A brief report: I’m spending a couple of days with my cousin VZ. That’s the one who fell asleep while I was reading her the first pages of my work in progress two years ago.

I posted about the incident here even as she was snoring away in the other bed–we were sharing a hotel room after attending a bridal shower that afternoon–and I hated to do it but felt it served her right. There’s a certain deference due to writers, and that night she didn’t give me any at all.

Nonetheless, I came to officiate at VZ’s cataract surgery. Experience allows me to say things like, There’s nothing to it, and, Don’t worry, and, They’ll give you enough Valium, you won’t care what they’re doing. I’m also an expert eye drop dropper. Steady hand, good aim, all that.

Surgery took place this morning and all went well. Waiting went well, too, because the ophthalmologist’s office had Wi-Fi and I had my Chromebook. We spent the afternoon doing drops and sleeping. I was supposed to be reading a book but I suppose Valium is contagious. Fortunately, her prescription read every two hours when awake.

VZ crashed again two hours ago. It’s approaching ten o’clock, so I am waking up, as I tend to do about this time every night. I’ll read for a while but will retire in about a half-hour. It’s important that I be awake and alert in the morning. VZ wakes early and will need her eye drops, three different drugs, each with its own set of instructions.

And at present I’m the only one of us who can read.


Image: A Maid Sleeping, Johannes Vermeer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Cataract, the Vacuum Cleaner, and the Semicolon

Blue vacuum cleaner
Blue vacuum cleaner (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This afternoon, I shall present myself at the ophthalmologist’s office, where I will be measured, Valiumed up, awakened from a peaceful sleep on the waiting room sofa, cattle-prodded down the hall to the operating room, punctured, divested of a cataract, invested with a shiny new lens, wobbled back to the waiting room, and driven home, thence to crash on the sofa until further notice.

Isn’t that a lovely sentence? I wish the writer who told me to stop composing sentences requiring semicolons could see it. Not a semicolon in sight.

My critic said readers wouldn’t understand semicolons. I countered (mentally) that I hoped for readers who could unravel more than a simple declarative sentence, and if I couldn’t get them, I would give up writing and instead take conversational Spanish or annoy another voice teacher. But I have cut down on semicolons.

She also told me not to digress. One out of two isn’t bad.

Anyway. That was the procedure with LASIK, except for the puncture, the cataract, and the new lens. This time the doctor will use a vacuum cleaner. Doesn’t sound appetizing. The trade-off is that I won’t be disturbed by the smell of burning flesh–mine–from the laser. I’m to wear warm clothes because the operating room is cold. In the midst of this 75-degree winter, cold will be a relief. Friends have told me there will be heated blankets, but the doctor didn’t mention those, so I will take a sweater. I’ll have to take off my shoes, so I’ve also set aside a pair of socks the cats haven’t gnawed holes in.

Although by the time the Valium has taken hold, I won’t be able to read a compound-complex sentence, and I won’t care what the cats have done.


Note: A friend told me my impending surgery was announced on Facebook yesterday afternoon. I didn’t intend to announce it, and I don’t remember announcing it. Well, whatever. Since the story was already bouncing around in cyberspace, I thought I might as well make a post out of it. This evening, I might not think it so amusing.