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6 posts from May 2013

I think my vision is better after four heavy-duty eye surgeries in the last six months


Here's a little something to hang on your wall. It's my right eye this past Friday.

I'm not sure yet about the outcome of my latest eye surgery--a vitrectomy--but, I think my vision is better.  To find out, I will see the ophthalmologist who did the surgery later this week.  


The problem is with my right eye where the lens has refused to stay in place and in the process of being repositioned in March, I discovered that I had a retinal detachment.  Throughout the past six months, I had plenty of symptoms which resulted in many visits to my regular ophthalmologist and eventually several more who had sub-specialties relating to the eye.

Along the way I had an MRI where it was discovered that I had a brain tumor that was benign and inconsequential to the function of my eye.

For any baby-boomers or others reading this who might be grappling with eye-problems, here's the latest:

What surgery did I have this past Tuesday at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak?

I had a vitrectomy on my right eye.  Now, I'm explaining this from my lay-person's understanding.  The vitreous fluid in that eye was drained.  Tunnels were made on each side of the schlera or white of my eye where the lens implant's hooks were placed.  Then saline solution was added to the eye to replace the vitreous fluid.  I have stitches and can still feel them everytime I blink.

How much pain do I have during the recovery?

This time there was very little, almost none.  I was given strict instructions about what to do and what not to do.  No lifting.  No bending from the waist.  No driving.  No flying.  I expect that will change at my next appointment later this week.


I got my hair buzzed this week. Pretty easy to take care of.

How is the vision in my right eye after the surgery?

The doctor told me that it could take up to a couple of weeks for the fluid in my eye to settle down after the surgery.  The way he explained it during the exam the day after the surgery, my eye was like a snow globe that had been agitated with the particles floating around.  My right eye vision seems to be improving each day.  

Do I have any fears about what comes next with my vision?

Yes, I do.  Last March, as the doctors were getting ready to say that I had recovered and the lens had stayed in place, I got checked by a retina specialist who said I had a detachment that had to be repaired immediately.  Along the way, the lens loosened and fell back.  

What do I do with that fear?

I ask for God's help to trust him.  I could still lose vision in one eye or both, but I serve him and I will live with him in my next life.  I have that hope to grab onto.  Sometimes, my grip loosens, but I haven't let go.

What about all the people praying for me?

Thank-you.  Thank-you.  Thank-you.  I felt the prayer and the concerns while I was being rolled down the hall to the operating room and while I was in the recovery room.  My wife has never flinched from being at my side.  She reflects the love that has been given to her.  Thank-you God.

That's where I stand now with my vision.  I've learned a lot and will probably share more as I sort this out.

Looking at crack babies thirty years later

How many of you are old enough to remember the concern and the stories about babies being born to women who smoked crack cocaine?

Politicians and public health officials warned that these kids would add billions in costs to healthcare and social service system.  Three decades later, have these worries come to fruition?  New York Times has online video story that says no.  Concerns were overblown.  It's worth a view.

That guy next to you at the urinals might be taking a picture of you with his Google glasses

You've probably heard of Google glasses, a wearable computer that resembers a pair of specs.  This New York Times story is a great account about how they can change everyday life.  Wink with the glasses on your head and they take a digital photo.  The reporter talks about standing at a row of urinals where guys were wearing these things.  See what happens.

I could worry about the next surgery Tuesday morning on my right eye


Eyedrop bottles
Because of my chronic glaucoma and several eye surgeries, I take lots of eyedrops. These are some of my empties.

I could easily get a good worry going about what happens after Tuesday morning at Beaumont Hospital where an opthalmologist will try once again to put the lens in place in my right eye.  It won't stay in place.  

Right now, it's laying on the bottom of my eyeball.  This has happened before including a couple of times where the lens transplant just shifted and had to be turned back into place.  And during the most recent part of this whole experience, I've also had a retinal detachment which had to be repaired.

On Tuesday, the surgeon will do a vitrectomy where the vitreous fluid will be drained from my eye, the detached lens will be taken out and replaced and a new one will be inserted.  And this is where the tricky part comes in.  This has alll been done before on this eye and it hasn't lasted.  Now the doctor will do one of three things to make sure it stays in place.

I'm nervous about this.  How much?  At least a little, with the needle occasionally shifting to a lot.  

Will it work?  Will it affect my sight?  And, there's all the other expected questions.

This morning, I watched a video of Pastor Ed Dobson from Grand Rapids who has ALS.  He talked about how this terrible disease affected his life.  He would get caught up in thinking about the future and be totally distracted from the present.

He wrote a Bible verse on an index card and when he got worried, he'd take a time out and repeat it over and over again.  The verse, Hebrews 13: 5-6, where God says, "I will never fail you.  I will never abandon you.  The Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear."

In a few minutes, I think I will write that verse in my Moleskin notebook which I carry in my hip pocket.

Fear creeps into my thoughts  often and I need to drill that verse into my heart.

This experience has made me think more about other people with some kind of disease or illness.  In March, during my retina detachment surgery during the time the nurses will filling my eyes with drops and my arms with needles, I prayed for a friend who had breast cancer that is spreading.  As they rolled me down the hall to the OR and before the anesthetic took effect I prayed for her.  

I remember when my son and I auditioned for Amazing Race in 2005

Tonight my wife and I watched the final round of Amazing Race.  It's a program that we are drawn to because of the different locations worldwide with all the on location videos where contestants perform various chores.

It was eight years ago that my son Justin and I submitted an audition tape for the show.  It was a last minute thought and we didn't get to first base, but we had fun doing it.

Check out my post from that experience.


Meet the newest member of my son's family--Pretzel, the Pit Bull

We got the call from our son Justin early this evening about the new addition to their family.  They picked up "Pretzel" from a special pet adoption day at the Pet Smart where they live in Las Vegas. Their new addition joins Latte their female pit bull, one of the most child dogs you'll ever encounter.

Meet Pretzel (right) with his step-sister Latte (center).