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After letting my mom’s cataracts marinate for a couple of years, the optometrist gave the go-ahead to have them removed. I flew her to a world renown surgeon in Tarpon Springs, Florida, since I’d heard great things about him.
We live in West Virginia, but my husband’s home office is in St. Petersburg, Florida, where we own a condo, so the drive was only an hour to St. Luke’s.
We booked direct flights out of a smaller airport here in home base West Virginia so grandma wouldn’t have to worry about layovers and long walks, escalators, shuttles, and large crowds.
As it was, she still found the crowds a bit overwhelming. “This is crazy!” she commented to my daughter in the tiny airport as we were boarding.
We knew this experience was going to be amusing as we looked at it through grandma’s eyes.
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Grandma’s plane excitement
The first laugh was when I picked her up at 5:30 AM for our morning flight.
Mom and dad live right beside us, and my husband worried that he’d not seen any lights on at their place.
When I picked her up, she flung her suitcase in the back and laughed, “Hey, I’ve only been up five minutes!”
The alarm didn’t go off (she blamed that on dad) and when she heard “the man start talking at 5:25” on the radio, she thought, “hey, I’m not missing this chance of a lifetime”! So she threw on her clothes and away she went, worrying the rest of the way about what she forgot.
My mom had been on one airplane in her entire life and that was in a little passenger plane for a brief ride around the block.
Riding an airbus proved a whole new experience–every cloud was magical, every sight worth noting. Grandma has a child-like wonder about her – an appreciation for small detail, which gives me pause in taking such things for granted in a busy world.
Grandma gives appreciation to detail - something we take for granted in a busy world. Click To Tweet
Grandma’s Florida Fun
She sat for hours on my balcony watching the birds with fascination, never ceasing in her narration.
We dressed mamaw up and took her to the beach and stuck her under an umbrella for an hour and a half. I was afraid she would get burnt, so I slathered her in sunscreen and gave her one of my cover ups, donned my husband’s sunglasses (since she had none), and my Panama Jack sun visor.
Grandma’s cataract surgery
After two days of relaxing, it was time to get down to business.
We spent a whole day at St. Luke’s fori evaluation with lots of testing, including a physical examination. I teased mom that she would probably have to run laps and do a few cartwheels.
Finally, around 3:00 PM, they called her for surgery for her left eye.
It took 10 minutes.
Earlier, they showed a video of the procedure.
First, they shave off the cataract, then the doctor implants a lens enabling the patient to have basically 20/20 vision, with possible reading glasses needed in some instances.
No limitations, except to wear a pair of giant sunglasses and no eye touching for two weeks.
The next day, we went back for the other eye. Same procedure. The nurses had prayer with mom before surgery. This is not your average hospital, folks!
Dr. Gills is a personable fellow, as well as a famous author. His books are available for free all over the hospital.
He sat and talked with us about his grandchildren and about our family. He also talked about his hometown – Bluefield, West Virginia.
And then, he called mom’s optometrist on the telephone, to arrange a check up evaluation. I could hear the stunned reaction from the other end. It was as if he had never heard of Dr. Gills or that kind of surgery and certainly never of one doctor calling another instead of just relaying a message!!!
Can you say, “IMPRESSED”, folks?!?
Ok, this is a plug right here, but if you have a chance, go see this place, and take your loved one for cataract removal and a new lease on life! You’ll be glad you did!
Grandma's vision is much better than mine now - both physically, and soulfully. Click To Tweet
Seeing the world through grandma’s eyes
The time I got to spend with her was well worth anything I could ever be paid, because life is short, and time is fleeting.
It seems we get so caught up in doing, being, going, here, there, everywhere.
Remember – souls are eternal. When I am with grandma, I constantly have to remind myself of that. I am not on my own time clock then, but hers. I need to see things through her eyes.
And actually, she can see things better than me now. Her vision is much better, both long-term and short-term. Both physically, and soulfully. Ya get me?
Slow down and think about that…
Slow down and spend time with the elderly. They don't run on the world's time clock. Click To Tweet
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