You can teach an old eye new tricks.
I took up a new hobby last week: "Neuroadapting." I'm a neuroadapter. I neuroadapt.
Rewind almost two years ago, when I started noticing my right eye was a little "off." I went in for a thorough eye exam only to be told that my eyes were good and I was probably dealing with dry eyes and away I went. After a few months, I wasn't satisfied with a lack of change, even though I still couldn't exactly put my finger on what was "off" about my eye and what I thought should be changing.
I mean, when you have medical anxiety (guilty), you're prone to turning anything that you think is "off" with respect to your health into a certain painful and terminal death. You want to know what precisely your medical status is at all times, and nothing less than 100% Healthy McHealtherson will do.
"Huh...is that a halo around the streetlight? Nah. Weird...is that light flickering or is it just me?! Eh...probably the light bulb. Wait...is that headache normal or coming from behind my eye?!??! Oh my God...I HAVE A VOLKSWAGEN-SIZED TUMOR IN MY HEAD!!!"
Medical anxiety. Fun, right?
Off I go for a 3rd opinion. New clinic this time.
This time, the opthamologist is doing his poking and prodding and in the middle of it all he casually drops in, "looks good...yep...nice....oh, there's a little cataract there....ok, that's good there....clear"
"Wait, WHAT?!? Did you say CATARACT?" (BP up to 200-over-95...pulse to 140....get the crash cart. He's gonna go!)
"Meh. It's nothing big. You don't need surgery until it affects your day-to-day life."
Ugh. A cataract. Surgery? On my eye?!?!
Besides the obvious trains of thought, one thing I'm thinking is "I'm not old enough for this. Isn't that an old-people thing? I'm not OLD!" (insert virtual sobbing and shrieking) Apparently, it's only marginally uncommon. Average age ain't in the 40s, but lucky me, right?
I'll skip some of the details (like, did you know, you are sometimes completely awake and aware during an eye surgery?!?), but here I am today, officially one week after surgery and getting my fancy and ridiculously expensive new lens plopped in. I'm not sure the brand name of it -- I'm calling it the Ultra-Bionic Sightmeister T-7000 Elite -- but what I do know is that it's a "multifocal" lens, which means my brain has to learn new tricks to see everything right again.
So far, my distance vision is spectacular, but from 3 feet in, not as clear yet. Good enough to work at a computer from 8-to-5, but apparently mastery of the near-vision comes along over a few weeks.
The phenomenon of your brain having to -- and being able to -- relearn something so intrinsic to the day-to-day as seeing what you see is fascinating and amazing. That we humans have somehow harnessed that in medicine is also incredible.
I'll also say that a drug cocktail that lets you be aware of, but makes you not care that a surgeon is lasering apart your eyeball is also pretty fascinating and amazing. If/when I find out what drugs it was, I'll share the recipe. It was suuuuuu-perb!
Anyway, that's what's happening in the life of Kind Acts of Randomness this week. I hope you all are enjoying a great day and seeing it all clearly.