75% anxiety 20% confidence 5% terror


I am scheduled to have cataract surgery on Wed April 18 and I am anxious. Very anxious. I am blind in my left eye and that really complicates matters. I have a greater chance of having a retinal detachment than other patients. The doctor estimated a chance of 5% that that could happen, which would mean total blindness. I am concerned about the recovery process and the dangers of working at Alcatraz given the ferry ride, the steep hill etc. I need to keep the surgical area dry for several days, so I wonder about the dampness in the air. Worries worries worries. Driving me insane. I wish I could just calm down. It may be just routine. I still don’t have anyone to pick me up or take me back to the hospital. Life is complicated.

On the other hand I look forward to being able to see better. I have been going nuts with the constant blurriness. It is difficult to deal with this kind of stress, it keeps eating at you making it hard to focus on anything. Work will be much more difficult because of this. I need to focus on customer service, not my upcoming surgery. I notice that I am very easily irritated and blow up over every little thing because I am very worried underneath my usually calm exterior. Life is full of risks and inconvenience, and it has taken this to drive home the fact that I have no one to take care of me. What does the hospital do about people who have no one to take care of them? Refuse to do the surgery?

This was going to be a positive post but so far I have just poured out my worries. I will get through this fine. There!! I wrote it! Many other people have gone through this process successfully, so can I. But I am very afraid of becoming blind. That would totally screw up my life. But I can only take things day by day, hour by hour. I prayed just now, and I don’t pray often. I trust that whatever happens it will all work out fine. Worst of all, is the loneliness. I am so alone in this. Which is just as well, because my only friends just piss me off. There is nothing anyone can say to make me feel better. I just want to get through it, be done with it, and move on with my life. My apartment seems awfully cold and empty right now, though. Sometimes life is hard. I am such a cry baby, aren’t I? I sit here and think about people who are facing far more serious surgeries. They realize they might not come out of it alive. I have had some bad experiences in hospitals which makes me dread this upcoming event. But this time should be different.

I think about how fortunate I am to have a job, and how my friend told me he thought I always managed to pull through somehow. Well, not always. I lost my sight in the left eye. My life began as a close brush with death. Nobody really expected me to live. I was put in an incubator and given too much oxygen, and that is why I lost my sight later. Oh well…..So it goes. as Kurt Vonnegut would have said. So it goes. After he has written about something awful. So it goes. It isn’t quite like ‘whatever…’ it just recognizes that life is what it is, so we might as well accept it, and death as well. Because we really have no choice. There you go! That is a step up from total despair. I recognize there is no need to jump off that bridge, I will die soon enough anyway. A part of me wants to just call the whole thing off, but then I think about how great it would be to see well again, even if it isn’t perfect, just to see better than I do now would be enough. I need that spirit of Easter now, I need Stock Photo Woman to give me some of that light from her radiant face.  This all sounds so dramatic and foolish, I know. But if you were in my shoes, you would understand. When the day comes I will be very stoic and strong and brave. I always am. I just become a worry wort, imagining all the worst case scenarios on the days leading up to the ‘event’. I don’t even like writing the dreaded s word.

It’s something millions of people go through every day, but it is always different when it is happening to you.

2 responses »

  1. I know you will be fine! I would have a lot more anxiety than you if I were going through this (or any) procedure. My anxiety is high just when I hear about someone getting sick. So, in summary, you are brave, you are confident, and also, I happen to know, that you will get through this, and that your life will be vastly improved because of it. I wish I could pick you up from the hospital myself!

    • Thank you so much. I wish you could pick me up too! Your positive attitude would do me good. But I think you’re right. This will turn out well in spite of what I feel.

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