• Last modified 3762 days ago (April 29, 2009)


I was a 'menace to society'

I have to tell you that the most amazing thing happened to me this past week. The Mister hauled me off to an eye surgery clinic in Wichita on Thursday for cataract surgery. This was not something I thought I might enjoy. It was not even something I thought I might tolerate. But it was something I simply had to do if I was going continue to function as I had for the previous several decades of my life.

I had a cataract blocking my vision — smack in the center of my right eye. I could not see much of anything.

I was no longer competent to be behind the wheel of a car. Not too long ago, I was headed up Nighthawk Road to take material to Marion for the paper and off in the distance I thought I could see a black semi-trailer rig tipped over in the ditch along the road. I slowed down thinking I was the first person on the scene of an accident and I would have to call 911. I picked up my cellular phone, ready to call in the bad news. But as I approached the “semi” in the ditch, I realized it was just a ditch. It was black because the grass in it had been burned. From a distance, it looked to me like a truck had slid off the road and landed between the pavement and the wheat field on the other side. Yikes.

My optometrist told me to park the car after dark because I was (in his own words) “a menace to society.” Well, that is pretty plain, don’t you think? During the day, I was able to see a bit more, but not much. Good grief.

Following surgery Thursday afternoon the wheat fields were green as green could be and the sky was a knock-your-socks-off Kansas blue. I must admit, I had not seen either looking so gorgeous in several years! They had mostly been a foggy blend of beige and gray.

When I went in for an eye exam in early April, I thought I just needed a different prescription. The doctor said, “You have a cataract.” Huh? Who, me? How could that happen? I certainly could not be old enough for THAT! Wrong.

I must admit to being a sissy when it comes to thinking about someone messing around with my eyes. I didn’t think the surgical staff would come at me with a pick and shovel, but even the term “laser” struck fear into my heart.

But, I have to tell you, it was the easiest correction procedure I have ever experienced. It took about 10 minutes. If you have to have it done, go for it. I honestly did not feel a thing. A flu shot is worse. Cataract surgery is easier than getting your teeth cleaned!

I just thought I would pass this along to anyone contemplating the idea. You will be amazed at how green those wheat fields are. And you won’t need a vanity tag that says “Menace”.

— Susan Marshall

Last modified April 29, 2009