is pretty. Two mirrors are on call in case I ever want to swipe on some mascara again. As I have an aversion to resembling Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, that is unlikely.

However, magazines remain a problem. I’ve let a couple of subscriptions lapse, because I simply can’t read the articles comfortably. Country Life is still great for my research—I’ve gone full circle from childhood picture books to adult pictorial magazines.

And books? The old librarian in me is appalled, but I totally depend on my reading device since I can jack up the font. Heresy. A student once told me “Books are obsolete.” I wanted to jump over the circulation desk and strangle him, but now I almost see his point. See. Get it?

Don’t worry—I still own a zillion physical books, and even more are in my Kindle Library. What’s your preferred method of reading? Can you part with books once you’ve finished them, or are you a re-reader? Do you have a To-Be-Read pile that could topple over and crush you?

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Arsenal

  1. I had cataract surgery just before the pandemic made having it next to impossible. Got the regular lenses and never regretted it. Much less intrusive than the hearing aids I got several months later. Smaller print isn’t a problem. I still read physical books, hardcover, paperback, picture books to my grandkids. Closing in on having read 300 for the year right now.

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Always read the fine print. And wow you’ve read A LOT of it this year! I just know I’ve spent way too much on Amazon.

  2. susanvaughan says:

    Excellent post, Maggie. You’ve made me feel more comfortable about approaching cataract surgery. Not there yet, the eye doc says, but I’m running into the problems reading that you did. Glad you have your arsenal.

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Like most things, it wasn’t nearly as frightening as I thought it would be. And what a difference!

  3. kaitcarson says:

    I was amazed when I opened my eyes after cataract surgery – the colors I’d been missing! Like you, I opted for the single lenses – actually, my eye doctor recommended that I avoid the reader insert as she told me that close vision would continue to change throughout my life and the lack of readers after surgery would be temporary. I love not needing distance lenses.

    I read Kindle for the convenience of having a library of books in my handbag and for the price. Paper, trade, and hardback are pricy. I do have a TBR pile fed from my independent bookstore purchases and sale items. It has gotten smaller during the pandemic when I have been able to enjoy reading in my living room. Time to re-stock!

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Yes to colors! We moved into our house last July, and I thought I knew what the house next door looked like. Nope, LOL. I was so surprised when I looked out the window to see the paint was completely different than I thought!

  4. Sandra Neily says:

    This was so GREAT! Thank you! Mine should be coming up soon and was nervous. (So much delay because of Covid.) Nice to know about colors. Where can I get that great necklace? (And what do you call it? Great tips on what arsenal will be needed.

    • maggierobinsonwriter says:

      Amazon! It’s a magnifying glass on a long chain, and it was pretty cheap. 🙂 Good luck with your surgery!

Leave a Reply