richards-roundtable

Simple, but Scary: Richard's Looming Cataract Surgery

Richard Goldberg

Cataract Eye

Imagine that after a lifetime of driving your own car, building your life around knowledge and research, and enjoying nature, you became legally blind.

How would you feel?

I don’t have to imagine any more. And the world is getting darker.

It’s time for cataract surgery. And I don’t mind admitting that I’m more than a little nervous. Let me tell you how I got here.

Everyone who knows me knows that my eyes have never been great. I’ve been “four-eyes” since I was 10 years old, with coke-bottle glasses that forced me to the front of the class. You can imagine how much fun gym class was.

Cataracts are a whole different ball game.

I’ve always taken the “ACE” anti-oxidants for eye health: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E. But my vision kept declining year over year, and about 20 years ago, we got to a point where we ran out of prescription room.

Turns out that in addition to astigmatism and strabismus, I had cataracts.

Thanks to our goverment’s restrictions on natural remedies, the eye drops I used to handle that had to come from Europe. Those drops, plus the ACE set and a regimen of Bilberry, Gingko, and NAC, slowed the cataracts’ progression enough to give me another decade of driving.

I was losing more slowly - and given the risks inherent in surgical alternatives, that was just fine by me. But I was still losing.

A decade ago, I decided that it wasn’t responsible for me to drive anymore. My photography hobby was the next hit, followed by my time in nature. I still didn’t want to go under the knife.

But the truth is, something had to give. I was legally blind, in a place where supplements couldn’t help me any more.

My condition was beginning to hurt my ability to help the people around me.

Including my efforts around this web site and blog.

Then, instead of me helping friends with their health, a friend helped me.

She came in to see me about hormonal balance, but in the course of our conversations she told me that her recent cataract surgery not only cured her cataracts, it let her give up her glasses.

OK, she had my attention now.

So here I am. To everything there is a season. Including doctors, and conventional Western medicine. Winter has come. But I’m gonna see the spring. I hope.

Pre-op is January 14th, and the first surgery is scheduled for January 28th. They’ll give it about 2 weeks, and then if they haven’t blinded me for good in that eye, they’ll do the other one. It’s actually a pretty routine surgery, so it should be great.

I’d love to have my life back. But getting from here to there can be pretty scary sometimes.

That’s just the way it is. For me – and often for you, too.

I’m the guy people come to for help with their health when everything else has failed. And I’m also the guy who has to reach for an uncertain solution when everything else has failed. Not the first time, won’t be the last.

We’re all in this life together. And it’s what we make of it – together.

So this year, I’m grateful for all I have. And I’m grateful that I can finally look beyond something I was losing, to see the promise of what might be. I have so many more stories I want to share, so much good news about people who have found their own escapes from conditions that threatened to define and limit their lives.

Just as I hope to find my own escape, thanks to some skilled surgeons and a friend’s encouragement.

Felice Navidad! Happy Hanukkah! Habari gani? (Imani.)

See you on the other side.