Cataract Surgery: Phase One

Well, I’ve put this off as long as I could. For a number of years before the new drugs were discovered, I had to take prednisone for RA. Prednisone is one of those mixed blessing drugs. It works miracles, but with a price. My price is cataracts. Over the past year, they’ve gotten much worse, so this Wednesday I’ll have my left eye done and two weeks later, the right eye. I am honestly looking forward to this surgery and the improved vision that should follow, but wow. When one is as myopic as I am, there are mega challenges with this whole process.
For example, after surgery number 1, when my left eye is much improved (I’ll never reach 20/20, but will definitely be better than the 20/million or so I am now), how will I see to drive/read/work at the computer? Great question! The possible solution is to wear a contact in my right eye until the surgery on the right eye. So today I started wearing the right eye contact so that I can begin building wearing time. But this means that for four hours today, I can see with my right eye but not my left. I can drive okay–just tested that. Actually, it went quite well. But although I have three different strength reading glasses to play with, I cannot see the computer well at all. I can tell the next month will be a challenge! I’ve set the font options to “gigantic,” but even that is not much help.
Now that I’ve griped, I’d like to add that I feel incredibly blessed to see as well as I do. There are many people not as fortunate, and I know that in a month or so, I’ll be doing much better. Until then, bear with my typos, please!


  1. brenda on July 21, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    D. Good luck. I wear contacts and have since I was l7 years old. Because of my strokes and age, my sight is not great…I wear soft lenses now-disposable…for distance. I carry cheap little reading glasses for when I read…type…teach…and then at night, I wear my bifocals.
    I have a cataract on each eye. They are not bad enough ????? for surgery, but I surely have trouble seeing. My husband had the surgery 2 years ago-on each eye-and now only needs glasses for reading. I am going to have it as soon as they are “BAD” enough for insurance to pay. It seems to me that almost everyone we know in our age group (I am 59 and my husband 69) is having this surgery. Supposed to prevent cataracts: Sunglasses…sorry…but I have worn sunglasses all my life…sensitive eyes.
    Good luck again…will be thinking of you…

  2. brenda on July 21, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    D.-as you can see…even though I hit send comments once-it is doing it two times again.
    This does not happen on other websites…I’m not sure what is going on.
    Rec. your books to a couple of people today in a little bookstore in Lake Placid…

  3. Diane Chamberlain on July 21, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Thanks Brenda, for the encouragement and for recommending my books.
    I don’t know why your posts come in as duplicates, but it’s no big deal–I can delete the extras on my end.
    Good luck to your son tomorrow.

  4. brenda on July 22, 2007 at 6:58 am

    Ironman update. We were up at 4:00 A.M. My son left at 5:00A.M. I am vegging in the room. Just heard the National Anthem and I see the helicopter over the lake. The pro women have started–even in marathons, the women go first. (Doesn’t matter as the electronic chips give the time.)
    The regular swimmers begin at 7:00…I am watching from the balcony, but it wouldn’t matter as it is too difficult to determine which is my son. After the swim, he transitions to the bike and that is over l00 miles, and then he gets to the part he likes the best-the marathon run. The reason I prefer marathons (instead of Ironman, Triathalon) is that I can go to the last mile and stand until he finishes-I get to see the world pros, and my son. His goal: Marathon: beat his time-he always does…Triathalon-beat time which he does. This is his first NY Ironman-so his goal is TO FINISH… πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ It is in the 60’s and the water is freezing…that slows them down, however, on the good side, unlike Mem. weekend when he did Triathalon in the 90 degrees, it is better-no rain so far.
    You should see the folks walking (even little ones) to watch this. I will go up to the finish this evening. When we are in NYC, I go up and am there at the very beginning…not here with the bike part.
    Believe this ladies-there is a 70 year old man and his wife (late 60’s) in this Ironman-the oldest Ironman in America-and every state but one is represented.
    Unbelievable-a child of mine in such good shape when I started with arthritis at 26…will keep you updated.

  5. Diane Chamberlain on July 22, 2007 at 9:58 am

    “A Child of Mine; Ironman”
    It would make a great newspaper or magazine article, Brenda. Like you need more to do, right?
    It must be incredible thinking about him as he’s swimming, biking and running. I hope he reaches his goals. I’m stuck, though, on the 60 degree water. I wouldn’t put my toe in.

  6. Julie on July 22, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    Ooh, are you having the new cataract surgery where they implant the lenses that not only replace your cloudy one, but correct your vision? How great, if so! I used to work for Alcon and they developed one of those nifty new lenses–the Acrysof Restor. One of these days we’ll all be wanting the surgery just to correct our vision, even without cataracts, because you won’t have to wear contacts or glasses, and people who aren’t candidates for Lasix will be able to do this (like me!). Sounds like Brenda is at this point–where it’s still “elective.”
    I guess your other option is if you wear glasses now, you could pop one of the lenses out! Might look kinda funny though…

  7. Diane Chamberlain on July 22, 2007 at 11:35 pm

    the lens they implant (I think it IS an Acrysof lens) does correct vision, but can’t correct astigmatism, which I have plenty of, thus I’ll still need glasses. no biggie to me–i’m used to them. There ARE new lenses for astigmatism, but they’re so new I decided I don’t want to be a guinea pig.
    As for how to see between the surgeries, they can give me a plain lens in one side of my glasses but I’ve been told it will be very disorienting, so I think it’s a wait-and-see thing, no pun intended.

  8. pattie on July 23, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Diane, best of luck with your surgery, keep us posted as much as you can. I recently got bifocals, was bummed about it (I’m nearsighted and never needed glasses to read before), but a coworker friend said she was surprised I didn’t have them already! I’m 55, she’s older and wears bifocals. I can wear contacts, distance in right eye, reading in left–but must pay for what insurance doesn’t cover on the glasses first!
    Gary had cataract surgery when he was in his early 40s! Dr couldn’t believe it but there it was. Then a year or so later he had a detacted retina in the other eye and had surgery for that. It was a rough couple years on him but now everything is OK–hope it stays that way.
    Brenda, fabulous and very interesting story about your son!

  9. Margo on July 23, 2007 at 9:05 am

    Diane, good luck on Wed! I know people who’ve had this done and they now see so much better. My mother told me it was ‘a piece of cake’ when she had the procedure 2 years ago. I’ll be thinking of you. Brenda, you must be so proud of your athletic son. What an awesome event to watch! Your vacation sounds incredible…I’m going to lookup Mirror Lake on the internet. Diane, with the problem of reading and writing its very good news that BEFORE THE STORM is completed. Your eyes will probably need a good rest before starting your next book. As for reading new things, maybe books on tape…I’ve heard they are wonderful!

  10. Kathy Holmes on July 23, 2007 at 1:02 pm

    Diane – I think you’ll love the results. DH had a detached retina first in one eye and then the other and had to undergo 2 difficult surgeries. This gave him cataracts in his 40s (they performed them back-to-back for that very reason that you site), but after surgery he sees better than he has since he was 17 – no glasses, except for reading the fine print. πŸ™‚ The surgery was a breeze – it was the drops for the next few weeks that was the sensitive part. Wishing you the best!

  11. Diane Chamberlain on July 23, 2007 at 11:01 pm

    Thanks for all the encouragement, everyone. I’m trying to get my house picked up before Wednesday. I have a feeling I’m not going to get much writing done for a while, but I’ll have plenty of thinking time to plan the storyline for the sequel.

  12. brenda on July 24, 2007 at 8:37 am

    D-have to tell you that my husband had his done around C’mas, and even though he is ten years older than I, he went about his regular daily routine…you will do great.
    My son finished the IRONMAN LAKE PLACID—had no trouble and did great on swim and bike…during the run…decided to walk with some others when he had some slight problems…this is the longest (and first real IRONMAN he has done)…he finished…it was great. We are on the way to his place today–we are upstate NY…He feels great and was smiling coming off the race…I was told that many were taken to hospital, treated medically, and many could not finish. Of course, others whizzed through…
    Now his move to Florida…and I go to Indy to my daughter’s…

  13. Melissa on July 24, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    I can’t belive this is the first time I thought to search for your website. I usually am on to find out about upcoming books etc.But tonight I was trying to track down the last couple books I am missing from my collection. So since I am here, I just wanted to express my pleasure in your books. I began by picking up “Breaking the silence” one day at the supermarket by chance (the red cover caught my eye). It turned out I could not put the book down! Or shut up about it! The way the stories intertwined and then collided in the end, it was like nothing I had ever read before at the time. If anyone says that they are looking for a new book or author I always pipe up(loudly) that they just have to read your books “Breaking the silence” followed by “Summers child” and then continue on from there. I have to tell you the funny thing is I have had to rebuy “Brealing the silence about 4 times now because people don’t want to give me my book back!!! So thank you for being such a compelling storyteller. Melissa, Alberta Canada P.S I also wanted to let you know, on the topic of cateract surgery my son Justin(6) had cateract surgery done this past January. It went very well, quick too. He didn’t have any problems adjusting other than the eyedrops being a pain to remember. I hope your surgery goes just as smoothly.

  14. Diane Chamberlain on July 24, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    Melissa, thanks for being a faithful reader of my books and for spreading the word! I’m so glad you enjoy them.
    You told me you had trouble writing to the blog (which is why I moved your comment here for you). All you do is click on “read comments” and then on “Add your own.” You don’t need to leave your email addie or website address. If that doesn’t work, let me know.
    I’m glad Justin is doing well! He must be a brave little guy.

  15. Diane Chamberlain on July 24, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    Brenda, congratulations to your son! I can’t even imagine such an achievement. You sound very proud of him, and rightly so.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip.

  16. Margo on July 24, 2007 at 2:20 pm

    Brenda, what an incredible achievement for your son, and how wonderful you were there to watch! Diane, take care tomorrow…I’ll be thinking of you.

  17. pattie on July 25, 2007 at 8:57 am

    Brenda, congratulations to your son–wow!!
    Diane, I’m thinking of you today–hope everything goes well and hope to hear from you soon. Sending good thoughts southward!

  18. brenda on July 25, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Diane-am still in Ohio…am thinking of you and surgery today.
    margo-you have to go to Niagara falls and paint…we spent yesterday there (I was there in the l990’s and stayed in Canada…) My son and I spent the day there on our way home. My daughter and her family went in July also (they live in Indy). They had some trouble getting back into US from Canada even though were told didn’t need passports.
    It is a beautiful place, and all Americans should visit it at least once.

  19. brenda on July 25, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    Julie=I wish that insurance companies would not make us wait until we are almost blind to pay for this surgery. As a teacher, it is difficult. My poor husband was at the point where he could hardly drive before Medicare approved his…
    I am not old enough for Medicare, but my insurance still won’t pay YET…
    Anyway-good luck DIANE-you will be happy.

  20. Diane Chamberlain on July 25, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Surgery went well and was easy and interesting. My eye is kind of burny. I’m on five million different drops. So far, my vision is much better than in my unoperated eye, but still bad, though I knew to expect that due to astigmatism. I’m thrilled, though, and it should improve more as the lens settles down. I am using the internet right now with my old glasses and my right (unoperated) eye and am soooo relieved to be able to use it at all! Was very worried about that.
    I understand there is a problem with the comment form for the most recent post. I’ve set my webmasters to work on it.
    Brenda, sorry your insurance is making you wait for the surgery. πŸ™

  21. Margo on July 26, 2007 at 9:45 am

    Diane…you are too amazing. I can’t believe your up and at em’ already! So wonderful everything went well.

  22. Diane Chamberlain on July 26, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Ha! I slept most of the day away. But I feel great.

  23. Vivian Black on November 15, 2021 at 10:20 am

    I did not know that you can only work on one eye at a time when doing cataract surgery. Thank you for this information. My husband is going to go in for a consultation with an ophthalmologist next week.

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