Piff, Pafff, Pöffff …

Some hours ago a colleague stopped my vehicle at the local supermarket. I clambered out, we said goodbyes, wished us mutually the best for times to come. He drove away, I visited the supermarket, and finally went home.

On Monday afternoon I felt anxious, and when I pushed open the door to my ophthalmologist my stomach knotted itself. I was on time, they were friendly, I knew that the starting examination would be a “moment of truth”, the result did not disappoint : It was worse than I expected.
When I finally sat opposite her, she asked “And, how is it ?”, only to answer the question herself : “It is really bad.” I had noticed some months ago that reading started to became difficult. So I did what any normal person does, I switched the screen setting from 100 to 110 %. Not a real solution.
When driving started seriously again, I asked for an appointment with my eye doctor, but had to wait for nearly two months, until last Monday. The Graue Star / “grey star” / cataract (as my dictionary calls it) in my right eye has become seriously bad, so that an operation is unavoidable. The degradation can’t be glossed over with glasses any more. I have to admit that I did not want to face this reality, I drove again on Tuesday morning. After this I realised that I am just an accident in waiting, and finally did the right thing : Ask for a sick note & accept the next possible date for a procedure.
My dispatcher was not happy, especially in the actual situation when people for this job are in demand (they even can’t give me a co-driver for months, I see a lot of new faces around), but here we go. What would be the alternative ?
The risk is not acceptable, and the best accident is the one you avoid, so no more driving for me. He amazingly pulled out of his pocket a colleague from another department, and asked me to train him on this route. All good, as long as I would not touch the wheel while kids on board. This was fine with me, and over the last days I was co-driving and explaining. I wish my successor (or stand-in) all the best.
The operation itself is nothing dramatic, I am just a big pansy. The idea that someone will use a knife to cut into my eye freaks me out. Of course I “know” that it is a standard procedure, done a thousands of times any given day, with a minimised risk, and a quasi guaranteed good result. Nevertheless, it is a cut into my eye, and I have to suppress any thought of The Andalusian Dog – no links here, bucket please …
I see it as a chance to find something else, to change things. The roadmap is clear. I have to collect all necessary papers & go for examinations before the given date (7th of December) ; I have to get myself into a state of cool-calm-collected-acceptance. The result of this (first) procedure will determine what follows, under some circumstances a second procedure (on the other eye) may be unavoidable. There will be time for recovery. I will have to get this driving job out of “my system”, and ask meself what i want to do, how to soldier on. It may be time for a hard look into the mirror. I know that i always can return to The Knights, and just keep on doing what I did for a living over the last years.
Tonight I can’t answer this, I even can’t pronounce the questions correctly. It was good to be with the kids this afternoon, and I am glad and thankful that I am not responsible for them any more, for their transport.
Anything else will appear.

14 thoughts on “Piff, Pafff, Pöffff …

  1. I wish you well, dear friend, and I’m happy you’re doing the right thing. I understand the anxiety, but we both know the truth and reality are never as scary as our own thoughts/feelings. I’ll email you soon. xoxox

  2. Thank You very much Dianhmow – I feel embraced.

    Yes, you are right – the things we imagine are always muchmuch worse than what actually happens. It will be all fine, I am sure, I want to believe, aaarrrggghh …. I just have to om meself in this state of mind, then all will be fine Savannah ….

  3. I had to have cataracts removed from both eyes when I was 30. The youngest person the Doctors had even seen. It seemed I had the eyes of an 80yo. It is a short procedure and I find waiting for something is always the hardest part because we drive ourselves crazy thinking about all that can go wrong. Remind yourself to breathe. Focus on something calming to think about. One skill for survival is projecting what you will do after the event. In this case surgery. Maybe you could give yourself a favorite meal to look forward to eating for dinner that night. Hugs to you, my friend!

  4. My doctor explained that people can stay conscious while operated on – the idea alone nearly let me fall off that chair. Reminded me of a heart examination via an inserted catheder, when the guy said “When you turn your head to the left you can watch it on the screen”. I screamed “NO !” and asked for the sound turned off.
    Anyway, I will use any drug they can offer.
    As I understand you Melanie – it all went well, you can read, drive a car, use an aeroplane or a high-velocity-train – in short : No restrictions. *trembling* yes ?

    If all goes well I will need remarkably “weaker” lenses, what also means less weight. Possibly less “tired eyes”. Of course it has advantages, and these do tower over the alternative (doing nothing) what would result in the loss of sight on one eye, which is simply not acceptable. Again – I know. I have to reach the right state of mind, dearest Scarlet. Similar to the situation some years ago when the eye was operated on for the first time.

  5. If it’s any consolation, I know two people who have had this surgery and it went well, and it improved their vision. However, I understand your trepidation. I would feel the same. Hugs to you.

  6. Oh goodness, I’m sorry to have to face this at your young age. At my last eye examination, I was told I have the start of cataracts but it’ll be a few years yet before they’re a problem.
    When I had to have my first hip operation, I was very anxious and frightened about it but, in the last week before it was done, I somehow managed to turn the adrenaline into excitement and to anticipate the wonderful day when i would be completely recovered. It did work – I suppose it has to do with the fight or flight response. I hope you will be able to focus on the benefits.

    I have a lot of (mostly older) friends who have had their cataracts operated on. Two or three, out of many people, were not totally successful and needed a second operation, which worked. Not one failed. Everyone was glad to have had it done.

  7. Thank you for dropping by, dearest Z. Yes, the right state of mind is instrumental.
    My eye doctor explained that there are two aftertreatments possible, done with a laser. But the need for these procedures occurs seldom.
    She also explained to me that the blurring, or opacification (“Trübung”) of the lens is an unavoidable, naturally occurring process. Of course it is highly individualistic – Melanie needed to be operated at thirty, others have no problem for their whole life.

  8. There’s something so intimate in some sense, about someone taking surgical instruments to the *eye*. It’s too “close”, not like a leg or a finger. I would be just as nervous if not more so Mr M, but there’s some sensible advice in the comments already and we will all be willing you through to a more clear-sighted future. All the best

  9. Thank you Looby – yes it definitely is intimate, and unwanted. An intrusion in the clearest sense of the word. I just need to control my panic and all will be fine. As You say, the future will be clear-sighted, less fog, less headaches.

  10. Yikes, I feel for you, Mago!

    I had an aunt who had cataracts and refused to have them operated on for a good twenty years. Then her husband died and, because she kept hurting herself trying to negotiate her apartment, we told her she’d have to go into a home for barmy old women if she didn’t get her eyes done. So she had them done. I’ve never known an adult so delighted with the world as she was when she could see again. She hadn’t realised that newspapers were using colour, it had been that long since she could see properly. She could read again. She could see things she hadn’t seen for years. She was faintly horrified at how old she looked in the mirror, and shocked by how old we all looked, no longer the teenagers she remembered. The best thing was her joy at seeing colours, she loved orange.

    All my fingers and toes will be crossed for you on 7 December.

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