Next eye


I saw the eye doctor today for a two week followup of the left eye cataract operation. It’s only now settling down, having been quite gritty and watery a lot of the time. I’ve finished with the antibiotic drops, but have two more weeks of the anti-inflammatory drops to go. I’ve finally got the accuracy of the drops down to a fine art now. I manage to get nearly all of them on the eyeball, and not wasted on my cheek.

I’ve been thinking I need to get the right eye done as soon as possible, but he surprised me by saying, “How about in two weeks?” Wow, that took me by surprise. I assumed I’d be waiting until about February after the holiday season is over, so I said it’s a bit soon, I’m not fully used to my new left eye’s vision yet. I asked if the next op could be delayed a bit and so that’s fine, he said he’ll give me a date in the second half of January. That should be OK.

I’ll need to coordinate with my friends in Scarborough, as I need to stay with them after the operation and for Geoff to drive me. But they’re moving to a new apartment around that time, so we’ll just have to play it by ear.

This is quite a new experience, to not need glasses for distance any more. I’ve worn glasses since primary school, around age 8 or 9. They are part of me. I’ll only need reading glasses now, and they can be quite cheap, so my expenses will be reduced. On the other hand, I’ll be able to wear cool sunglasses now, and they can cost a packet. I won’t be tempted.

Meantime, I watch TV with my glasses off now, even though only my left eye is sharp so far. The right eye just goes to sleep. I can drive with no glasses too, but my depth perception is not right, so I don’t tempt fate. Besides, my driver’s licence specifies that I must wear my glasses.

By the way, I was expecting a big bill for the first cataract op. I’ve seen estimates of $1,000 or more. But so far, it’s cost me nothing. Even his consultations two weeks ago and today have been waved away when I went to pay. He seems to be bulk billing me. This is marvellous. I’m very grateful.


This chimes with a book I’ve just finished reading and my present book, both written by doctors about “doctoring”. They both say that it’s very rare to get feedback after major treatment. They aren’t bitter about it, they don’t expect huge gratitude, as they are being paid for the job and it is just a job. But occasionally they do get a follow-up card or small gift of thanks, and they deeply appreciate it when it happens.

One of the doctors (these are UK doctors, of course) was so badly affected when one of his operations went seriously wrong that it crystallised all the negatives of his hospital working life and made him give up medicine. The other one is a neurosurgeon (Henry Marsh: “Do No Harm”) and although he gets anxious and does have occasional failures when operating on brains, he doesn’t let it get him down.

Therefore I’ve resolved to send Xmas cards and thank you notes to all the doctors I’ve been treated by recently, as I really am impressed and grateful for their skill and the bulk billing.


Speaking of going to sleep, I got zero sleep last night. I went to bed at 11pm and turned the light off at about 11.45pm after reading for a while. I tried for 90 mins with no luck, so I read my book until about 3.30am, still not feeling tired. I tried again, but no luck. It’s very restful, but it’s not sleep, not dreamtime, and I saw the light of dawn around 4.30am onwards. I’m buggered now, but I mustn’t lie down or I won’t sleep tonight either.


I have a plumber coming tomorrow to diagnose my hot water heater. Symptom: no hot water! It’s a Rheem gas storage unit, dating from 2004 when the house was built, so I suspect he’ll say it has to be replaced.

Although I could do without the expense, I’ve been thinking a lot about the waste of heating this huge storage tank 24/7, even though I don’t use hot water for showers from December through to April each summer, and even though I may be away in Bali for a month at a time.

Therefore I think I’ll specify an instant gas HWS if I have to have a new one. Only use gas for the time the hot tap is on. A Bosch unit is advertised at $830, and I’d assume a plumber could do better. It will need a 240V power point, so that will be additional for the sparkie. I’ll know more tomorrow.


Have you noticed the latest language atrocity to arise? Apart from iconic, double down, got your back, out of left field and so on.

It’s starting every answer to questions with “So”.

Q: “Do I have to connect to the NBN?”

A: “So no, not yet.”

Q: “Does your son play football?”

A: “So yes he does, in the girls’ team.”

And so on. Some people start almost every sentence with “So” now. So this will bug you now. So you’ll be hypersensitive to it. So it will drive you mad, as it does me. So be it.


2 comments on “Next eye

  1. Tom says:

    Hi Pete, Always read your blogs. Thanks……

    I completely agree with you comments about the use of ‘so’ at the beginning of sentences. It’s indicative of the gradual, but relentless decline of standards in use of the English language. I am certainly no scholar and got a 2 for senior English. It was one of my worst subjects. (In fact, maybe I got a 2 for everything? But in my defence, it was in a time when you REALLY had to actually earn good grades) I have come a long way though. I even know that it is now permissible to start a sentence with “But”. I find it strange that I am now too so particular about the current very lazy and ignorant use of the English language in the media…. in fact, everywhere.

    My main pet aversion is the use of Mum and Dad as substitutes for Mother and Father and girl and boy as substitutes for man and woman. Even the Gay BC are doing it now. You use to expect it on Channel 10, but never the ABC.
    When I was a child, I did childish things. I was a boy. Now I an and adult, I do adult things. (Okay, my wife would disagree) I am a man, not a boy. And my Parents are my Mother and father, NOT my mum and dad. I can refer to them as mum and dad, but no one else can. They are my parents: my Mother and Father. Babies and children have mums and dads. Adults have parents – Mother and Father. Whenever I hear the use of the term “Mum and Dad investors” I just cringe with dismay. Maybe there are children out there whose mummies and daddies bought them shares! I think the medias use Mum and Dad is to appeal to the child like mentality of the new age youth audiences… maybe. Why else would they use childish terminology?

    And can I say something about the substitution of the word ‘female’ by ‘woman’. ‘Woman’ is a noun. Female is an adjective. Would you hear “The car was driven by a man driver”. No. So why do we hear ” The car was driven by a woman driver”.

    The perpetual dumbing down of the media is driving me mad. Even on the ABC news now they use the word Mum and Dad to refer to the parents of adults. They’ll be accenting it ‘MOM’ next. Now that the ABC has chopped Late Line, and probably replace it with some brain dead nonsense, my expectations of ABC is going further down the toilet. The same people who decided to axe Late Line are probably having meetings with each other wondering why people are turning away from TV in droves and turning to Stan and Netflix.
    Yes Peter, I hear your frustrations.
    So, that will be it from me 🙂
    Thinking of you in the west for Christmas-

  2. Pete says:

    Thanks Tom. Glad you enjoy them. I agree, things are goin’ to rack and roon.

    I’ve only now noticed an error in my own grammar: “It’s starting every answer to questions…”

    This has little aide memoir always stood me in good stead – each, every, either, neither, none. All those are singular. Therefore the above sentence should read: “It’s starting every answer to a question …” Better get it right.

    I agree that the ABC has lost its authority. I suspect it’s the youth of the current crop of reporters and the need for speed at the expense of accuracy. I might write a bit about that. Happy Christmas.

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