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Inspirational poem by a patient having cataract surgery

Mar 17, 2019

Cataract Op for the left eye, March 2019


 The day had arrived that I dreaded and feared,

But also excited, hoping better vision appeared.

Lots of tests and a blood pressure check,

Oops it was high, but that’s what I would expect!


Nervous and excited and white coat syndrome too,

My cold water swimming brain state was needed for Sue.

Tim and I sat snuggled up in a bariatric chair,

I was wearing my Boden dress with a red ribbon in my hair.


A mark over my left eye was very quickly made,

To ensure that the correct eye had an upgrade.

I felt I was really mentally prepared,

I was now devoid of thoughts to make me scared.


My tummy grumbled - no food for thirteen hours,

And only plain water imbibed in the early hours.

At last my name was called by a man dressed in dark blue,

I followed him at quite a pace, at last at the head of the queue.


The operating table lowered, for me to climb on top in my dress,

A net caressed my head, laid down on to a comfy headrest.

It reminded me of a Japanese Sobakawa head cushion,

Relaxed, some sedative applied- a tiny prick when I’m in position.


I was asked if I needed a blanket over me,

I said “no thanks” as I swim regularly in the cold sea.

The anesthetist and nurse asked me what I wore,

  I explained only a swimsuit to traverse the seashore.


And now to the action as my surgeon placed a cage around my eye,

The sound that ensued, was like a fairy seamstress cutting cloth nearby,

Tiny clicks, and images of shining mirrors that moved in a parallel dance,

Blue, white and grey they tumbled into a different angled prance.


Some utterances from a machine or was it a nurse?

My slightly woozy state meant I was not sure who uttered the verse.

The fairy seamstress, their task soon complete,

My eye now felt like it wanted a nice long sleep.


The lid shut tight and a plastic guard placed on top,

Into a wheelchair I gracefully flopped.

No idea of the outcome, no glasses helping me,

I trusted in my surgeon’s skills to have removed the fog I used to see.


Back in the day patient waiting room, Tim soon by my side.

At last, cups of tea and biscuits, my fast had ended- hooray I cried.

Lots of instructions and drops to put in my eye,

Soon on our way home, my eye still tightly shut, no vision yet to try.


Boiled, cooled water and clean cotton wool held steady,

Tim gently stroked my eyelashes to see if my eye was ready.

The upper lid slowly opening up a little at a time,

As if at the end of a hibernation for this precious left eye of mine.


Shafts of blue light crept in as the halogen light encroached,

Followed by silver and white dancing flashes- my retina felt soaked

In light levels it had not experienced for most of my seventy-one years,

Oh, how emotional this experience was, but no shedding of tears.


The eye lid finally open though slightly drooping down,

I looked around our bathroom from ceiling to the ground.

“Oh Tim my peripheral vision is so bright and clear,

The light is dazzling, after sight hidden behind clouds for so many years”.


When I am able to swim back in the sea,

I will then see peripherally Tim walking parallel to me.

Goodbye to my old prescription goggles that caused parallax views,

My ones with reactolite lenses will I hope, now do.


This poem has been written on the first day after my op,

I am told six weeks for my vision to settle- yet it seems tip top.

“Thanks, Mr Simcock for giving me back so much sight”

As one ages faculties fade, but my eye has reached a new height.


This verse is five days later, when the euphoria has died,

Colours are so bright, but there is one downside.

My very close-up vision has now left this high myopic eye,

So, on magnifiers and new specs I will have to rely.


My right eye vision is still hidden by retinal damage so bad,

And my central vision in the operated eye remains lost - so sad.

Stem cells may be my salvation in the future I do hope,

So that my foggy centers can be restored to widen my life’s scope.


“Oh, Mr. Simcock thank you for using all your skills,

Returning my peripheral vision to a clarity to see shapes of nearby hills. 

My monoscope once abandoned, now back in my hand,

And soon new glasses adjusted to this eye repaired by man.


by Sue Harrod 



Author of Poetry in Vision raising funds for eye research to cure blindness