Welcome to Wall Street, Main Street and Me

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home Furry Home (me)

SO wonderful to have my four footed family home again.

Henry stayed outside for awhile to reconquer his turf.

Sugar and Spice headed for the couch where they lolled in joyous homecoming.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh! Say~ Can you SEE??? (me)

The week from hell is over~! The doctor announced that the macular hole in my retina is closed~!! Operation a success. My head has been downward, nose to my toes for a week, in order for the gas bubble in my eye to exert the proper pressure against the open hole.

By the seventh day, I had sunk into major depression, certain that I would never use my right eye again. My head down, my shoulders and neck sore from the constant slump, I was defeated by my own mortality. My life was sliding downhill. Age. Defeat. So it was a happy visit to the doctor, indeed.

Last night I was able to sleep with my head on my pillow, cheek down, instead of face down in a doughnut at the end of the bed. I rolled over (many times) instead of staying stick-still, hardly sleeping, for fear of complicating the surgery. Small freedoms, huge joys.

The gas bubble is sitting halfway up my eye. I feel that I am peering over it, like a water line in a goldfish bowl. It will slowly dissipate, and in time my vision may improve beyond its original capability. I can drive when I find myself comfortable enough to do so, with or without the bubble. The whole experience is one of the weirdest I've ever had.

I am grateful to have my eyesight.

And today I go to the kennel to collect my dogs and cat. I am missing them more than I can even relate. It broke my heart to leave them in cages. They surely think I have forsaken them. So today will be a happy, happy day at the Jackson reunion.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Vitrecotomy Recovery (Me)

There is equipment manufactured especially for this retinal surgery, for people who must keep their heads down for a week. It looks to be a lifesaver because a week is a very long time without books, computer, etc.

They offer a chair (reminescent of those public massage chairs) that leans forward with a face pillow.

In addition, there is a tray that can be affixed beneath your face, for eating.

They also supply a mirrored contraption that can be placed on that tray so that the TV reflects in it, and you can see TV in the mirror. Clever and another lifesaver.

And finally there's the face contraption to put in my bed so I can sleep face down and still breathe.

Photos from Larry Burnett & Associates, Raleigh, N.C.


Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hole in the Retina Gang (Me)

Today was the appointment with Western Carolina Retinal Associates' surgeon, Dr. Stone. Imagine, a whole gang of doctors who only treat retinas!? Another series of eyedrops, bright lights, and eye charts with a big "E" at the top. My left eye could read the very teensy tiny line at the bottom of the chart. My right eye could discern an hourglass shaped white light with a smudge in the middle...that was the huge E. I could see nothing but light and dark.

I finally got "the talk" and got to see the pictures of the innards of my eyes in day glo colors. Indeed a big hole in the macula of the right eye, and oh, woe, a small dip in an otherwise smooth retina indicating possible future trouble in the left eye. My good eye! The talk, of course, was the information on how to repair me. Surgery. I've had cataracts removed. I've had lasik corrective surgery. This didn't seem like too big a deal to me. At first.

But the talk went on...jelly is removed from the eye (it's the shimmy of the jelly that caused the floaters that got me to the doctor) and replaced with a heavy gas. That gas is the pressure that holds the repaired hole in place until healing takes place. But the gas doesn't hit the proper place UNLESS YOUR HEAD IS ALWAYS DOWN! For a full week, I must keep my chin to my chest...down, down, down. Drink through a straw, no tv, no reading, no computer, no movement of the head...just keep it down. Even in sleep. A massage table donut to put my face in. I can rent a chair that looks a little like those massage chairs you see in supermarkets...leaning forward so my head is DOWN.

I'm having the surgery on Tuesday. On Monday my beloved dogs and dear cat are all going to "Bed & Biscuit" --a high class boarding place for four-footed family. I hate hate hate doing it, but there's no way I can walk dogs. I'm not supposed to do much of anything for a solid week. Smallest distractions can make your head move.

My dear friends had the great idea of audio books. At least I can listen to books!
That will be the thing that will save me from going starkers.

I'm scared. I'm appalled. I have wonderful friends who will make it all okay. But
wow, this sure came out of the blue.

And you might wonder what causes a hole to form in one's retina? They haven't got the faintest idea. It's not genetic. It's not because of earlier eye surgeries. They haven't got a clue. We can go to the moon and back....but we can't cure the common cold. Life is wonderful and strange. I'm going to be nicer to my big browns.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wars of the World & Wars of the Body (Main St. & Me)

I went to the eye doctor today and had to wait in a short line to sign in. A lovely woman ahead of me chatted with the clerk behind the counter. She held four boxes of contact lenses in her hand for one of her sons, and there was discussion about the billing. The clerk asked after the son, apparently a soldier who had been in for an appointment earlier in the week.

"Such a nice young man," the clerk said.

"Thanks," said the mother. "He's a good kid. He leaves for Afghanistan again this week, so I'm glad I could get these contacts today."

"How long will he be gone?"

"Only eight and a half months, then he goes to Colorado Springs for three months, and then home for good, and back to school."

The mother was blond, slim, youthful and proud of her young soldier. She was smiling and optimistic, cheerful and strong. I cringed, my heart balling up in a fist just looking at her. How does she do it? How do any of them? She left, and I couldn't shake that tiny encounter. The clerk and I discussed it further later, sending out little prayers in our commisseration.

My eye doctor found that I have a hole in my retina. More doctors to be seen. It occured to me that America has a huge hole in its own retina. Not sure there's any surgery that can right it. My heart is so heavy tonight.

And that monkey George W. Bush is publishing his memoirs full of lies and/or total denial to try to rewrite history. SHAME ON YOU, GEORGE W. BUSH. We needed none of

Tomorrow is Veteran's Day -- a huge thank you and celebratory Yee Haw to the girls and boys in the military. Your work is daunting even if your government is nuts.
The veterans of ALL our wars deserve our thanks. My father was a war hero, and the last crew member of his B-17, the navigator, Bob Jackson (no relation to my dad, Lex Jackson) died this past week at the age of 94. RIP, Bob, and I hope you and my daddy know how many people across the world honor your sacrifice and service.