Good to see You
We all take so much for granted. It’s impossible not to do so. For instance with our own bodies, we don’t think at all about our hands being able to pick up what we reach for, our voices to speak what we wish to say, our feet to carry us where we wish to go, our eyes to see the world when we open them up in the morning (even if some correction is required). It’s when we lose one (or many) of these normal abilities that we recognize what we have been taking for granted. It is my eye sight that has caused me to recognize just what I have taken for granted recently.
A year ago I was diagnosed with a retinal tear in my left eye. It was fixed with laser surgery at that time. I was told it was a result of normal aging and mainly for those who are near-sighted. Last December, I developed a tear in my right eye that was in close proximity to a blood vessel that ruptured and left me with a clouded eye for couple of months. At the time, I was warned to seek immediate care if I saw a shadow “like a window blind” close down on my eye. Being a moderate literalist, I did not seek immediate care for the small line I would see some mornings of late in my eye. It was not like a “window shade” and it seemed to be gone altogether by 10 AM. It did not fit the criteria for seeking care. The distorted view I awakened to a week ago Wednesday, however, did get my attention and prompted a call to seek consultation.
An appointment was made for 10:30 Friday. This is the very Friday my sister and her family arrived to join my wife and I on a weeklong vacation that had been in the planning for 6 months. Anticipating the retina specialist was going to tell me that I had a tear and he needed to fix it then and there, I was not, shall we say, mentally prepared for his announcement that I had a retinal detachment and that he would operate at 6:00PM that evening. I needed to be at the hospital by 4:00 with someone else driving.
Obviously, this was not the direction any of us anticipated our vacation to go. My wife called my sister and said “We have a little wrinkle in our plans.” They said no problem at all and asked how they could help. Whether or not I could go on vacation at all would be dependent on the results of the surgery.
Chris, my wife, drove me in to the hospital, waited with me while the nurses hooked me up and then wheeled me away, and then, following surgery, accepted all the necessary post-op “stuff” one seems to get. She then drove me home again, all the while encouraging me. She is a saint and I am fortunate to be in this life journey with her. Thankfully the surgery was completed without complication and after checking in the next day (Saturday) we were free to go on vacation as long as I kept my head down (face parallel with the floor) for 5 days.
The two pictures I have chosen are of the inlays in my floor. I have, once again, become very familiar with the terrain of our floor. I also read two novels, watched multiple videos, and contemplated what I have taken for granted. Were I to lose sight, how would my life change? How would the life of those I love change? How would my purpose in life change? I’m very fond of my life as it has been of late and the contemplation of changes was not easy. Knowing that the only constant is change does not make it any easier to accept.
The five days have passed and I am now able to lift my head again. I have seen all the surroundings that I have passed by for five days. The eye that was operated on is still not on-line, so I have a little depth perception problem. But I am grateful to see at all. The surgeon said that in addition to the detachment repair he “fixed” five additional tears to my retina. I had no idea I was so rough on my retinas.
I used to take for granted that I would finish all the commissions I have been asked to do. My only worry has been how to complete them in a timely manner. Now I am grateful to just be able to finish them. I’m not taking that for granted.