Finally, the good news and the bad news about cataract surgery

This is third and final installment in my cataract story.


The good news

More than two months out, my eyes have settled into the new normal. My distance vision is 20/20, and–once I make a trip to the DMV to show off my new eyes—I should be able to have the glasses restriction removed from my license. Yay!

The bad news

My eyes seem to be dryer than before, necessitating the use of artificial tears at least twice a day. But I live in a dry climate, so perhaps this is to be expected.


The good news

My near-point vision improved from needing a 4+ correction to only needing about 2.5 for reading and 1.5 for the computer. I can actually read my Kindle comfortably without glasses now, something that was impossible before. If I needed to, I could easily get by with drugstore cheaters.

The bad news

Going out shopping with reading glasses slung on a chain around my neck and a mask around my ears was another matter. Add sunglasses and earrings and I was always in a mess. Things were forever getting tangled. More than once my hoops or dangles got caught and/or lost. And I hated the on-off-on-off routine. So, the fact that I now needed two pairs of glasses instead of one was not a step forward. As soon as possible, I would go back to one pair of glasses: bifocals with no correction in the top that become sunglasses when I step outside.

The good news

I don’t mind wearing glasses. I consider them a fashion accessory, like jewelry for my face. Besides, the right glasses offer a bit of camouflage and distraction for the wrinkles and crinkles that have become much more noticeable post-surgery. Some days glasses can even substitute for eye makeup.

Furthermore, my excellent vision insurance pays for new glasses every year, so I booked an appointment with my optometrist and my fashion consultant. She had agreed to the job once school was out. You see, my fashion consultant is Olivia, my middle school-age granddaughter, who holds pretty strong opinions. A family trait.

I told her I wanted to look nice, like a cute enough grandma. Not ugly. Not silly or dumb. Certainly, not any older than I am.

I introduced Olivia the optician, who soon began ignoring my responses, in favor of hers. I’m grateful that her honesty is tempered by kindness. I like to think that’s a family trait as well. Olivia’s response to unflattering glasses (or anything she doesn’t like) is, “Interesting.”

After trying on a dozen frames, we agreed on two similar ones. The optician cast the deciding vote. He is a professional, after all. Even more good news, all the features I wanted were covered by my insurance. The new glasses were virtually “free.”

The bad news

The glasses may suit my face and features, but sadly, they do not transform me. I still look like neither like Jamie Lee Curtis nor Meryl Streep.

A final bit of good news.

The cataract surgeries and the new glasses did what they were meant to do, improve how I see, not necessarily how I look. And as always, this cute enough grandma tries to look on the bright side.

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