Tuesday, 6 December 2022

I spy with my little eye

Today would have been my second eye operation, but my tumble to the pavement ten days ago has pushed the procedure into late January.

Never mind.  Having just one eye done has made a significant difference.

I was just reading my journal entry from six weeks ago.  It sounds euphoric, to say the least:

Oh. My. God. I CAN SEE.

Today was my first post-operative visit to Moka House.  In the pre-dawn light, I peered into the lit windows of the buildings I passed: lamps and shelves and wallpaper.  In the arch of trees, I could see branches, leaves.

Walking by a man at the bus stop, whose figure stood out in clear relief.  He stared into nothingness, listening to whatever was in his white earbuds.  He didn't appear to notice me, but, by golly, I could see him: his side profile, the strands of his blond hair.

I stopped at the bottom of the steps leading into the coffeehouse patio, taking in the individual bulbs in the string of lights.  I entered and could actually see the baked goods, and read the menu on the chalkboard.  For the first time in over a year, I read the posted clip of the day's horoscope by the pick-up station.

There's a beautiful, small, dark painting on the wall opposite me.  I've never noticed it before.  The other paintings are clear and colourful, not impressionistic at all.

And this was long after the Ativan wore off.  On the morning of my operation, I was offered medication, as I sat in a recliner in the waiting room, my eye full of various preparatory drops.  I told the nurse that giving birth twice has taught me to accept any drugs offered before a procedure.

"Fair," he said, cheerfully, giving me the tiny pill to pop under my tongue.  A fair bit later, I was gingerly positioning myself on the narrow operating bed, and the doctor pressed a kind of white gel pack to my eye, through which he opened a hole.

And all I could see was a kaleidoscope of brilliant oozy smears of light, blobs that changed colour from magenta to royal blue to poison green.  It reminded of the "Stargate" bit from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Thank goodness they were playing a classical guitar piece, and not the weird music from that part of the film -- or the rather clubby, thumpy stuff which was on when I came in.

I was told to focus on the farthest left of a cluster of three brilliant orbs, and I held my breath, then forced myself to breathe slowly, trying to relax my hands, under the blanket which firmly swaddled me to the stretcher.

It was a short procedure which seemed to take forever.

I had no trouble rising and walking on my own back to recovery.  Yes, I could see, but nothing dramatic.  At home my operated eye was cloudy, but nowhere near as bad as it has been for the past year.

It was early the next morning en route to the first operative check that I noticed I could read signs out the taxi window.  After the appointment, we elected to take transit, and the Resident Fan Boy commented on an approaching bus, several blocks away.  Without thinking, I told him it was a "Not in Service", then realized the significance of what I'd just said.

On another bus, which was in service, I gazed at the faces around me, the braids of the girl ahead of me, the couple bent over their phones, the details of the design on the ancient seat upholstery.

By evening, the images on the big screen television - purchased because I could barely make out things on the smaller screen of our old TV - were vibrant and clear.
"They always were, " said the Resident Fan Boy.
"Shut up," I told him.

By bedtime, I realized I could read books again.  I could make out what I'd written in my journals.

My mocha is topped with bubbles edged in brown, I noted in my current journal, my first morning back in the coffeeshop.  The croissant is made up of crisp crumbs and flakes.  I can see.

I can wait for my other eye.  When I close my new "good eye", the old "good eye" reminds me of what was.  For now.

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