Tuesday, February 28, 2023



From the Cerrahiyetü'l Haniyye (Imperial Surgery) of Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu (1385–1470), the first illustrated atlas on surgery, and the last major medical treatise from an Islamic source, composed in Turkish in 1465; from the collections of the Millet Library in İstanbul-Fatih.

Surgery yesterday went extremely well, by the way. Looks like I may not have to do the other eye, I've gained so much function already. I was surprised and initially a bit freaked out to learn that they don't knock you out—my GP kind of lied to me about that, or seriously didn't know. They give you an extremely relaxing medication with IV, but you're conscious, and your eye is obviously open. But the thing they could have explained to me, which I am going to explain to you, is that your fear is based on a childish misunderstanding: I was assuming, unconsciously, that my open eye would be watching what was being done to it, and that's not true. You're not in fact seeing anything, at first because there's nothing visible going on, because it's lasers, not tiny scalpels or scrapers, that are going the work of scrubbing away the cataract, and soon enough because your eye is completely disabled—there's no lens enabling you to "see" anything at all. Your optic nerve does what it can with the light signals it's getting, but they don't add up to anything like an image, and as they're installing the new lens, that turns into a real psychedelic light show, too bright to be quite comfortable, but kind of beautiful all the same; I was looking at three lumpy objects in the lower part of a field, swelling and changing colors, from a pale lemon to a vibrant purple, to some kind of electronica soundtrack, too, of the machinery's noises, some of them pitched including one that sounded a lot like a good old Hammond organ, a real (though abstract and inconclusive) fragment of melody. It was spectacular. Then they tell you it's time to close the eye, and when you open it again, under the transparent plastic shield they've taped over it, you just see the room, already a little sharper than it was when you came in.


I won't give names or photos or links to the press coverage, but I have to say my Israeli nephew and his partner were at Saturday's giant demonstration in Tel Aviv against the Netanyahu plot to keep himself out of prison by taking away the independence of the judiciary, and she was among the arrested, for allegedly biting an officer's finger; "You have to ask," she commented afterwards, "what his finger was doing inside my mouth in the first place." She lost two teeth in the scuffle, and was eventually released from custody.

No comments:

Post a Comment