Ups and Downs
A few weeks back I promised to write more about my experiences mentioned in Twists and Turns. It’s been somewhat difficult to decide how to keep to my mission of High Hope and still tell about some of the more challenging events of the past 18 months. So I decided just to do my best to set out what happened and how I responded as truthfully as possibly.
In November 2012 I decided to go ahead with the operation called a vitrectomy to peel the macular pucker in my left eye. This is simply scar tissue that formed over the macula leaving me looking through an eye with grayish spots in the center of the eye with diminished vision. I postponed this decision for some time for various reasons; the most important was the poor health of a close family member and the daily care we provided. However it was time to go ahead with this.
The operation went very smoothly and my recovery was quick. However the hoped for outcome did not occur. Because of internal swelling at the back of the eye apparently from the operation, my vision – although the gray spots were gone (that was the scar tissue that was removed) – did not rebound. In fact now my vision n that eye was completely blurry.
Then began weeks and then months of visits to the retina specialist for injections of Avastin, ocular scans and eye drops. Felt pretty discouraged some days. Even my eccentric training wasn’t working. But I’m not one that entertains negative reactions as a way of life, so eventually I found some middle ground by sharing my story with others. Comments back from some of you were inspirational and very helpful.
Now I’m really not going to go step-by-step here so suffice it to say, cataracts started developing, first in the left eye, then in the right. Round about the same time, my arthritis started acting up and I went through an eight month flare-up which left me exhausted and disheartened. The rheumatologist told me my right hip no longer functioned and that I should consider a hip replacement soon.
Eyes? Hip? See? Walk? Care Giver? Need Care? A dilemma for sure. Somehow all of this made me start to laugh – how bizarre it all was.
A few things kept me going: a sister who came and helped me with the garden and landscaping I love and convinced me to rest more; my dog, Salty, who needs exercise and always knows when I’m in pain; my new walking stick that helped my balance; aquatic therapy; and a husband with patience and grace.
Feeling in better spirits this past autumn, I made arrangements for the two cataract operations. I scheduled them both two weeks apart and spent October and November getting everything in order so my work, family and community commitments could continue as necessary until I recovered – about 5 weeks after the second operation or the end of January 2014.
Or so I thought!
Second chapter of Ups and Downs to follow soon.