Thursday, October 20, 2011

Clearly a success

I had my cataract surgery yesterday. I couldn't tell you about it because I have been kind of, well, vibrating. I have been experiencing anxiety about it for months now, escalating into sheer terror in the last couple of weeks. Everybody from my optometrist (who discovered the cataract) to the ophthalmologist (who would do the surgery) to everyone online who had experienced it described it as "a piece of cake" and I was beginning to feel like if I had one more piece of cake I'd vomit. Not a soul I asked would describe it to me, it was just a wave of the hand and "it's a piece of cake!" Knowing what the actual procedure involved (but not how it felt to the guy on the table) I was having a hard time reconciling that.

The poor person who had to hear my nerve-wracked rants about how freaked-out I was that I was going to watch someone slice into my cornea was poor Husband, and as he often said sadly in frustration the thing was, there was nothing he could do about it. Nothing but be a sounding board and he did that with more patience than I could have.

Given all that, I am going to write a separate blog post about the actual experience of the prep and the surgery, since I am now so acutely aware of how little detailed information there is out there from the patient's point of view. It'll be clearly labeled so those of you who gag at that kind of thing can skip it completely. Having said that, it went better than I expected but not better than I had hoped; it was unpleasant but not painful, and 2 Atavan are a lot less powerful that you think until you stand up and try to walk somewhere. Then they're a lot more powerful than you thought. Thankfully I had my ever-loyal helpmate and chauffeur to steer me.

The process? I was diagnosed May 5 , saw the surgeon on July 25 (he's the only ophthalmologist in town and his caseload is legendary), and had the surgery 3 months later. As I had a perfectly functional right eye to work with, I have no problem with that timeline at all. Out-of-pocket cost to us? Gas for appointments and a $3 prescription for after-care eyedrops.

The outcome - the fog that had taken over my left "bad" eye is lifted, and I have my good old "bad" eye back, giving me information and shapes and colours and peripheral vision of movement again. Colours are brighter out of that side than they are the right. And two weeks of sleep-depriving worry is behind me. It's a good feeling.



Sunday, October 16, 2011

"I can hear myself crying!"

Thanks to Brian Fies of The Fies Files who forwarded me this very moving video of a 29-year-old woman, deaf from birth, having her cochlear implant activated.

When I got activated, everybody in the room cried, including the audiologist. She told me that everyone who does this keeps a box of tissues on their desk. In fact, that was one of the first full sentences I heard.

Brian wondered how she could understand and respond to the audiologist if she had been deaf from birth. The video description says she reads lips, and she has obviously been taught to speak. (This is done with intense speech therapy and the use of mirrors to help teach the proper lip and tongue position to make letters and sounds). Her speech is so good, though, that I suspect her "limited use of hearing aids" has given her more to work with than the phrase would suggest.

A lovely video I'm glad I got to see.


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Thursday, October 13, 2011

As if you needed another reason.

Borrowed from Timothy McSweeney's blog:

Reasons to Fear Canada.
BY Sean Carman
- - - -

Ninety percent of population is massed within 100 miles of northern American border.

Seems not to mind that one of its provinces has turned almost entirely French.

Excessive politeness only makes sense as cover for something truly sinister. But what?

Citizens seem strangely impervious to cold.

Decriminalization of marijuana and acceptance of gay marriage without corresponding collapse of social institutions indicate Canada may, in fact, be indestructible.

Has infiltrated entertainment industry with singers, actors, and comedians practically indistinguishable from their American counterparts.

Consistently stays just below cultural radar yet never quite disappears.

Parliamentary government and common-law judiciary appear to function acceptably yet remain completely inscrutable.

Never had a “disco phase.”

Seemingly endless supply of timber, donuts, and Scotch-plaid hats with earflaps.

Keeps insisting it “has no designs on America” and “only wants peace.”

Plays a mean game of pond hockey.



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Moncton Instagrammed

Husband is using an iPhone app called "Instagram" which allows users to apply filters to photographs to create striking effects, then post them online. He adjusted the photo above which I took and which was much drearier and more boring before he worked on it. Here's a couple more of his best Instagrammed photos:


Saturday, October 01, 2011

Goats for our computer industry.

Thank you to Mike, over at The Nellie Blog, who directed me to this hilarious video of some very bad lipreading. I told him this is why I never learned the skill.