With age, comes wisdom. And, frequently, cataracts. (By age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery.) I'm having cataract surgery next week. Hoping to have a little fun with this particular rite of passage, I put out a call to my Face Book friends:
"What songs should I put on my Cataract Surgery mix Tape?"
Within seconds, I had my first response:
The First Cut Is The Deepest.
"Good one!" I responded, trying not to wince.
Then the next suggestion appeared.
Doctor, My Eyes.
"Perfect!" I replied.
"Blinded By The Light!" suggested a third. "Because that's what driving at night with cataracts is like."
Other titles soon followed:
Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes.
She Blinded Me With Science.
My friends, many of whom have had cataract surgery themselves, offered encouragement and support along with their song suggestions.
"Cataract surgery is a piece of cake! And you'll be able to throw away your bifocals."
"The surgery is quick and you won't feel a thing."
"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.
See You In September.
I'm Looking Through You.
I'd Rather Go Blind.
"Anything by the Black-Eyed Peas!"
And a classical music fan suggested "Then Shall The Eyes of the Blind Be Opened" from Handel's Messiah.
"From the 28,675 songs in my eyetunes -- sorry, iTtunes -- Library," posted my friend Bill, "I came up with more than 460 appropriate songs." Rather then listing them all, he offered to burn me a CD. (Now THERE'S a pal.)
And the hits just kept on coming:
I Saw The Light.
Miss Me Blind.
Eyes of the World.
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes.
So did the encouragement:
"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."
"Like most unpleasant events, the expectation is worse than the reality."
"Just breathe. Your eyes will be in good hands. "
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!
Friends posted several other post-recovery songs:
I Can See Clearly Now.
I Can See For Miles and Miles.
Here Comes The Sun.
And more encouraging words:
"You'll be able to open your eyes in the morning and see clearly!"
"I went from walking into walls to 20/20. Priceless."
"Good luck! 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.
(This piece first appeared on WomensVoicesForChange.)