Today is the first day in maybe all of my life that I have been able to see straight with both eyes.
I don't remember having poor vision early in life, but at age 6, I got my first pair of glasses and wore them constantly up until my senior year of college, when I got contact lenses. That was in 1962 and I have used hard or gas-permeable contacts all that time until this week, when miraculous cataract surgery gave me 20/20 vision in both eyes.
It was always just something I coped with---the wetting and cleansing and soaking solutions, the eyelash under the lens, the cloudiness when I'd fall asleep wearing them, the worry about losing one or dislodging one or forgetting to put the plug in the sink before rinsing one off under the faucet.
I felt kinda ugly in my glasses, even when they had cute or colorful frames. My high school graduation picture, taken at age 16, with my swooped-up pointy rhinestoned frames make me look like a young old person. There were times I had to wear my glasses because my eyes had changed enough that the contacts were uncomfortable and couldn't be worn; we weren't able to afford a new prescription right away and anyhow, they might change back. Birth control pills and pregnancy somehow changed the shape of my eyes.
I thought about getting my eyes lazixed, but I would have had to go contact-free for months to allow the corneas to go back to their original shape. So I didn't do that. It was too expensive anyhow.
About 18 months ago, a retinal detachment put me back in glasses for an extended period, which turned out to be not so bad, except that I couldn't see as well in glasses as in contacts. The retina business also caused a bit of a crinkle in my vision, distorting letters slightly, so I figured I was doomed to wear glasses the rest of my life.
But then cataracts intervened, Medicare stepped up to the plate, and voila! I can see. I need reading glasses for close-up work and computer glasses (less magnification) for computer and pulpit (and music stand) work. But that's all.
I wake up in the night and can read the clock without squinting. I can see the shapes of the leaves on the trees. I saw the red sunrise this morning without having to put on glasses or contacts. The colors are beautiful without the film that cataracts impose.
It was easy surgery, fast and painless. I am blessed.