Peter is Looking at Things Differently Today

Editor’s Note – Due to ongoing computer and app problems, Peter’s column is bereft of pictures this week. My apologies.

By the time you read this, I will have had both of my cataract surgeries done, and I face the future with optimism.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. You have all been very reassuring and I have to resort to the word “humbling” to adequately describe how much your friendship and encouragement mean to me. The medical staff who are delivering this service to me have been nothing but efficient, friendly and helpful. I can’t believe how much better my vision is, seeing a marked improvement even after only one surgery. One advantage I found after my first surgery was that when a commercial came on that “didn’t impress me”, I only had to close my good eye to lessen any negative impact on my sensitivities.

I have worn glasses for about 60 years, and cheerfully skipped through my childhood unworried about being able to see, as my parents always made sure that I had a serviceable pair to wear. It was only later, when I became responsible for my own “upkeep”, that I had the faintest idea of how much money they had spent to keep me in that particular situation. I do remember that they never made it an issue. 

Thankfully my job with the Canadian government provided me with medical expense coverage sufficient to keep me able to read my computer screen, even though my job related computer screen time doubtless contributed to the rapid decline in my vision.

During the time when I required vision aids, I wore either glasses or contact lenses, each of which generated some personally memorable moments. 

Once when I was putting in one of my contacts, I grabbed the wrong squeeze bottle and squirted lens cleaner directly into my eye. I don’t remember much of what followed, but the pain was both long lasting and intense! On another occasion, I was in a hotel room with a girlfriend. We had had an argument, and I decided to go to bed early. As it was raining, I took two glasses and filled them with water. I took off my contacts and put them to soak in the glasses. ( Cleverly, I had avoided having to get wet while retrieving my contact lens cleaner kit from the car. It should be noted that she was in the washroom while this was happening.) And so to bed, as Samuel Pepys wrote.

I woke up in the morning to her smiling face. She told me that she forgave me, and she appreciated that I had left her two glasses of water, as she had been very thirsty when she went to bed.

The two (empty) glasses sat on the night table, bearing silent witness to the events of the previous night. For my part, I was just glad that I had brought my backup pair of glasses!

The incident which stands out the most from my days of wearing glasses to work would have to be the time I was in the shower when I heard a strange noise. I shut off the shower, pushed back the curtain and “saw” Reg the Cat merrily batting my glasses around the bathroom floor……at least I think that I saw that, as I must admit that my uncorrected vision was rather unremarkable.

But that was then, this is now. After referral to an opthamologist, it was decided that cataract surgery was the way for me to go. I truly can’t say enough about the professionalism of the medical staff involved, I have been treated with the utmost respect for them all. 

I can’t begin to describe how great it is to have such improved vision after needing glasses for 6….. a long time! I am still getting adjusted to this marvellous change in my life, so I will wrap it up for this week with this little anecdote from Wednesday morning, as I was leaving for the surgery.

I was on the elevator with an older couple, and I mentioned that I was having cataract surgery, in an attempt to make conversation. The man said that he had driven a Cadillac. I smiled under my mask and said that that would be fun to take to the drive in. He replied that it depended on who you were going to the drive in with!

Personally, I thought that was a pretty clever response for 9 in the morning!

See you soon 


A confirmed Cat person, Peter dabbled with being a water boy, a paper boy and an altar boy before finally settling on a career with the Canadian federal government.  Once, in his youth, he ate a Dutch  oven full of mashed potatoes to win a 5 cent bet with his beloved sister Mary’s boyfriend. (Of course he was much younger and a nickel went a lot farther!))

He has retired to palatial “Chez Montreuil”, which he shares with his little buddy CoCo the Fashionable. He is blessed to have the beautiful Betty in his life. He is not only a plastic aircraft modeller, but a proud “rivet counter”. Military aviation and live music are among other interests of his, and he tries to get out to as many shows as he can. He will be here for your enlightenment whenever the stars align. Profile photo courtesy of Pat Blythe, caricature courtesy of Peter Mossman.

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