Connie and the Adventure of the Amazing Cataract Surgery

Ima thinking we’re doing this whole retirement thing wrong…here it is Wednesday afternoon and so far this week starting on Sunday our alarm clocks have been set for 0530, 0530, 0500, and 0600. Add in another 0600 tomorrow for laundry (gotta get up there early or it’s wait time) and 0500 on Friday so Neil can get to the RAM truck place on time for Big Red’s maintenance…and Ima tellin’ ya we’re just doing it wrong somehow.

Weather report for today…90 degrees, 36% relative humidity, light winds, and brilliant almost cloudless skies. I think we can safely say that winter is over here in Fort Myers. We’ve had the A/C on for almost a week now and doesn’t look like we’ll have the windows open anytime in the next 10 days or so at least…although we do try to open up early in the morning a couple times a week when it’s cooler and get some fresh, no-smelly air. 

Little known fact that you probably don’t care about…this is Gunther’s 500th post on the blog along with another 100 or so from Kara.

Anyhoos…the reason we’ve been getting up early…after Mass and choir on Sunday morning…was Connie’s cataract surgery on her left eye…which was the good one until she had her separated retina last May. Her right eye has been blurry, useless in the daylight, and B&W only since age 12 but with the retina detachment, subsequent vitrectomy to get rid of the scar tissue and yesterday’s cataract surgery brought on by the air inside her eye during the vitrectomy it’s been quite the year.

We got there at 0700 yesterday and by 0710 she was gone into pre-op…Neil sat in the waiting room until 0840 when they came out and got him as she was done…she had been back in recovery for maybe 10 minutes when he got there. She was woozy naturally…well, she’s pretty loopy anyway but it was even more so than usual…and had a patch over her eye. She literally couldn’t see anything once we got outside due to the glare in the light and her limited useful vision right eye.

We got home and had lunch…then dinner…and she spent most of the time sitting quietly with her eyes shut. Popped some Advil a couple of times and felt like there was something in her eye most of the night but was feeling a bit better by this morning.

We headed down again for her 0930 followup appointment today…she was reading on the 20/50 line which is about -1.5 diopters based on the Googles…the surgeon said he was aiming for -3.0 diopters so either he missed on the good side a bit or the Google conversion chart is off. In any event she’s fine, doing better than he expected, and he expects it to continue to improve over the next week or so. She’s got a final followup on April 26 at which time they’ll release her from care and do a complete refraction for her so that she can get new glasses. In the meantime…she’s gonna wait until Monday for a bit of the swelling to go down and then either just deal with it until then or get some reading glasses from the CVS to tide her over…she did try Neil’s -1.5 cheaters today and could read better than without them.

We came on home…stopping by the Just Ride Along LBS (local bike shop) to pick up Neil’s Cannondale bad boy…after 5½ years and somewhere north of 5100 miles in the saddle it was time for some maintenance. New chain, chain ring, crankset bearing cartridge, cassette, and brake pads and a mere $355 later we were out the door. Labor was just $75 for the tuneup charge and all the rest was parts. Neil can change tires and tubes himself but the rest of it just needs too many specialized tools, jigs and know-how that he just doesn’t have…so he hires a professional. So he’s good for another half decade or so although he’ll need new tires by the end of the summer. 

We had lunch then Neil and Connie went over and moved our friend Jeff’s 5ver from the site he was in over to site 55 where his rig will be permanently on Seminole’s Store and Stay program. You pay $150 a month and it sits on the site with power while you’re not here and the normal monthly rate while you’re in residence. Storage back in the back with no power is $90 a month but by the time you pay Seminole the move to and move from storage fee it’s just $100 or so to just leave it in place on your site. We hitched his rig up and Neil pulled it around…Connie came up and was the Mombacker for him. You know what a Mombacker is doncha? I’m sure you’ve heard them if you ever watched a southern garbage truck do it’s work…there’s one guy driving it and another guy out back yelling “Momback, Momback.” While Neil was perfectly comfortable pulling Jeff’s 32 foot or so rig around…and he did it quite professionally according to the peanut gallery watching him…he’s really not comfortable with anybody but Connie guiding him back in via the walkie talkie. Mostly he can see to back in just fine but she knows the things to look out for so he doesn’t back into a tree or power pedestal or whatever. Got in with one go although pride did force him to pull forward and then back to get it properly positioned fore and aft in the site and parallel to the patio…he didn’t want to leave it angled to the pad like some rookie would ya know…gimme a break.

After that we had a shower…I did mention it was 90 degrees, right…and are done for the day except for Happy Hour and dinner.

We’re really glad that her long struggle with the left eye is pretty much over…by the time the end of next month rolls around and we get her new glasses prescription it will have been just about a year to the day since the retina detached…it’s been a struggle for her but there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel…we just hope it’s not an oncoming train.

Ok, on to interesting things from the net.

Ever notice how Billy Joel looks *exactly* like Darth Vader with his helmet off?


Coolest duck evah.


Now we know that our readers probably have varying propensities to use…well let’s call it colorful language I guess…but there are really a few times in life when it’s perfectly acceptable to use the F-word. I won’t actually use it here…but provide the following photographic guidance on when it is OK to just go ahead and say it.






You recognize this one right…it’s an emotional outlet.


For those times when you just can’t find the book you’re looking for…it can probably be found here.


Why Yes…Yes they do.


Not safe RVing (may have used this one before).


I knew there was an explanation.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Connie and the Adventure of the Amazing Cataract Surgery

  1. Seamus says:

    glad K is better – send us a foto…
    ‘larm clock ? ‘larm clock ? we don’ need no steenking ‘larm clock… (my bladder assumed those duties in lessee, 2008 or so…)
    my cheaters are 2.5… guess i’m older…
    August 6, 1945 – last known use of the “f” word approved by the Vatican – mayor of hisoshima – stuck his head out the window, said “Whatda f**k wassat ???

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Ok here’s a photo but can’t really tell much from it.

      We can’t believe how many days we actually set an alarm clock for retired bums. Crazy talk I tell ya.

      Sent from my iPad mini


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