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You’ve got to be kidding! The eyes have it

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about my preparation prior to cataract surgery. I am pleased to say that both my eyes are new and the result is fantastic. I wish I had ventured into this process earlier. For a photographer, the clarity of vision is important, and I had no idea how much it had degenerated.

For those of you who have not yet been a victim of cataracts, you probably will be, one day. It is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and is the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 40. It is also the principal cause of blindness in the world, especially in poorer nations.

I am glad to report the entire procedure was painless, fast and a simple recovery. I was glad when I learned they did not have to remove my eyes, clean them off and put them back. Instead, it is a 10 minute process, where they replace your lens with an artificial one.

Upon my arrival I was quickly whisked into a room where two people looked after me. After a small, oral sedative, they inserted an intravenous needle in my arm. From there they escorted me to a small room, where I believe they removed the old lens from my eye. It was so quick and I didn’t feel a thing, so I assumed it was all good.

From there they took me to another room, where I was introduced to the anesthesiologist who introduced himself and I immediately drifted into happy land. I have vague recollections of hearing doctors and nurses chatting, but no real coherence. Of course, my fear is always about things I may have said.

I was back with the living after a few minutes, and looked sheepishly around to see if staff were laughing at me, or what I might have said while I was under. Apple juice and cookies soon brought my mind back to a state of alertness. I had a clear patch over the eye, felt no pain and immediately had vision. How simple this was.

The second eye was done six days later with similar results, although the process is easier, because you know what to expect. The only negative in the entire process was the time between the two surgeries, for one eye had great vision, while the other was still blurred, making driving difficult. I am amazed at modern medicine, and what it can do. Now, if only they could cure the common cold.

Jonathan van Bilsen is a television host, published author, award winning photographer and keynote speaker. Watch his new show ‘ The Jonathan van Bilsen Show’ on Rogers TV, the Standard online and YouTube.

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