Images of James Bond being lazered up the middle in Gold finger, and then Alex having his eyes clamped open whilst undergoing the Ludovic treatment in A Clockwork Orange sprang to mind.
I didn’t really know the true meaning of these eye conditions…I do now.
It didn’t sound nice, but then again my eyesight had deteriorated to the point where I could barely see a car registration at ten paces…and that was with bottle lens glasses. I remember reading and seeing Monet’s painting of his water lilies garden when they just resembled smudges of colour, in his cataract years and knew that I would be faced with the same failing eyesight. No, I would just have to bite the bullet and hope “I didn’t chicken out at the last moment” as my sister had gaily informed me I would. She knew, you see, that I was terrified of needles, operations and worst of all…pain!
I went to the hospital at the National Health in Norwich, but was dismayed by the crowds and the tiredness of the doctors and nurses and something at the back of my mind told me to go private. It could have been the fact that on the National Health, although free, I had met an old woman the very same day who told me that they had bodged up her eye operation to the extent that she had to wear dark glasses even in the murky months of an English winter and had to carry eye drops with her at all times.
So private it was. The operation was carried out in Cambridge and involved a 25 minute operation in which my natural crap eye lenses were surgically removed and replaced by ones made of an acrylic substance. The doctor and nursing staff were first class.
Did it hurt? No it didn’t, but then again it wasn’t a holiday in Paris either. At worst it felt like the surgeon had his thumbs pressed into my eyeballs and I was aware of flashing pale pink and blue lights and the sensation of constant running water.
The operation was in two parts with the left eye first followed by a ten day gap and then the left eye.
And what now you ask?
Well, I can now see a car registration at 65 paces and can read the bottom line on the eye chart easily whereas in the bad old days I could barely make out the first letter at the top. It is lovely to wake up in the morning and see vivid yellow tulips in the garden instead of a yellowy blob.
How this will impact on my cricket season I have yet to find out as no swimming, cricket or weight lifting is allowed for 8 weeks…but I am already chomping at the bit. I also had to wear an eye shield for a couple of weeks and take two types of eye drops four times a day for three weeks, but it is a small price to pay for what are basically new eyes.
Are there any drawbacks to this kind of operation? Well, I now find I need very low prescription reading glasses at times, and the whole thing is hideously expensive, but I would have to say well worth it. I assume most of you who are around my age will be needing a similar operation in the next ten to twenty years or so, and take it from me…get it done sooner rather than later.