The stitch put in during my last cataract surgery was removed today. It is astonishing that a process as delicate as removing a stitch from my eye was so simple and completely painless. But the truly astonishing part is my vision. Snead told me earlier that my surgery hadn’t been “exactly routine.” I don’t think the results are either. I’ve never been able to see with this clarity in my living memory. I thanked Snead again and told him about the comment earlier on this blog describing him as “brilliant, amazing, and considerate.” I know he was pleased, but in his typical fashion said he learned his skill from the surgeon with whom he’d studied. I will miss seeing him occasionally. His gifts as a surgeon as well as his extraordinary sensitivity in understanding the needs of his patients and staff are particularly unusual because these two quite different abilities don’t often come together in the same person. Both have given me a great gift to grow old with.
Afterwards, Peter and I walked around Cambridge with a special buzz today. Students are graduating, explaining the streets and buildings and customs to visiting parents, or inexpertly punting on the river, bumping into the banks, each other and other punts. We stopped by the Fitzwilliam museum to see an exhibit and I luxuriated again in seeing without the pre-surgery blur that turned everything into a version of Impressionism. Then we went out to lunch in a restaurant beside the river, and celebrated the conclusion of the Life Crisis I managed to make of my whole cataract episode. I feel on top of the world.
Of all the surgeries to repair the wear and tear of age, I know that cataract surgery has got to be the light weight in the field and I’ve made a whole meal out of a cracker when it comes to angst over mine. I even managed, a couple of weeks ago, to make a crisis over the operation’s unprecedented success. When I told Snead I had struggled wondering what I’m to do with this new vision, he said “enjoy it.” Quite right.
I suppose it suggests I haven’t quite got the spirit of the thing right yet if I say I’m working on it?