Carolyn L. Braun (

When things are not as they seem …

Recently I had surgery for an intraocular lens implant – in other words, removal of cataracts and replacement of the eye lens. It was quite an experience – and amazingly quick and easy.

I have what are  what my doctor called ‘orange’ cataracts – meaning they were orange-ish in color and blocked light. My vision has become much worse over the past year – and so have the cataracts – likely due to my age and prescription medicine, such as prednisone.

The surgery took no more than 20 minutes  – if that. Once they gave me a mild sedative, I lost track of time. The sedative was quick acting but not long-lasting. As they wheeled me down to surgery, I knew I was going but I didn’t care. I thought I should move my arm but I couldn’t so I didn’t.

Once in the operating room, I was laid flat. I should have panicked at that point (because it is hard for me to breathe laying flat) but I didn’t panic. They covered my hair with a cap and then covered my left eye. I remember them telling me that they were doing it – but, again, I didn’t care. I thought I was going to panic a bit when they covered my other eye but I was quickly side-tracked by the bright, somewhat psychedelic lights in my right eye. Three round beams of  light kept moving among bright pink/red blobs. I knew there was something on my eye – I could see something – but I didn’t know what it was and again, I didn’t care. The surgeon reminded me to look at the lights – and I guess I did, because he said I was doing well. He announced that the cataracts had been removed and quickly implanted the lens. All done. The cap came off, the cover over my eye came off, and we were headed back to my room. After eye drops and a little paper work, we were ready to go.

After my pupils were no longer dilated, I began to realize the difference in my right eye. I can best describe it as colors being brighter with a blue tinge. My left eye – still to be done – has a dark yellow tinge. For the past year, I felt like I was living in a dark cave. I always had extra lamps on – and still complained that I couldn’t see. (I just turned off the extra LED lamp on my desk because it was so bright!)

In the evening, as I was resting from the surgery, the phone rang. It was the surgeon, calling to make sure everything was okay. That is a nice touch.

Now, however, I am so excited –  when I paint, I will be able to see the true colors! I still have a way to go – the left eye in two weeks, and then new glasses because the current prescription is wrong. It is almost better just to take them off for now. I read the top three lines of the eye chart with my right eye today (without glasses) — I haven’t been able to see those blurry lines for some time!

Also, I am now a card-carrying member of the intraocular lens club. (They give you a card to carry with you for medical notification.) I can add that to my RH negative (O negative blood) and the stent card. Pretty soon I will have a deck of cards!

Overall, though, I am one lucky girl and I’m truly grateful for this procedure.

Thanks for reading!! I hope you return. 

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