With age comes wisdom. And maybe cataracts. You have more than a one in two chance of having a cataract or having had cataract surgery by the time you’re 80. I’m having cataract surgery next week. Hoping to have a little fun with this rite of passage, I put out a call to my Facebook friends:
“What songs should I put on my Cataract Surgery mixtape?”
Within seconds, I had my first response:
The First Cut Is The Deepest.
“Good one!” I responded, trying not to wince.
Doctor, My Eyes.
“Perfect!“ I replied.
“Blinded By The Light!” a third friend suggested. “Because that’s what driving at night with cataracts is like.”
And there were more.
Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
She Blinded Me With Science.
See You In September.
I’m Looking Through You.
I’d Rather Go Blind.
“Anything by the Black-Eyed Peas!”
From a classical music fan:
“Then Shall The Eyes of the Blind Be Opened,” Handel’s Messiah.
From my friend Bill:
“I came up with more than 460 appropriate songs from among the 28,675 songs in my eyetunes – sorry, iTunes – Library.”
Rather then listing them all, he offered to burn me a CD. (Now there’s a pal.)
Many of my friends have had cataract surgery themselves and offered encouragement along with song suggestions.
“Cataract surgery is a piece of cake! And you’ll be able to throw away your bifocals.”
“It was amazing to have clear vision after wearing glasses for 50 years!’
Meanwhile, song suggestions were coming in fast and furious.
I’ll Be Seeing You.
I Saw The Light.
Miss Me Blind.
Eyes of the World.
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
One friend’s song titles were posted in a Question and Answer format.
Q: What’s the best song to sing to your doctor before cataract surgery?
A: I Only Have Eyes For You.
Q: Once the procedure starts, where will your ophthamologist be?
A: In Your Eyes.
Q: What will you have once you’re recovered?
A: Bright Eyes!
Then came the post-recovery songs:
I Can See Clearly Now.
I Can See For Miles and Miles.
Here Comes The Sun.
And more encouraging words:
“Cataract surgery is a total non-event. I drove my mom to the clinic to have it done, and we went out to lunch afterwards.“
“You’ll recover quickly. But you can still laugh and dance (and sleep and nap) while you’re out of focus.“
And so I will….With a Little Help From My Friends.
Roz Warren writes for the New York Times, the Huffington Post and many other publications. She recently appeared on the “Today Show.” You can read more of her work at www.rosalindwarren.com and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @WriterRozWarren.
This essay first appeared on www.womensvoicesforchange.org as “Doctor My Eyes: The Ultimate Cataract Surgery Mix Tape.”