Life With Cataracts

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These are my old glasses – all less than 2 years old:

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Back in November, I was diagnosed with Trace Cataracts and Central Serous Retinopathy.  My vision had been changing rather rapidly, my headaches were constant, and I was having triple vision when looking at traffic lights.  At the time, I was told it wasn’t really bad enough yet to warrant surgery, and to come back in six months for a recheck.  Given my tendency to anxiety and OCD, I spent most of that time half-convinced my mother had been right:  I was going to go blind and be utterly dependent on someone else.

Back in the beginning of May, I went back for that recheck, and the cataracts were upgraded to Nuclear Cataracts.  My vision isn’t as bad as the example in the picture yet, thankfully.  The doctor opted to wait another six months for my surgery because I was only just a week into my Cymbalta detox, and since just about all psych meds can cause blurred vision, she want wants to see how my vision is once my brain chemistry stabilizes again.  For the same reason, she didn’t want to write me a new prescription for my glasses because my prescription is crazy-expensive.  When your prescription is -8 diopters, “cheap” glasses still run about $400.

That meant I had to stop driving.  I couldn’t read the street signs until I was right on them, and while GPS helped, it’s a little scary to depend solely on it.  The loss of independence has, to say the least, SUCKED.  It’s really hard to be patient when everything I want to do outside the home depends on someone else being able to drive me there.  This is Sacramento in July – public transit is not an option for someone who is as heat and sun sensitive as I am.

It’s not all doom and gloom though.  I’ve been off the Cymbalta since the beginning of May. Two months out.  Saturday morning The Husband took me out for breakfast, and on the way home I realized I could read the freeway sign for the next exit – far enough away that if I was driving I’d have plenty of time to make my lane change.  Residential street signs are still a little too blurry to feel safe driving yet, but I see the Psychiatrist tomorrow for a medication check.  If he doesn’t change my medications, I think it’s time to call and schedule  a refraction appointment.  If it means my vision can be corrected enough to be able to drive again this summer, it’s worth spending the last of the Flex-Plan account on.  I have places to go, and people to see!

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