Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

A better window on the world

Because cataract operations are performed under local anaesthetic in Asian railway waiting rooms they are sometimes pooh-poohed as minor surgery. But it only requires a 20-word description of the procedure (which I am choosing to omit here) to emphasise how audacious – and thereby horrific – they truly are.

As a follow-up to earlier eye surgery, already mentioned, Mrs BB submitted to cataract removal from her left eye yesterday. Her experiences as a state registered nurse in the fifties and sixties increased rather than reduced her apprehensions about surgery and I was impressed by her stoicism, given her fearfulness towards dentistry.

The passage of time favoured her. During training she worked in an eye unit and then the operation (on both eyes) took an hour followed by ten days of immobility. On Monday she had a choice of music (refused) and was back with me in the waiting room in fifteen minutes. A face mask prevented her better right eye from following what was going on inches away – for which much thanks. One of Mrs BB’s jobs during training was to hold the patient’s hand in the theatre; this time someone held hers.

That isn’t the end of the matter, alas, since a further operation will be necessary on the right eye, again followed by cataract removal. But she is reasonably sanguine about this and it was cheering last night to see her reading the Kindle, albeit with the type size wound up.

As we got the paper this morning we reflected on this twentieth century marvel: a procedure so quick and so simple (in surgical terms, anyway) that thousands, if not millions, of poor folk who would previously have had to accept blindness, now see. No miracle needed.