#3 I OPENED MY EYES; I CLOSED THEM AGAIN

I just wanted to update everyone about my eyes etc. On Tuesday, I had laser treatment on both of my eyes to clear the remaining cataract that intruded upon my vision.

Closed eye copy

An email update written April 7th 2013:

Hi friends and family,

I just wanted to update everyone about my eyes etc. On Tuesday, I had laser treatment on both of my eyes to clear the remaining cataract that intruded upon my vision. The complication I had was very common and almost immediately I could see that everything was brighter. But once the dilation wore off I saw numerous dark floaters, which was something the eye doctor told me I would have for a few days.

Unfortunately, the problem in my left eye is still quite pronounced for me. When the gel in my eye separated from the eye wall, there was some blood inside my gel. That is causing the blurriness. The doctors have told me it will improve, but it will take time – possibly even a year until it is absorbed.

All of this has been very hard for me to deal with. I try to stay positive, even though I often have a sensation like I have cobwebs in both my eyes. I was told there is no reason for this.

In the meantime, I am thankful that working on the computer is not a problem for me. It is when I’m not working, that my eyes bother me. Although this is challenging, I celebrate the many beautiful things that are happening in my new life.

I am thrilled to be working on a wonderful illustration assignment, which is going quite well. The income will allow me to continue singing and moving forward.

Love, Judy

#2 IT FEELS SO DARK, THE SKY IS GRAY

Shortly before I learned about dry eyes, I experienced a PVD. PVD was extremely traumatic for me. But every doctor I spoke with reassured me that it “was nothing.” It was common and something I’d adjust to.

Sunset without hope
This is an example of my vision after PVD on the left side.
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
After I came home from my first cataract surgery, my oldest son (21) kept examining my eyes. He told me he wanted to take a picture so I could see the difference. My repaired eye is on the left. It’s quite dilated!
High school eyes
Just for fun I thought I’d grab a picture from my high school days. I want those eyes back! Where did my eyebrows go?

Written on January 31st, 2013:

Shortly before I learned about dry eyes, I experienced a PVD. PVD was extremely traumatic for me. But every doctor I spoke with reassured me that it “was nothing.” It was common and something I’d adjust to.

PVD stands for Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Here is what I wrote after it happened to my first eye three years ago:

Two weeks ago, something unexpected was thrown at me. It was insidious that it happened just as I was feeling better about life in general.

I was distraught because my left eye annoyed me every second of my day. It felt like gray gossamer webs were inside my eye. My brain screamed loudly, “You cannot see and this is intolerable!”

Three ophthalmologists examined me since my “incident.” What happened was that the vitreous gel in my eye shrunk and pulled away from the eye wall. It did not tear my retina (for which I am thankful), but there was blood involved. I was told that this was a normal part of the aging process and I would adjust to my large new floater. The blurriness was a result of the blood that would eventually be reabsorbed.

I was calm at all of my appointments except the third one. That day, I saw the eye surgeon who performed my cataract surgeries. I cried to him. He probably felt he was comforting me when he said my condition would eventually improve. But he said that I wouldn’t notice improvement for months and it would take a year before the grayness and blurriness diminished.

I put on sunglasses and cried as I drove home. My eye surgeon had made many optimistic statements, which I wanted to hold onto.

My condition was normal.

I didn’t need eye surgery for a retinal detachment.

Eventually, things would improve.

But at that moment, my vision was cloudy, so I wanted to close my eyes. I dreamed I’d awaken with decent eyesight. I couldn’t stop crying. Suddenly, I had entered a new tunnel of grief.

I plodded through each day and suffered more than I had in a long time. I wasn’t sure how I could overcome this!

I decided to write something that would utilize tenants from hypnotherapy. It was about ways that I could look at my situation. I began with simple sentences that I heard in my mind. I thought of ways I could reshuffle the words in order to help myself feel better.

My blurry gray vision. 

I hate it! It hurts to open both my eyes and look at the world. I can’t stop crying. I want to curl up and go back to sleep. I pray I’ll wake up and it will be better.

Can I live with

my blurry gray vision?

My answer is, “NO! I cannot live with this.” But, I have no choice about it and nothing can change it. Yet, it is so annoying and distracting. It screams over every other thought in my brain. Why do I have to live with this? I have too many questions, and none of them are helpful. 

How

can I live with

my blurry gray vision? 

I have no idea how I can function with this. I am struggling. I want to cry and complain, but since I hate to do that – it’s best that I hide from the world. Too much patience is required for this. I want the time to pass so I can see again.

I wonder

how I can live with

my blurry gray vision. 

There are many people in the world who have adjusted to a loss of eyesight – my own mother has macular degeneration. If they could adjust, then I could also. How fortunate I am that I have a condition that is likely to heal and improve.

Photos of my world

All my self-talk wasn’t helping and I was still miserable. I listened for my inner voice. When I heard that voice, I received quite a lecture from my inner critic. I write with complete honesty – knowing full well that this approach wasn’t kind or compassionate.

My inner critic said:

You keep telling grieving people to “hold on to hope” and “hang on.” Listen to your own words about how it will get better someday.

Your misery is a reminder that you did not have adequate empathy.

Healing from grief detached you from the suffering. Therefore, this is a lesson for you.

When someone is suffering, knowing that the pain might get better some day scarcely alleviates the agony in the moment.

Remember when you wrote that healing is about acceptance and change?

That is exactly what you need to do! The aging process is about accepting that our bodies will never be young again.

Stop looking at the gray and find color in a different way. Close your eyes if you have to!

© Judy Unger and http://dryeyediaries@wordpress.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

#1 I WAIT BEHIND A CURTAIN

As the cataract on my eye was removed and a new lens implanted, I was wide-awake with my eye staring open. A kaleidoscope of colors intermingled with delicate veins flashed before me.

What it looked like during eye surgery

Written on October 12th, 2012:

I’m amazed that it was so easy to recreate what it looked like seeing through my eye as it was operated on during cataract surgery. I was wide awake with my eyelid clamped open.

My dry eyes began shortly after cataract surgery. I had no idea what it meant to even have dry eyes. I was simply hopeful that I would get through the adjustment period following my surgeries. Unfortunately after cataract surgery on my second eye, I developed some complications.

At that time, I wrote the following:

Before having my cataract procedure, I closed my eyes and listened to my iPod. My newest song captivated me and I was enjoying a recording I had made the day before in my closet. As I was singing the lyrics of, “I wait behind a curtain,” suddenly the doctor drew the curtain back in front of me. The irony of that gave me a huge smile.

As the cataract on my eye was removed and a new lens implanted, I was wide-awake with my eye staring open. A kaleidoscope of colors intermingled with delicate veins flashed before me. The surgeon explained what he was doing while he tugged at my eyeball. I did not feel anything and was totally relaxed.

Soon, I hope the curtain of blurriness will lift after my cataract issues are resolved. But the true meaning behind my post title is my dream of stepping out from behind a curtain onto a stage. The dream that I carry is that someday I will become well-known in my pursuit of helping people suffering with grief or other challenges in their lives. I believe I will be embraced by many people for my honesty. I look forward to singing with joy and spreading my message of hope.

 My dream is most certainly keeping me going during a very difficult time in my life.

Back Camera

© Judy Unger and http://dryeyediaries@wordpress.com 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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