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My friend, Pat, uses the term “elderly” when referring to the current state of our high school graduating class. It makes me want to strap him to a walker with nonskid rubber tips and send him flying off of a skateboard ramp. I don’t mind the term “over 65.” I can handle the word “senior” and I will admit to my age, 70, but I’m not keen on telling anyone I’ve had cataract surgery. For the most part, it’s old people who have cataract surgery, and I don’t see myself as old… certainly not elderly… plus cataracts are one of those age-related things that go along with having kidney stones, your gallbladder removed and needing a hearing aid.

What’s that you say? Tuesday?

For those of you who don’t have cataracts—a cloudy film that develops inside the natural lens of your eye—surgeons first remove it and then implant an artificial lens to restore clear vision. The problem is, there are more lens choices than there are bonbons in a box of chocolates, and even after you’ve made your choice, you don’t know what you’re going to get. None of the dozen or so lens choices are perfect. Each lens comes with a potential drawback, so you need to choose the lesser of the evils. That “thing” you can live with… for the rest of your life… like halos around lights and not being able to see in dim light—which I experienced before cataract surgery—or being able to see up close but not far away, or being able to see far away but not up close. 

This will come as no surprise but I research everything! When I had breast cancer I learned the medical terminology and now with cataracts, I’m learning another new language. Why can’t they just say “farsightedness” instead of “presbyopia” or nearsightedness instead of “myopia?”

Then there’s “intraocular pseudophakic” which means fake replacement lens. 

“You need an intraocular pseudophakic lens for your presbyopia.” Why can’t they just say, “You need a replacement lens to correct your farsightedness?” Now wasn’t that easier? Obviously I absorbed enough medical-speak because, before my surgery, the anesthesiologist assumed I was “in medicine.” LOL!

Four days after surgery I left for the gym, and thirty seconds after getting on the freeway I realized I had no business driving… even to the convenience store on the corner. My right eye is now seeing through its newly implanted lens, but my left eye hasn’t had cataract surgery yet and still needs glasses. So I had a clear lens put in the right eye of my glasses and left the prescription lens alone in my left eye. I thought that was a logical thing to do however… What I see out of each eye are different sizes.

My vision on the freeway reminded me of when I dropped acid in the ’70’s! Everything was out of proportion but now, they’re 2,900 pound metal beasts, whizzing past me! It was terrifying! I apologize to all of you “older” people on the highway who used to frustrate me. I now realize you’re probably coping with a host of problems I’m just now figuring out.

However… I have another problem other than my vision, and it’s HUGE!

When looking at myself in the mirror, my butt looks SMALLER through the eye that still sees with prescription glasses, but through the eye that had the cataract removed and a new lens implanted… My butt looks BIGGER! A lot bigger! And all this time I thought I was holding my own, weight wise, when in reality, my butt’s the size of a grand champion pumpkin!

As for my friend, Pat, I hope he takes a suggestion from Toby Keith and Clint Eastwood: “Don’t let the old man in.”

Love, Brenda


  • Doreen McGettigan November 2, 2019 at 6:34 am

    I hope once you have the second surgery, everything looks better than normal. A friend told me she must have been colorblind before here surgery, she said everything is so bright now.
    Aren’t big butts “in” these days?

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:26 pm

      Doreen, While big butts are in for the Kardashians, I will pass… or at least I hoped to pass. Yes, the color of things looks different through each eye. The cataract eye has a blue/white tint to it, which I don’t think will serve me well when choosing makeup colors. Maybe that’s how “elderly” women windup looking like garish kewpie dolls. Oh, dear… Please tell me if that happens to me. xoxox, Brenda

  • Donna November 2, 2019 at 7:17 am

    Miss Brenda, your posts never fail to amuse and enlighten at the same time! You will be so happy when you can see clearly. Actually cataract surgery was a breeze…my doctor does back-to-back surgeries. Had one eye done, went back the next morning and they deemed it a success and proceeded to do the other eye. No waiting a week or a month… And they served pound cake in recovery!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:28 pm

      Hi Donna, They served poundcake in recovery? That’s funny! This week I’m having my other eye done and am looking forward to it. Thank you so much! xoxox, Brenda

  • Beckye November 2, 2019 at 7:53 am

    I see this in my future! Thank you for the instructive warning! But never fear – We have photo evidence that you do NOT have big butt! You’re safe. Loved this post, as always!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:30 pm

      You’re welcome, Beckye! How can you be certain you’re seeing the photos of me correctly? Don’t you wear glasses? Things are smaller? xoxox, Brenda

  • Hilda Smith November 2, 2019 at 8:13 am

    One of my friends has just had cataract surgery and complains that she had fewer wrinkles beforehand. Who knew that it gave you wrinkles too!!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      LOL!!! Hilda!! I’m having my other eye done this week so I’m fully expecting more wrinkles in my future as well. xoxox, Brenda

  • Taste of France November 2, 2019 at 8:31 am

    This is hilarious. I remember when my grandma had cataract surgery and was amazed to discover how pretty her kitchen floor was (imitation terrazzo linoleum; she thought it was plain beige). I am extremely myopic, and now that I need bifocals I sometimes can’t see things at all. In the opthamologist’s office, I can read just fine. But in the wild, I can’t make out anything on any labels in stores, or menus or all kinds of things. I end up take off my glasses, smashing my nose against whatever it is I want to see, and then I can make it out.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm

      TOF, Thanks! I’m glad you like it. With one eye done and the other seriously myopic, I’ve been feeling like I’m in the wild as well. Love that description! I’m having a terrible time seeing out of either eye at the grocery store. Earlier today I was trying to read ingredients… in tiny print… So difficult. Perhaps we need to wear one of those stylish magnifying glasses on a chain around our neck. I think those were popular wayyyy back in the day. Perhaps I’ll google them and see if I can find one. If I find two, I’ll send you the other one. xoxox, Brenda

  • Laura Lee Carter November 2, 2019 at 9:52 am

    Ha! I’m afraid my butt looks BIG no matter which way I try to look at it, and I haven’t had cataract surgery yet.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      Laura! Silly girl!! LOL! xoxox, Brenda

  • Joan November 2, 2019 at 10:52 am

    I had my first cat surgery at age 64, about 15 years ago. Prior to that I had to wear one close-up contact lens, and one for distance – nearsighted since age 13), so I wanted to be able to still read in the bathtub. I asked for a close up lens..I love it….then about 7 years ago I chose to get the multi-focal lens though I had to pay for it myself. The distance and middle range are great…the close up is not very good.
    Since then I only need glasses to drive at dusk, or night time so my one eye can see the distance better. My butt keeps shrinking as I get older, but it never was my best feature ! LOL

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:38 pm

      Joan, How many of us have EVER thought our butt was our best feature? Thanks for the info about what you chose. That’s what I mean about so many choices! xoxox, Brenda

  • Sue Burpee November 2, 2019 at 10:57 am

    I had one eye done last year. At age 62. And when the doctor said you’re very young for this, I laughed and said probably one of the few times someone will ever say that to me again… ever. Ha. Still get halos around lights at night because I have a slower developing one in the other eye, but no problems like you have. My cataract made me short-sighted and thus my reading glasses were unnecessary in one eye, so the doc just popped out the lens and I was good to go. Now I use both lenses in the reading glasses I wore before surgery and everything is good.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm

      Sue, LOL! A friend of mine’s 30-something daughter had cataract surgery, so you never know about age or what might cause them. This week when I have my left eye done, I’m getting the same multi focus lens I had in my right eye. I’m expecting to still need glasses, but overall my sight will be so much improved. After surgery my right eye has gone from 20/700 to 20/30, and I’m hoping it will continue to improve over time. xoxox, Brenda

  • Haralee November 2, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Too funny Brenda and I will keep your thoughts in mind when I have the surgery! Regarding your bum, it is the 2 different eyes making proportions seem off. End of story!!!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:44 pm

      Thank you, Haralee! I needed that, and I will choose to believe you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Sandra Sallin - Apart From My Art November 2, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    Rats! Just wrote a whole paragraph of scintillating comments and now it has disappeared. Bottom line. I had the surgery after my cornea was scraped with a sharp knife. That was an early torture device. Not fun. I never thought of myself as old because of the surgery. In fact I never think I’m old. It truly is a state of mind. I love the way everything is brighter. So that makes me happy. Enough of this pejorative thing about age. We’re lucky to still be here. I know your bottom is not as large as a pumpkin. I just know it.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:47 pm

      Sandy, Now I’m saying “Rats!” Scintillating comments from you would have been so delicious! How was your eye scraped with a knife? Oh! That sounds terrible! Torturous!! Yes, I will get off of the age kick because I’m young in so many ways! I also need to tell my friend, Pat, to stop calling us elderly! xoxo, Brenda

  • Colleen Fuller November 2, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    Brenda – you certainly have a lot of knowledge about cataracts. Most people are not that informed. I’m like you and research everything. I had cataracts and astigmatism at the same time. I wore contacts for nearsightedness before my surgery and would have to start wearing glasses except there is now a lens that corrects cataracts and astigmatism without the need for glasses. I do use low level reading glasses. A friend recently said to me “we are the first generation of young elderly”. What an oxymoron! I will never label myself elderly.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 4:49 pm

      Colleen, I have cataracts and astigmatism together as well and got one of the lens that corrects for both and am getting a second one in my other eye this week. Fingers crossed it works as well as the first surgery! xoxox, Brenda

  • Shawnee November 2, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    Ohhh Brenda this is cracking me up !!!
    I worked 30 years in ophthalmology and saw soooo many patients having cataract surgery, but not once heard of them with a bigger butt LOL . I should have written all the comments I heard through the years and all the funny things people do and say. The most pronounced memory was a young girl that had a breast reduction ,,,, yep I got flashed !! Not a thing to do with eyeballs !! You would have been a breath of fresh air as a patient !! XO

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 8:48 pm

      Hi Shawnee! LOL! I’m still trying to connect the dots between a breast reduction/flashed and being in an ophthalmologist’s office unless she was proud of them. Even so… Very strange. Thanks for the laugh! xoxox, Brenda

  • Joanna November 2, 2019 at 7:45 pm

    It’s not necessarily an elderly affliction. My husband had cataracts in his mid 50s. He had a trifocals in one eye and a bifocal in the other. I’m not sure why they did it that way but his eyesight is perfect. At first, he did see halos around headlights when driving at night but that has passed. You’ll find colors are brighter afterwards, too.
    Why do doctors feel the need to use such complicated terminology when they must know a layperson won’t understand? Plain English, please!
    I know it’s an old and common saying, but I feel the need to repeat it. “ You’re only as old as you feel.” And, I know you’re full of energy and have a zest for life. Can I say, Get over it!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 8:51 pm

      Hi Joanna, Thanks for the encouragement. Happy your husband’s eyes turned out so well. I’m hoping the halos go away and actually the colors go back to the way they were although I don’t think so. Everything has a blue/white tint to it which will throw makeup, paint for the walls… everything off. I’m young in body, mind and spirit, so no worries there. Just have to get my friend to stop using the word “elderly.” xoxo, Brenda

      • Joanna November 4, 2019 at 2:18 pm

        I truly hope the blue/grey tint goes away. That doesn’t seem right, but then, I guess we all heal/recover/experience differently. Sending healing thoughts and prayers your way, Brenda.

        Tell your friend to stop! You’re young in age and spirit. She can throw that word around when you turn eighty.

        • 1010ParkPlace November 4, 2019 at 3:55 pm

          Joanna, I’m also hoping the blue/white tint to things goes back to normal. I’ll never get makeup colors right again. Could this be how some “old ladies” makeup looks a bit garish? I hope not! xoxox, Brenda

  • Lauren November 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm

    Thanks for the laugh! Can’t wait for this. NOT!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 8:52 pm

      LOL! I know how you feel, Lauren. Glad you found this amusing! Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment. xoxox, Brenda

  • Donna Robinson November 3, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    Your post brought back memories of waiting for the second eye – all true not to mention also seeing colors differently with each eye. After weighing all the choices my doctor suggested trying mono vision contact lenses for several months – one eye sees near and the other far. Your brain adjusts – or not. Mine did and I went with them plus prisms for astigmatism. No regrets, no glasses and I found out yesterday they can be cleaned with a laser procedure if clarity decreases. It was the best decision I made after spending years grabbing my glasses before getting out of bed. The onset was early – I had them done at 55. I agree about too many options and not enough information on how to make a decision. I feel blessed I had a doctor who suggested the contacts first.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 3, 2019 at 8:57 pm

      Donna, 55… It was early onset for you. My allergies make contact lenses hard to tolerate, but I’m happy they worked for you. Brilliant suggestion on the part of your doctor. You can also have cataract surgery and have one eye set for near and the other far, but not everyone adjusts, and the ones who don’t… It drives them crazy, but they’re stuck with it. I have a technically good surgeon, but he and his associates zipped through my choices and left me totally puzzled, so I came home and did research and made a spread sheet! xoxo, Brenda

  • Karen Austin November 4, 2019 at 7:12 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Statistics indicate that I may have to undergo this surgery at some point, and I had no idea about the “box of chocolates” choices for replacement lenses. Wowza. All my best as you negotiate your vision change.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 4, 2019 at 8:09 am

      Hello Miss Karen! You’re right about so many of us having cataract surgery. A girlfriend and I did some math based on how many surgeries her surgeon does a year… His yearly gross could be $12 million a year! If you have a grandchild who wants a lucrative profession… Thank you! xoxox, Brenda

  • Rena November 4, 2019 at 9:23 am

    That’s just awful, but also hilarious (in a I’m laughing with you not at you kind of way). I need to get a strong eyeglass prescription but I’ve been putting it off. Now that I’m driving again I need to get on the ball. Thanks for the reminder

    • 1010ParkPlace November 4, 2019 at 3:47 pm

      Hi Rena, My eye surgeon said I was legally blind and shouldn’t be driving. “You know that don’t you?” No… No one ever told me that. So yes, get yourself some new glasses, girlfriend!! xoxox, Brenda

  • Diane November 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    I am so glad I read this! My optometrist just checked my eyes and told me I had no sign of cataracts. Then told me it was too bad because I could get an artificial lens and never have to have glasses again.
    He made it sound so great.
    I’m thinking now I need a new optometrist…
    Especially if it’s going to give me a big butt! 😉
    P.S. I absolutely LOVE that song!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 4, 2019 at 3:51 pm

      Hi Diane, New lenses implanted for cataract surgery work out great for many people, and they’re happy with them. It’s too soon for me to know if I’ll need glasses because I’m getting the second eye done this week, plus each eye needs at least a month to six weeks or so to heal and for the inflammation to go down. If you don’t need cataract surgery, don’t go looking for trouble by wanting a “new lens.” It is a great song, isn’t it, and Clint Eastwood is perfect in the video and in his film, The Mule. xoxo, Brenda

  • Laurie Stone November 4, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    Laughing. Somehow I doubt your butt’s the size of a Grand Champion pumpkin! But that ride on the highway does sounds scary. Hope all this gets sorted out. Eye stuff can be a pain.

    • 1010ParkPlace November 4, 2019 at 3:53 pm

      No. You’re right, Laurie. I exaggerate about the size of my butt, but the size is different with my glasses prescription and the cataract lens. I’m guessing 8 to 10 pounds. I was shocked! Thanks! xoxo, Brenda

  • Jill November 6, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Oh this made me laugh!

    • 1010ParkPlace November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am

      I’m so glad, Jill! Thanks for reading and letting me know. xoxox, Brenda

  • LA CONTESSA November 8, 2019 at 10:07 am

    OH DEAR……………..No words come to me!Only that I too UNDERSTAND WHY THE ELDERLY drive slower and have SO MUCH MORE COMPASSION than I did say a few years ago!YOU DROPPED ACID????????????WHAT’s NEXT BRENDA!!!!XX

    • Brenda Coffee November 8, 2019 at 1:49 pm

      Elizabeth, When I dropped acid I lived “down the road” from you in Saratoga, California. It was the ’70’s! Sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll! What can I say? The days of Woodstock, psychedelic colors and hippies who lived on Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. Never mind that my husband wore a suit to work in Silicon Valley, and I drove a Porsche. We didn’t fit in with the subculture, but hey… Let’s give it a try! Aging is a humbling experience, isn’t it? My mother’s words come back to me: “Just you wait Henry Higgins. Just you wait.” An Audrey Hepburn line from “My Fair Lady” that mother would quote when she felt like I didn’t understand… whatever… it was. xoxox, Brenda

  • Susan December 1, 2019 at 7:26 pm

    How can one not be confused with all the techno speak options layered on this topic. Eye docs, listen-up! Please! Brenda, thanks so much for the enlightenment. My late great uncle passed away at 99 and used to say, “Aging is not for sissies.” With every birthday, his point becomes more and more a reality…

    • Brenda Coffee January 1, 2020 at 3:26 pm

      Hi Susan, Yes!!! With every birthday!!! It’s more apparent that growing old takes guts and determination! I’d like to tell you I’m happy with my cataract surgery, but I’m not. Still can’t see well, and I have dry eyes. Bought my fourth type of eye drops today. Here’s hoping they help. Happy New Year, Susan! xoxox, Brenda

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