David Bentley

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Have you ever noticed that when you get a new medical diagnosis at least half the people you know tell you they have the exact same thing before you even state the name of the thing you have?

Have you ever noticed that when you schedule a medical procedure nearly everyone you know tells you there’s nothing to it? Do you ever wonder how so many people became medical experts?

I’ve just returned from a successful cataract surgery on my left eye. Now you’re probably thinking (along with the 600 other people who have actually asked), “I wonder when he’s having the other eye done?” Well, the answer is that I’m not. The other eye doesn’t have a cataract.

It turns out that my left eye is twice as long as my right eye, which makes me high risk for lots of things, including a cataract. It’s also why I had to have general anesthesia rather than being left half awake during the operation.

Another oddity of my surgery is that I take a medication that can cause Iris Flop. Now those of us of a certain age are used to a great deal of sagging and flopping, but who wants the iris of their eye to flop? It’s hard enough to get someone to go to dinner and a movie without a floppy iris. Fortunately a Russian ophthalmologist invented a special ring to put on the eye during surgery to prevent this malady, and my doctor ordered one.

Now, I’m walking around with one lens missing from my glasses frame. People assume this is because I have 20/20 vision in my left eye. The truth is that 20/20 vision wasn’t possible in my case. It’s just that the old lens was so thick that if I tried to look through it after surgery I’d stumble through the streets like a drunk, and trust me, that wouldn’t be a pretty sight.

We all have our own experiences with some similarities and some differences. I promise not to assume my experiences will be yours if you promise the same. Deal?

• Do you assume that everyone else’s experiences will be exactly like yours?

• Have your experiences ever been different from those of others?

• Can you share your experience without expecting others to have the same experience?

• What would happen if you listened to the experience of others solely for the purpose of learning about their experience without any need to share your own?


About David Bentley

Avatar_DavidBentleyDavid Bentley, M.Ed., is an avid observer of people, places and events. He uses his storytelling and questioning skills to help himself and others think outside the box in an ever-changing world.

Comments about his column can be sent to [email protected]

© 2013 David Bentley


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