Tammy Marshall, "Novel Thoughts"

To read a book in the standard and traditional fashion, you need to use your eyes.

For many years, I have struggled with failing eyesight due to cataracts. Over the course of the past year or so, the vision in my right eye worsened greatly. The cataract there was forming in such a manner that I was experiencing extreme ghosting of images to such an extent that I was seeing up to five or six of each image haloed around the actual image.

Naturally, this made reading quite difficult, and I had come to rely primarily on my left eye to do all the reading for me as well as most of my daily activities. Unfortunately, there is a cataract in my left eye, too, and I could tell it was slowly getting worse, so I knew I would not be able to continue relying on that eye.

This begs the question, of course, as to why I didn’t have lens replacement surgery years ago, right? I’ll tell you why \h— I’m a big, big stubborn baby when it comes to anything medical and especially when it comes to surgeries that involve my eyes.

So, I put off the surgery for far too long. Even when I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer, fear continued to keep me in his clutches. What finally compelled me to do it was the ever-increasing difficulty I was having doing what most mattered to me – reading.

To fully psyche myself up, I got a second opinion, and once that eye doctor assured me that my only option for restoring my sight was to have the cataract surgery, I immediately scheduled it.

At the end of December, during a horrible blizzard, I arrived at the surgery center and had the procedure done.

Unfortunately, due to other issues in my right eye, the new lens did not fully correct my vision; however, it is fully corrected with glasses once again. Initially, I had only planned to have the surgery on my right eye, but now I’m scheduled to do the surgery on my left eye, too.

There is such a disparity in the vision between my two eyes that I need to even it out, and now that I’ve survived the first surgery, my inner frightened child is mostly quiet. Additionally, I’ve discovered vibrant colors again because the new lens in my right eye isn’t clouded by a cataract. White is bright white again instead of the manila color I still see out of my left eye. The sky is a brilliant blue when seen from my right eye and a dim gray from my left. I look forward to enjoying the beautiful colors of the world from both my eyes once again.

Most of all, though, reading is no longer a chore. I no longer must hold my head in funny angles to try to see the words better. I do not have to squint my right eye closed to allow my left eye to do the work. The letters are crisp and clear, albeit through bifocals, but that’s fine with me. The only thing that matters is that I can read without difficulty again for the first time in years.

I’m expecting further improvement after the second eye surgery which is scheduled for mid-February.

Then, let the reading frenzy begin because I have some serious making up to do.

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Contact Marshall at tamreader@gmail.com.

This month’s reading selection is “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro.


In other news

NORFOLK — In a tight field at the Norfolk High boys golf invitational, Carson Klein of Norfolk shot one over par and tied for third place. In an invite where the top eight individuals finished within two strokes of each other, it was one of Klein’s best performances of the year.

ALBION — The Bluejays of Pierce and the Cardinals of Boone Central were flying high at the B-4 district meet on Thursday in Albion. Pierce outpaced Boone Central 148-87 to win the boys division while Boone Central’s girls outlasted Arlington 107½-81.