• Karen Heckman Stork

I Can Drive Again!

This blog might also be entitled “How I survived almost six weeks without driving!” Yup, those of you of a “certain age” will understand that I mean CATARACT SURGERY. It’s one of the stops on the road through aging. And as a cherry on top of this experience, Medicare even paid for my new pair of glasses after the surgery.

As is somewhat normal, my eyes have gotten progressively worse as I’ve aged while the lenses in my glasses have gotten thicker and thicker. But I finally knew it was time for the surgery when I went into an eye doctor to see about getting a new prescription for my nearsighted vision.The person doing the examination said they could not fix my eyesight any better and that I shouldn’t even be driving in this state with my current vision!!!


Because I am in a new state, I don’t have a regular eye doctor like I do “back home.” So I did what I always do when I’m trying to get information, of course, I searched the internet. I found a really great doctor who scheduled me for cataract surgery. The first surgery for my right eye was scheduled in early June and then I had to wait two weeks for surgery on my left eye. In the meantime there were three different eye drops to be administered on three different time tables. And I could no longer see using my old glasses because my right eyesight was so much improved that the world looked super blurry when I tried wearing them.


So I had to rely on friends to take me places like doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, etc., etc. It’s great having friends who are willing to step in, but I spent most of my time between surgeries stuck at home because I don’t like to ask for help. I didn’t go walking on the beach for at least one month.


After my second surgery I had another set of eye drops so I had to keep track of which eye got what medication and at what time. But the whole procedure was worth it because my eyesight was vastly improved. I still needed to wear glasses for distance, but my prescription was much less severe and therefore my lenses were thinner and less expensive (thanks to WalMart’s great selection of frames). I now have two new pairs of glasses with clip-on sunglasses which are really great. And I’m driving regularly again. Big smile!



I now understand why it is so difficult for children to get their aging parents to stop driving! I totally get it. I always thought I would be thoughtful and obliging when it came time to give up my car keys. I may not have thoroughly considered that situation. I now have a totally different outlook, and I feel like John Wayne — “You’ll have to pry those car keys from my cold, dead hands.”

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© 2017 Karen Heckman Stork. All Rights Reserved.

Karen Stork: Nebraska Writer
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