Friday, March 18, 2016

VISION AND SEEING


It has been a long time since my last post—in fact, nearly two months! But a "time out" in part necessitated by dual eye surgeries—left eye first, followed by the right two weeks later. 

The four-week pre-surgery regime rendered me unable to read comfortably, watch a moment of TV, or even walk around outdoors without endangering myself. I'd pre-written all my upcoming columns. So I spent the time listening to music and audio books, resisting the urge to snack the hours away, while trying to not burn myself as I fed chunks of split ash to the woodstove. 

Mostly, though, I simply sat around and thought. 

Then came the surgeries, doctor visits, and crazily complicated post-surgical routines of six different drops which had to be inserted 2X, 3X, or 4X each day, changed from one week to the next, and of course were on different timeframes for each eye. Frankly, my ability to comply would likely have proven woefully beyond my schedule-management capabilities without the help of the Alarmed app on my handy dandy iPhone.

I'm now finished with the drops in my left eye, and have about another week to go for the right, which is down to two different medications, 2X and 3X daily. But the truly great news is my vision—a bit better than 20/20 in both eyes, no astigmatism, vibrant accurate colors. 

A way better outcome than I expected—more amazing and marvelous and flat wonderful than I ever dared to imagine!

Already, my "new" eyes have proven to be a gift and blessing which has fundamentally changed my life. Partly because of the incredible surgeries and skill of the surgeon and team who performed them…but also because of that unavoidable "time out," before and after, which obliged me to spend day after day inside my own head—thinking, dreaming, contemplating, evaluating, planning, accepting, prioritizing, discarding, organizing—deciding. 

From a medical perspective, I could have begun composing posts a couple of weeks ago. I started to do so several times…but, well, just wasn't ready. And I'm not even completely sure what held me back. Maybe I simply needed a bit more time to understand my inner change.     

Vision is technical. But seeing is holistic, sight interconnected to who you are—personal fears, joys, beliefs. Seeing comprehends, interprets, reveals. It's a two-way street. Active rather than passive. Vision plugged into the heart and soul.  

During these weeks away, I've made several decisions. Ones important to me, to the work I do, to my life ahead. Ultimately, some of those decisions will make their way onto the pages of this blog. I want Riverdaze to always be an honest reflection of who I am. 

I value this blog. Riverdaze is important to me…YOU are important to me. I so appreciate that you take the time to read my drivel and glance at the photos. I'm sure I get than I give. And I haven't neglected things out of laziness or irresponsibility. 

So I hope you'll understand—and forgive—my lengthy absence.        
  

20 comments:

Out To Pasture said...

So glad to learn that your eye surgeries were successful and that you are again posting your excellent pics and artful words. Better than 20/20, wow! I know how you must feel with your new vision because some years ago I had cataracts removed. I went from seeing a fuzzy grayish world to wonderful clarity and spectacular colours. Fantastic difference! I feel sorry for the folk in past generations that simply had to live with blindness. I look forward to the eventual reveals of your 'inner vision' decisions -- and of course more pics and brilliant descriptions.
Always your fan, Florence.

Penny said...

So glad you are back and with eyes that see. It will be interest to see your future plans. I missed your posts.

Giggles said...

Welcome back. You've been in my thoughts and prayers as I've anxiously awaited your return! Glad to hear the great news!

Carolyn H said...

Grzz: Glad to hear your surgeries are over and done with and have gone so well. I thought I was bad by ignoring my blog for two weeks when I had the worst cold I've had in my entire life. I sure hope that is a "one-and-done" kind of cold, too. Here, spring is beginning to spring if not yet in full "spring." Phoebes are here, and I had a kinglet the other day. Tomorrow, to celebrate the first day of spring, will be a few inches of snow. Take care!

Grizz………… said...

Out To Pasture/Florence…

Thank you for your nice comments—they mean a lot to me.

I honestly can't begin to tell you how wonderful—what a blessing!—my new vision is. Even the most mundane acts, such as glancing at the bedside clock during the night, has been turned into a small excitement. So much of what I do and enjoy centers around sight, and this is the best and certainly the easiest eyesight I've had during my entire life. Words simply fail!

Again, thank you…

Grizz………… said...

Penny…

I'm glad to be back, too. And believe me, I've missed being here—posting, and especially reading and replying to comments. I feel I'm among friends here on Riverdaze, and there's no better life panacea than spending time among friends.

Grizz………… said...

Giggles…

I'm really grateful for your thoughts and prayers. I appreciate both very, very much.

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn H…

Thank you. It is good to be back and able to see so much better.

I started this process the day after New Year's…and it has been a long, interesting, and occasionally painful or scary journey. Mostly, it's just been frustrating and boring. I really couldn't read or write, and certainly couldn't see anything outdoors. No winter birds at the feeders; no daily dramas along the riverbank. Couldn't even see a sunset or watch the snow (what little there was) fall. A whole season missed!

But the outcome has proven marvelous, even miraculous. So beyond being merely worth the price! And I can now again rambles the outdoors, make photos, write, and blog…and if you think you felt bad after missing two weeks, let me tell you I feel horrible about nearly two months! Over the past couple of years, I've allowed myself to focus almost entirely on work and chores, commitments and responsibilities, which filled every hour, every minute, and never left room for the time to do the stuff I need to feed my soul, to make my life enjoyable and worthwhile.

Really, I don't need much. I'm pretty simply, pretty basic. Old school and easy. Nevertheless, I can't do without the occasional renewal. I always want to be responsible to others first, but now and then I must give myself a bit, too. Riverdaze is something I not only want, but need, to do.

Gail said...

Hi Grizz - so good to "see" you here in blog-land. I apprecaite your return so much and I honor your absence totally. Seems it served you well on many levels - your improved vision has many layers and you have embraced each one from inside out - glorious. You are a true example of surrender in its finest form and meaning - surrender so often gets a bad rap - being seen as giving in or giving up or weakness of some sort. I see surrender as quite the opposite - it takes courage and strength and honesty to surrender to any truth - and it is only from that place of surrender can we begin a change - a change we have resisted often for a long time - and to no avail - Amen. Keep "seeing' from all vantage points and from every fiber of your being - the freedom and wisdom in that is infinite.
Love to you my friend on the river
Gail
peace........

John said...

So good to read of your success. One of my friends just had both of her eyes repaired (cataracts) and she too feels wonderful. I haven't hit that milestone yet, I have such nearsightedness that I got to wear contact lenses for more than forty years. I had to finally stop wearing them when my eyes didn't produce enough tears to float them anymore. Just looking to my side was enough to dislodge them. Then it took more hands than I possess to extricate them from my eye. Actually that was a good move as the MS symptoms grew worse, and until I receive my new power chair, I spend a lot of time in bed, supine with the iPad and MacbookAir keeping track of the world. Happy to read of your excellent dabble into the medical world and that you are happy with the results.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Thank you, always…you are a dear and very wise friend. I'll forever believe that a man must stand upon his convections, live his beliefs—no matter the cost. But I understand exactly what you're saying. And agree, both philosophically and through my own hard-won life experience. Knowing the truth of something is often only half the battle—we must surrender to that truth first before we're in position to move on. And yes, more often than not, that surrender does require courage and strength and honesty; change can be both painful and frightening. Invariably my first reaction is generally to fight and bellow and resist with every fiber of my being. I never go down easy…and it's always a good bet that I'll be the main obstacle to my own enlightenment, progression, survival. Irish bullheadedness I suppose, plus a fair measure of stupidity. I annoy and exasperate and disappoint myself to no end with this behavior. But I'll finally make the jump (a "by faith" leap off the cliff, if necessary, believing I'll grow wings on the way down) when I at last surrender to reality, embrace what I have to embrace, do what I have to do.

I guess that's what's happened here. And I'm glad, and so very blessed by the outcome. :-)

Grizz………… said...

John…

Like you, I wore contacts for forty-plus years. Never had insufficient moisture problems. Could wear my contacts 24, 36, even 48 hours straight without discomfort—and often did! I never owned a pair of glasses once I switched to contacts. My eyesight, without correction, was something worse than 20/800, which most folks simply can't imagine. Corrected it was 20/25 or a bit better. And such nearsightedness had it's occasional advantages. I could remove my contacts and close-focus at 2 inches! Built-in macro lenses! Great for picking out splinters, or tying trout flies—say, a tricorythode imitation down to size 24. But the necessity for change had come…and I decided this winter was the time, though never thought the outcome would be this amazing. A wonderful gift, and one I don't intend to waste.

Gail said...

Hi again - your beautifully and so wisely expressed understanding of surrender is eloquent and filled with life's truths - wow!!
Love Gail
peace......

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

From my perspective, I'm not aware of exhibiting much eloquence. More like whining, sputtering, and pleading as befits an incorrigible geezer being dragged by the scruff into his future.

But all the same, thank you. :-D

John said...

Jim,

As the age of presbyopia drew nigh, I switched my contact prescription to mono-vision - left eye corrected to near, right eye set for far. Worked great! Never had to supplement with reading glasses for close up work.

I remember third grade, when my family moved to Michigan from Ohio. That was the first year i ever had a vision test in school. The instructions were to stand with your feet on the strip of masking tape affixed to the floor, then read the eye chart at the other end of the room. I couldn't see any chart, let alone the end of the room! No one believed me, choosing to think I was some kind of wise guy instead.

Come to think about it, school was full of all kinds of assumptions on the part of teachers and administrators. Definitely not made for the likes of people like me. I grew up understanding that the answer to everything came forth from out of a haze. All you had to do was keep the question in mind and keep exploring.

Grizz………… said...

John…

Ahh, that good old business of presbyopia. I remember it well! And not fondly! The point at which your curiosity overcomes your vanity and you break down and shop for reading glasses. Which I did—three pairs for $20 at Sam's. I bought about a dozen and distributed them amongst desk, truck, bedside table, fly tying bench, fishing vest, daypack, bathroom, kitchen counter, etc. Everywhere I thought the ability to see close up and read or examine something might come in handy. And they worked fine and I frankly didn't mind them all that much. I did try mono vision—hated it, loathed it, couldn't stand it. Wanted the best binocular vision, corrected for distance, that I could obtain. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.

Then, after a few years, something odd occurred…except in very dim light, or on the finest print, I no longer needed readers. I could work on the computer, check labels at the grocery, tie on a trout fly, do pretty much whatever, whenever, wherever all without supplemental lenses other than my contacts. No need for mono vision contacts or bifocal contacts. And things stayed that way right up until this surgery. My eye doc never did figure out why my eyes apparently regained much of their ability to focus close, but confirmed that they had. Not like in my teens, of course, but workable enough that most days I never dug out one of those old pairs of readers.

Now, alas, I do need readers for up-close focusing. But Lord knows I have plenty in various drawers and pockets, and I really don't have a problem using them.

When I was a kid, I got fitted with glasses pretty early on—sometime during the first years of grade school. But like you I also went through those times of no one understanding how bad my vision was without them, and of teachers and the like making all sorts of wrong assumptions—and my having to learn how to work around their prejudice and cluelessness.

Sally Moore said...

Welcome Back! I love your "drivel"!

Grizz………… said...

Sally Moore…

Thank you! I'm truly glad to be back, and am looking forward to sharing the seasons…so expect more drivel!

KGMom said...

Glad that you are recovering. Eye surgery is quite miraculous these days, but no less scary.
Here's to continued healing for you.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

Thank you. And you're absolutely right…our amazing modern technology can work wonders, but it's still surgery, still open to the possibility of things going terribly wrong, and still your one and only set of eyes. When they start cutting the eye open, removing this and installing that, you'd be a fool not to understand the risk, however remote, and subsequent consequences. Faith and trust help, but it's hard not to be at least a little bit frightened by that point of no return line you're crossing.

I saw my eye surgeon Monday. Everything is excellent—healing, vision, overall eye health. So he released me from his care. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome, for which I'm grateful beyond measure.