Whenever I see someone with impaired vision, I feel grateful that I can see. My eyes used to be so good that I was by far the last person in my peer group who needed glasses to read the telephone book. But they're not so good any more. Particularly at night.
In my house, I am the night driver and the night bicyclist because Peter has suffered from glaucoma for quite some time. This winter the dark seemed to bother me more, when I drove and when I tried to avoid potholes riding my bike home from work. So in my annual eye checkup last month, I discussed having my not-so-bad, but pretty-bad cataracts removed. The doctor referred me to an eye surgeon who asked me one question. How have your cataracts affected your quality of life?
When I told her that I am the night driver, that I still work and that we have an active social life, she did not hesitate before agreeing that we should remove them surgically. She told me that times have changed since "Granny just sat around the fireplace telling stories when her eyes went." These days, people are active later, and they should have the opportunity to enjoy greater freedom, including better vision. It sounded right to me, and we scheduled the surgery for next month. The surgery is a piece of cake—it's what you have to do after that isn't so easy. Me not read or watch TV or be on my computer for three days? Me not lift weights for three weeks or fly for a month after each eye is done?
We do what we have to do. And I for one am happy to do this.