Friday, August 19, 2011

Eye surgery & Painting

    For quite some time I was needing to  have my eyes worked on due to cataracts.  I was really leary of doing this, as I was worried about how it would impact my painting.  Time came though when I needed to do something, as my driving at night became a problem and it was getting harder and harder to see things clearly.
    Now for most people I suppose that what I was seeing was fine, but I am a detail freak and like to see every little thing.  At anyrate, I decided to bite the bullet and go and see what could be done.  Up shot was they were going to replace both eye's lenses, and see if they could correct my severe astigmatism while they were at it.
    Really made me nervous, as I had fears of not seeing properly for what I wanted to do.  Thing was, I live a half hour out of town, so I need to see well enough to drive, and things had reached a crunch point.  So in March I went and had the surgery.  Scary... did not sleep the night before and was really nervous.
    They did one eye (the worst one) first week, and the other eye the following week.  So weird looking out of half a set of glasses for a week.  When I went back for the presurgery check up, I was sitting in the room, trying not to worry, and reading the panels on the walls about cataracts.  One of them said that there was a colour difference that was seen before and after surgery.  I covered my fixed eye and looked at my jeans.... yup they looked the same.  Then I covered the unfixed eye and looked at my jeans.  Wow!!  They were a bright blue!!  No way!  So I look with the other eye, and compared what I saw to the fixed eye.  Sure enough, the fixed eye was seeing colours much more brightly!  The unfixed eye made things appear dull, and muted, not to mention slightly blurry.  I started to feel better about the surgery.
    They checked my eyes to make sure they had an appropriate lens, and them sent me off to have the surgery.  I was still nervous, as I knew what was coming at me this time, but all went well.  Thing is about cataract surgery, it is an instant fix for seeing more clearly.  The other surgeries are not as instantaneous.  I walked out seeing more clearly than I had at any time in my life.  I had to wait two months for my eyes to settle to get a proper reading perscription, but drug store glasses filled the void.  That was great becasue I was taking workshops while all this was going on.  Now to be clear... The optometrist said most people would have been happy with the vision of my corrected eyes,  but after a bit I noticed that some distances were a little blurry.  Remember, I am a detail freak.  So, as you need reading glasses no matter what after cataract surgery, and since I had worn glasses since grade two and felt naked without them; I got progressive glasses that were for reading and corrected the last little bit of blurr that the surgery did not correct.  I am soooo not a flip back and forth with taking glasses off and the putting them on again for close up stuff.  No way!  So me and my new glasses are happy campers and I should be able to not have to buy more glasses for ages, or unless I want a different frames.
    The painting at the top of this was done post surgery, and I see my detail to my hearts content.  My eyes do still tire easily, but that is getting better all the time.  I joked with my husband that I would have pre and post surgery pictures that the colour would be a little different.  Thing is, that is true to some degree, in that my paintings tend to not be as yellow hued!  (On a side note, I mentioned this to my girlfriend; and she replied that her mother had had cataract surgery too.  She dropped her Mom home, and when she got home her Mom phoned her and said...."Did you know my dog was white?!"  Apparently, she had thought her dog was a light tan colour all those years!)
    So for those of you who need eye surgery and are worried about what the results will net as regards to your painting... I say go for it!  I have since spoken to other artists that were in my boat, and they are painting away just fine and seeing just fine too.  Though they tended to be happy with the flipping glasses thing for close work.  But as I say, I'm not overly patient with things like that, and I'm a detail freak.
    Till next time!
    Seeing clearly!