What happened to my face?
Can cataracts be put back in your eyes once they’ve been removed? Can you hold your surgeon responsible for giving you wrinkles? I looked so much better when I was seeing myself through the “Doris Day” world of my gauzy lenses. Remember her movies? She always looked out of focus and blurry on screen. That’s because she insisted the cameras use vaseline or cheesecloth over the lenses to hide her freckles.
Over the past 3 weeks, I’ve had both cataracts removed. Now, everything looks shiny and new, like the world was polished while I was in surgery. But I suddenly find myself looking at a stranger in the mirror. Where did all those wrinkles come from? Why didn’t my family and friends tell me I was so old? I always thought I was holding my own for a woman of a certain age. But now that I can see clear vibrant colours and images of the world around me, I can also see a whole new me I didn’t know existed. Holy crap, when did all this happen?
When this new more mature looking me emerged from the mirror, it kinda freaked me out. But my family and friends are looking older too. Serves them right since none of them were honest with me.
The naked truth
I’ve worn glasses full time for the past fifteen years. So I’ve gotten very used to having my specs perched on my nose as part of my identity. Plus I’m realizing that glasses hide bags under your eyes, dark circles, crows feet, wrinkles and blemishes. Without glasses, everything on my face springs into prominence, including my eyebrows. I’ve never paid much attention to my eyebrows, but now there they are, front and centre demanding attention.
Some women I know continue to wear their glasses with clear non-prescription lenses after cataracts surgery. Now I know why! I think sometimes we can actually look younger with our glasses on. Plus there’s a comfort in seeing ourselves with frames that have become part of our identity.
To make matters worse, we’re advised to avoid wearing eye makeup for a while after surgery. Having worn eyeliner since I was a teen, this was another big shock making me feel unadorned and vulnerable. This was a version of me I’ve never seen before – nor has anyone else. At least this was temporary and thankfully, my daily eyeliner routine resumed today. So I’m me again…well, for the most part anyway.
Being the shallow human being that I am, I was looking forward to clear vision and being able to drive at night. But mostly I wanted to wear dangly earrings. I don’t like the look of glasses and long earrings; makes me feel like Dame Edna. So I was looking forward to dumping my glasses and wearing beautiful dangle earrings. So mission accomplished on that score, I have already purchased a couple pairs. Maybe if they’re sparkly enough, people will look at my earrings instead of my new wrinkles.
So all in all, the ordeal is over and the surgeries were a success, for which I’m very thankful. And although seeing this new version of my face with such clarity is a shock to my ego, I’ll get over it. In the meantime, I’ll use my clearer vision to learn to accept myself warts and all, and find more beauty in the world around me.
But I still may sue my family and friends for not being honest with me all these years.
See you between the lines,