Dear Family and Friends,

Today is Thursday, two days since I had the lens in my left eye replaced – and five days until my right eye is fixed. The past two days have been a time of great emotion, incredible joy, catharsis, reflection and thanksgiving for me.

Prior to undergoing surgery, I had been given various scenarios, but what I really understood the best was that I would once again be able to pick up and read a book. That ability being of such importance to me, and its lack such a hole in my life, that I was eager to trade whatever was necessary to recover it. The correction being an actual internal measurement, and the ability prior to surgery to make only exterior refractive analyses, it is a bit of educated guesswork. But damn! They are incredible guessers – preliminary readings yesterday at noon revealed a measurement of -.5, which gives me 20/20 vision in my left eye, which no longer has hardly any astigmatism. And THAT was my bad eye, of late little more than a hazy window to the world outside.

The night before the surgery, I walked down the steps at my friend Betty’s house and never saw the last step. Fortunately, my laptop survived unscathed! My knees, which made solid contact with the concrete, got a little bumped, but no big deal. Certainly nothing I haven’t experienced hundreds and hundreds of times, as the lack of depth perception and poor night vision have me well accustomed to finding walls and other objects with body parts. One learns to compensate with humor for the embarrassment that accompanies that constant kind of behavior, especially in childhood. I had long since stopped even giving any thought to that type of occurrence. So I have done much reflection, as my life has been turned around.

I have thought about the childhood I spent peering out from behind pink or blue glittered frames that had invariably slid down until they were perched precariously on the tip of my nose. Annoyed by the constant battle which gravity always won, I was usually too engrossed in whatever I was doing to bother even trying to make them stay. That changed for me when I got contact lenses at 14, and again at 16 – the first time Stan did my eyes while he was going to USC. For the first time I felt comfortable enough to give honest answers, which I was aware seemed rather odd. For example, when asked to look at the dot, I asked (first time ever) which dot he meant. And when he asked, I told him how many it was that I saw. Thus I arrived at a new level of vision correction, although in the past few years, the level has sharply and steadily declined.

Today, my world is changed. I can see things I have never seen before. There is more light, more color, more texture and sharper focus than I have ever imagined when I look out of my left eye – unaided. The discomfort has been minimal, certainly not worth mentioning in contrast to the benefits. I will no longer have to work so hard to align images that want to splay out right and left, up and down.

I love the technological advances that are the earmark of our age, and adore the fact that everything keeps getting better, more powerful, smaller and more affordable. I have infinite admiration for the creative and highly educated minds that improve the quality of our lives and help to make dreams reality. What a wonderful time this is to be alive.