Thursday, September 10, 2015

The eyes have it

Okay, bad pun!  Amid everything else that's happening, the saga of my eyes keeps trucking right along.  So, here's the latest news.

To recap, I've had surgery on both of my eyes this year.  Due to diabetes, my eyes have hemorrhages that formed scar tissue and caused the retinas to detach.  They went in, cleaned out the blood and scar tissue, used lasers to reattach the retinas, and inserted a temporary gas bubble to hold it all in place. For each one I had to lay on my side for two weeks after to keep it all together.

The right eye is doing okay,  It still has some swelling, for which I have to get regular injections. In the eye. Not a great deal of fun, but you learn to tolerate it. I wear an eye patch after those and my sweet BB calls me Director Fury on those days.  I'll take that :-)  Anyhow, my glasses prescription will have changed when this is all said and done, so I don't see entirely clearly on that side, but it could be worse.

It could be a problem child like the left eye.

My left eye has regrown the scar tissue and detached the retina again.  From that eye, I've lost some peripheral vision and the world looks like a Salvador Dali painting.  Everything is distorted and fuzzy.  I will have to have surgery on that eye again, in December.  No gas bubble this time. Because that failed, now I'll have an oil bubble.  Still have to lay on the side, which completely sucks.

Why December, though?  I'm glad you asked, dear Diary! One side effect of this surgery is that the eye forms cataracts.  Which they have done.  Both.  So, I need to have cataract surgery before the "big" surgery. Now, that's supposedly not a big deal, and I'll be back blowing and going the next day.  We can do this.

I also have to work around two bits of travel.  I'm due in Charleston to lead a conference in October.  And I've decided to return to England in November.  Time to be disconnected from devices again and run around that lovely Yorkshire countryside with my dear BB.

One of the results of the eye wonkiness is messed up depth perception. I'm rather entertaining to my companions, usually.  I reach for things and miss.  I clip door frames.  I take steps up or down when no step exists.  Fortunately, I haven't tripped on anything yet, so I'm careful with that.  BB will have to be my seeing eye BB, so I don't have a disaster in the UK.

December will a year since I first saw the blood dripping in my eye.  What a year it's been.  I'm more than ready to have this over and done.  I hope it will be over and done, so I can see what my normal vision is going to be from now on. I just really need to see.

Don't take that for granted, folks.  Vision is golden.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The New Normal

It's been nearly three weeks since my dad passed.  It still feels wholly impossible.  Among all the messages of condolence what we've received, one common thread emerged: "He was a good man."

People remember his presence s being kind and strong.  I remember that, too, and miss him desperately.  The family visitors have all gone home now, leaving my mom, Son, and me, to find our new normal.

My dad's death has hit Son very hard, so he hit something else very hard.  A tree.  With his fist.  And broke his hand in four places.  It seems to have settled him down a little, though.  He invited my mom to play video games with him. He plays new music for her. He's considerate about letting her know when he'll be home and when he won't.  My fingers are crossed that it holds.

The day after Dad's funeral, I had to hit the road with a friend (I can't drive) and Daughter, to take my little girl to Salt Lake City and her new adventure. She reported for duty as a missionary the next day.  Eighteen months without seeing her and rarely talking to her.  Of course, she's excited to be devoting this time to a life of service, and I try not to be selfish in my attitude, but that's a lot of loss and change in my life at once.

I'm spending more time with Mom, helping her to adjust to being alone and handling life on her own two feet.  It's a huge adjustment.  They were together 52 years, since the age of 15.  She's never been without him.  I'm so sad for her.  She's strong, but you can sustain that for only so long, then the cracks appear and the tears come.  Our hearts are so broken.

My sister hasn't made it easier.  She makes shit up.  When Dad was on his deathbed and past the point of forming more than a few words to say, she claimed to have had an elaborate conversation with him, while no one else was around.  After he was gone, she claimed to have been visited by him during the night, while staying with my mom in their room.

Thi is all salt in the wounds for my mother.  It leaves her asking, "Why not me?" when to me it seems obvious my sister is concocting the whole thing.  You know my beliefs, dear Diary, and I don't doubt such things DO happen, but these are obvious fabrications.  It's not nice.

My oldest nephew has been an ass. He told his mother (my sister) that grandpa died because we didn't have enough faith that he'd be healed. He was cold and cruel to his mother.  Then, his fiance comes to the funeral dressed in a strapless romper.  Really?  Where is the respect?

Most people have been kind to Mom about this devastating loss.  Some people just don't know what not to say, though.  Like, "I never would have done chemo..." or "I know just how you feel, when my husband was deployed...."  No, not the thing to say.

One bit of weirdness happened to me.  A card arrived at my home, addressed to me by the name I use with my family only, from someone I don't know. She said she was sorry to read about my loss and had enclosed something she thought would help. I could call her if I wanted.  What was enclosed? Jehovah's Witness pamphlets.

It's in very poor taste to use my dad's death as a foot in the door, but how did she know the name that only my family uses?  There are no Jehovah's Witnesses in my family.  And how did she get my home address?  I felt very invaded.  I'm not sure what I'll do about it.  It creeps me out, though, and I don't want to hear from them again.

The grief is still quite raw.  I cry often, when I'm alone.  The quiet in my house is large.  I"m wondering when the new normal comes.  I don't know what it will be yet.