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Guest Column - Susan Coons


February 1, 2018

Susan Coons
I can't believe it's already February! It seems we have survived running the gauntlet from Halloween to the New Year! It went faster than I thought it would. Probably because I was so busy trying to keep warm and the water running in the house!

I want to share with you a most marvelous experience I had in January. As most of you know, I draw, paint and write, all of which need good eyesight. I've been slowly noticing the glare of oncoming traffic, not able to focus on the words when I'm reading, not able to match colors when I have to paint a lamp shade for a customer. I have had cataracts for several years. They appeared so slowly and painlessly that I didn't notice what they were doing. It's kind of like you don't know you have a thumb until you smash it in the door or slam it with a hammer. The doctor said, year after year, "come back next year and we'll see if you're ready for an implant."

Finally, last fall I couldn't adjust my eyes to anything. Not distance and not for reading. I decided to go to Dr. DuBoff at Advanced Eye-care in Bennington. He asked me if I had heard the term, "ripe," describing a cataract. Yes, I said. He then asked me if I knew what that was. No, was my answer. He then told me that "ripe" is when I think I need to do something about my eyes. And, this was the time for me!

I was so excited to have this done and had no fears whatsoever. I've talked to others who have had the surgery and they couldn't be happier. The friend who drove me to my first surgery had been a nurse in her earlier life. She told me that in the 1960s and 70s, cataract patients, hospitalized for several days, had to keep their head still from moving side to side with sandbags.

The whole experience is somewhat of a miracle to me. The first thing I noticed was how bright and colorful my world became! I had my left eye done first because it was more advanced. The difference in color and brightness was unbelievable between my left and right eyes. Now they are both in sync and I'm loving it. Not only can I see distance (saw a squirrel scampering up a tree at the other end of the block!) but I only need over-the-counter readers for reading and precise drawing. I thank God for the miracles of science and the dedicated and talented doctors who perform such delicate surgeries and the whole support staff that makes it so easy and effortless for the patient.

Author: Susan Coons
Sally Sugarman (Club Member & Windmill Editor)

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