Susan Speaks: Been Awhile


I’ve heard from a couple people now that they’ve been looking for updates from me. What’s going on, they’re asking. How’s the eye?

I have no idea.

It’s in my head, it’s working. (And now that I think about it, having been through a severe eye injury, I don’t buy TWD’s season premiere, and you who watch know what I mean, but it made for a grand, romantic gesture, so I’ll shut up now.)

But the cataract is big and fat. And slurping down whatever it needs to get bigger and fatter by the day.

Every time it grows, I have less and less of an idea of how the original injury is healing. I have zero idea at this point how much vision I truly have, if the ripples on the retina have smoothed out as they seemed to be doing. Nothing. I have zero concept of what my vision is behind Fatso the Cataract.

The second surgeon was able to make time for me… in a month from now. So it’ll be six weeks between the time the appointment was made and when I see the guy. And who knows how long before the surgery.

But in the six weeks between the last time I was at the optometrist and the original surgeon, I lost a line on the eye chart. Doesn’t sound too terrible, but stop and think for a minute.

Forty-three weeks ago, I was faced with horror of losing my sight. And let me tell you, it’s a horror.

And here I am, losing sight.

This isn’t a comfortable place to be. Not even close.

Needless to say, life’s getting tough. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to work; I may have to switch out of my home office and my big screen on the desktop and work on the laptop for awhile. Strangely, the smaller screen is easier to see (maybe because I sit closer to it and even when standing at my desk, I’m not as close). For someone who freelances, and who is still down in income from the original accident, this is a problem, and not just because I am expecting five or six manuscripts to show up between now and whenever they arrive.

And driving? Ugh. Unfamiliar places after dark proved to be a poor option last weekend, even with GPS directions.

I am leaving messages for the second surgeon every week. Let me tell you this: when they send out that survey asking what I think, these people are being marked as horrible. I mean, I totally GET that they are doing me a favor by finding me an appointment in this calendar year. My original surgeon’s office had to call in a favor. I get it. I do. I should be grateful. I am.

But surely people cancel appointments, and surely they keep a list of people who need to get in sooner. And surely they can call me.

Because by the time the appointment comes, it’s going to be in an unfamiliar place. During the day, sure. But unfamiliar. And I may not be able to do it by myself.

So that’s how I am. Heading to end 2016 the way I began it: worried about my vision. Because as routine as a cataract removal is, mine won’t be. You can’t take an eye that’s been through as much as mine has been and expect even something simple to not have a chance to go sideways. That’s why I am stuck with this one particular surgeon: he operates on the same day as my guy, in the same hospital. If the original guy needs to come save my eye and/or my vision again, he needs to be right there.

Aren’t you glad you asked?


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