We honor maladies every month of the year, or at least we try to “focus” on them. August is Cataract Awareness Month and June is Hernia Awareness Month. I’m waiting for Cracked Heel Awareness Month.
Lanny missed the official month of cataract awareness and had cataract surgery on his right eye during the month of September, which is really Menopause Awareness Month (Believe me, he was aware of it). He’ll have his left eye done in October, which is Book Awareness Month. Maybe when both eyes are fixed, he’ll be able to read one.
Our home is a “spec” house---Lanny has spectacles hanging, resting, and occupying every empty spot in our 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom house. One pair is tucked in the pen-pencil-scissors bucket in the kitchen and another is straddling the rim of a lead crystal vase in the dining room. I don’t know how he did it, but a different pair of eye glasses is wedged, unscathed, between a throw pillow and the arm of the sofa in the den. He keeps one hooked over the Kleenex box in my office, in case I summon him to read something on my computer screen.
Lanny also rests a pair of glasses in the tray of the treadmill (hasn’t seen them in months) and another beside the keyboard of his computer. And that’s not counting the multiple spectacles in the bedrooms and bathrooms. Amazingly, he can never find a pair, so he asks his half-blind wife (that’s me) what he did with them. I usually find them first . . . just by feeling for them.
His first clue that his eyesight was failing was the night it took him three wrong turns, just to drive from the town square to our house. He admitted: “I wonder when the boys are going to take our car keys away from us.”
His trip to the ophthalmologist revealed cataracts. In part, or perhaps in whole, his aging eyes are due to the fact that his natural lens in his eyes started out clear but became more yellow as he has aged. It’s been so gradual that he didn’t notice that the world was becoming more yellow around him. With cataracts removed, he’ll realize that the yellow will no long block the blue (that’s the way the color wheel works) and, I suppose, things will then seem to have a bluish tint. Depending on how I will look to him, I may have to add a cream-land hue to my eye shadow.
The day of his first cataract removal was uneventful. I sat beside him in the waiting room full of old codgers like ourselves and watched the nurse put drops in his eye that made his pupil grow to the size of a tractor rim. Lanny looked like he meant business. I think the funky identification wristband they put on him was in case they accidentally killed him and then lost his body.
Lanny asked me: “Why are you wearing a long-sleeve shirt over a sleeveless top?”
I answered: “It gets cold in most waiting rooms. Besides, if it gets hot, I can always remove the shirt and turn a few tricks.”
“You’ll need to find a different waiting room.”