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7 posts from February 2015

I have advanced glaucoma and a dislocated lens and I'm not going blind, says Dr. Liu


A model of a lens implant.
Dr. Liu shows me a large model of the lens implanted in my eyes.

It's the morning after a very good visit and examination with one of my ophthalmologists, Dr. Kevin Liu of Lansing (MI) Ophthalmology.  Fifteen years ago, he did cataract surgery on both of my eyes where he swapped my cloudy lenses for implants.

For seven years after I almost didn't need to use glasses.  Prior to the surgery, I was severely near-sighted and could hardly move without wearing them.  Then, it changed in 2007 when the lens implant in my right eye came loose.  It was explained to me that because of my near-sightedness, the implant didn't anchor to the tissue as well as it should.


Well, it happened four more times, including now, when one hook has come loose resulting in a variety of visual symptoms, including occasional double-vision.

Through the ophthalmology practice that I go to, I have been to, at least, nine different doctors, several of whom practice sub-specialties.  They are an incredible group of healers who have an amazing amount of knowledge, but I felt confused and frustrated with a feeling of being unable to pull it all together.  I was unsure about where I stood visually.  And, of course, the big question was, "Am I going blind?"

So, Dr. Liu invited me to sit down with him to discuss my case, my present status and my visual future.  Going into the examination and the meeting, I was unsure about the outcome.  Would I get my questions answered?

Well, I feel I did.  Bottom line, I'm not going blind given my 12 years of glaucoma treatment and management with them.  He pulled out my electronic file, showed me my visual field tests over that period of time, showed me my eye pressures and how they have gone down from the forties to 17 to 19 in both eyes.  He said my disease is being managed.


Dr. Liu shows me what happened to my lens implant.
Using this diagram, Dr. Liu shows what happened to my lens and what the surgical options are.

 It's progression has been slow and has resulted in optic nerve loss.  But because of my near-sightedness, my optic nerve is thicker than the average.  If I recall correctly what he said, this loss result in my glaucoma being described as advanced, but not the stage where my vision has deteriorated to a narrow tunnel.

What does this mean?  I have a very complicated set of eyes that need to be watched and managed and dealt with.  My eyedrops and my regular eye exams are key.  He said the number of dislocated lenses that I've had put me in an elite category of patients.

I thank God for my sight and for everything that I've seen in my lifetime.  I also thank Him for Lansing Ophthalmology and for Dr. Liu.  He's really important to me and to my visual future.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Holding my then infant daughter at home after her baptism

Our growing family.
This is my wife, my infant daughter and me a little more than 33 years ago. Before our daughter was born, I probably hadn't held a baby more than once or twice.

It had been a big day with our daughter being baptized and with many friends and family from out-of-town celebrating with us.  One of our parents took this shot just before we left for a restaurant after a busy morning at church.  I really enjoy looking at old family pictures.  

Every dad should read Clifford the dog to his kids


My son reads Clifford to my grandson. Just think of all the new neurons being fired up.


I love talking with my wife about children's literature.  As a senior citizen, I've gotten away from kids' books, but I'm moving back to them with my young grandkids.

My wife, a retired third grade teacher, this week told me about Patricia Polacco, a well-known children's author who hails from Lansing.  She showed me examples of her books which she had from her classroom days.  I'm intrigued by how these books can light fires of curiosity and learning with kids.

For Valentines Day this year, she sent a Clifford the dog book to our seven-month old grandson in St. Louis.  This lucky little guy has parents who love to read to him.  Check the look on his face in this picture.  He's really liking it.


My wife's classroom bulletin board on reading from more than twelve years ago


My wife, a retired third grade teacher, always had outstanding bulletin boards in her classroom.


When my wife was a third grade teacher, I always enjoyed going in her classroom which I did often after I retired.  Through bulletin boards, books, displays and toys, she had created an environment that produced curiosity.  

Students realized that learning could be fun and empowering.  I found this picture of a bulletin board she had more than twelve years ago.  

What about your child's classroom?  Does the teacher take time to put up relevant bulletin boards?

Our kids were a beneficiary of having a mom who was a teacher.  Their curiosity was always encouraged.  We exposed them to all kinds of learning opportunities.  That was fun.  I know my kids are passing that on to their kids, our grandkids.

Should Christians stay away from the movie Fifty Shades of Grey?

There seems to be plenty of buzz around town and on my Facebook news feed about the new movie Fifty Shades of Grey.  Apparently, it's dominated by many forms of blatant sexuality and full nudity.  It's based on a best-selling book.

What about it?  Should you go?  Is seeing the movie oakey-doakey with God?

Check this Plugged In review that sorts out the movie from a family point of view.

Is our country and our culture getting to a point where the late wife of Billy Graham, Ruth, said that God is going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah if he doesn't punish our country for its immorality.

Mangoes in our house grow in the freezer and not on trees


Here's what we eat for an after supper snack, mangoes.

What do you eat after supper while you're streaming something from Netflix or Hulu Plus?

We found that these times can be a real trap nutritionally.  Ice cream can be a real trap.  Lately, we've been trying frozen fruit, like mangoes and strawberries with a little Cool Whip on top.  It's healthy, sweet and satisfying.  We buy the fruit from Sam's Club.

What do you eat for an after supper snack?

Why did Toyota put the spotlight on dads with its Superbowl ads?

My son and his son at the computer.
My son Justin is a hands on dad. Check out the look on both of their faces. They are close.

There seems to be a revolution going on right under our noses in cultural thinking about the role of dads.  Ten years ago this new thinking about fathers surfaced and then it seemed to go away.

This past weekend, Superbowl ads by Toyota billboarded this new fatherhood movement that has been gathering steam around the country.  The ads made dads look important and billboarded their role in the family and in the lives of their kids.  The commercials were classy and not cheesy.

My son is tied into a group of young dads around the country who are there for their kids and for their wives.  My son-in-law is the same way.  One of my favorite pictures is one of him and his son who was still a toddler.  In one hand, he held a basketball and in the other, he held his son's hand as they walked around a track.

There are many more examples from around the country, including dad's groups which are starting to supplant mom's groups.  

I'm sure that Toyota did plenty of research before they produced their Super Bowl ads.  So, what did they see about their customer base.  Young dads who are active in their kids' lives?  I bet that was the case.

Grandfathers:  It would be fun if somebody did ads like that for us.  What about Honda?  Are you listening?  Lots of baby-boomers driving Hondas.