It’s cold. It’s wet. It’s really quite miserable for Spring/Easter in Northern California. I long for that soft warm breeze wafting through my open doors. And doesn’t that seem like a hundred years ago, when I sat on the floor wrapping Christmas presents, cooked meals in my kitchen, enjoyed Thanksgiving, entertained my friends…………
My current phase is nothing like those pleasant ones. This one goes so well with the cold and the wet. I am wrapped in a blanket of “not knowing”, of insecurity, of wondering and yes, some fear. You see, for most of my life I have suffered from a genetic flaw in my eyes called keratoconos. It’s a long word and a very long, disabling condition, where the corneas of the eyes grow out gradually to resemble cones, then tilt downward and develop humps just like sagging skin in old age, until vision is so distorted, that it really can’t be called vision at all. Modern technology has helped so much over the years with gas permeated contact lenses, light weight glasses that are super strong, and ultimately, thankfully, transplants. This along with good anesthesia, really, really good painless anesthesia, makes the process of seeing again possible.
Like all transplant surgery, the corneas too, need a donor, anti-rejection drugs, though thankfully topical, and time, a lot of time. That is where I am now, post surgery, waiting in that damp, cold blanket of unknowingness for my third transplant to help me see. The shock and despair of the first time around has faded in those dim recesses where bad memories go after a while, so after more than 30 years it seemed a good choice to try again. Technology has come such a long way in those 30+ years. The instruments are finer, the sutures too, doctors more confident after years and years of practice now. No lazing around in hospitals for two weeks any more, but rather home in one’s own bed that very same evening. Staph and super bugs are rampant in hospitals today, so one really is better off at home, with family, loving friends who bring food along with their friendly smile, wine (so important for healing) and a sense of security that the doctor is a phone call away if some need should develop. Nurses and doctors today share so much that one feels quite well versed in all the medical jargon of a particular procedure, along with feeling in safe hands with their friendly smiles, comforting touches and understanding looks. All that definitely wasn’t there 30 years ago. Then we were told that the doctor knew best and we should be good and do what he says (always a HE back then). No way would anyone ask too many questions in case the doctor or nurses became impatient and left the room. We knew to behave.
But the healing, and the not seeing, and that little voice (you know the one, the one that makes you doubt that everything really will be all right) - all that is exactly the same. I sit and I wait, and wait some more, hoping that THIS morning I will see just a small speck more, be able to see and pick off a piece of lint from my husband’s sweater, look outside and see that noisy bird landing on the rail. Someone died, and was kind enough to think beyond that moment and give a gift to another in need, so that someone like me could see in the future. So God, if you are listening, if you are there, I’m ready, I want to see the sunshine and the Spring colors blooming next week. I am sooooo very ready to see again, to open my eyes and have sharpness in my focus, to glance around and recognize who is waving at me from across the room, to be able to drive safely knowing that I really can see the road, the trees, the houses and the world of Spring as it drops it’s tiny blossoms everywhere, making way for those glorious buds of fruit that we will pick in a few short weeks.
I should see like that soon, shouldn’t I?? This fuzzy blurriness will sharpen up really soon, won’t it?? It’s been a whole week since my transplant…………..