Monday, September 28, 2009

The Next "Thing" is Here: Cataracts

Yeah, just picture me: Knee-high hose with orthopedic old lady shoes, gray cardigan buttoned wrong and - drumroll - those square disposable sunglasses covering my eyes plus nearly one-third of my face. Pretty!

But seriously... I just returned from an appointment with my opthamologist, whom I must see annually now due to transplant medication and diabetes (one of my post-transplant annual doctor visits). In the 18 months since I last saw her my vision overall is maybe a little improved (!) but I have a cataract developing in my right eye. Oh, fabulous!

The doc saw nothing at my last appointment, so this is a new condition. I brought home a brochure and will read up on cataracts, about which I know virtually nothing. What I thought I knew was that cataracts usually belong to the world of the elderly and surgery is required to remove them. Sure, I turned 50 a couple of months ago and while that made me eligible for AARP, I never imagined that it made me eligible for cataracts. It's an insult, frankly.

Apparently, my "poorly controlled" diabetes is probably the culprit here. The doc said that the cataract's growth is hard to predict: It could fully cover the lens in six months or six years. But she said not to worry, telling me "You'll know when it's a problem because you'll have trouble seeing and your vision will be cloudy all the time, no matter what you do. I won't have to tell you because you'll call me complaining about it."

So, I'm off to learn about cataracts. As soon as my eyes return to normal, that is - my pupils are still quite dialated at this point. Guess I'll wait until I can take off my new sunglasses.

Photo by Jacob Power

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