Patience, Please, the story of my eyes

Yes, I know the Prayer for Patience: God, please grant me the gift of patience, RIGHT NOW!

For those who don’t know, I’ve now had ten surgeries on my eyes, starting with detached retinas in 1992 and 1993.  After those surgeries I had to be face down at all times for almost six months. It was one of those things I never would have thought I could do, to stay in awkward positions and wait, hoping I wouldn’t go blind. I was incredibly frustrated at first, but gradually came to understand that I had to do it to have any prayer of not being blind. Despite my difficulties, it was nothing compared to people who are in a body cast, are quadriplegic, or all sorts of other dire circumstances. I did learn a fair amount of patience, and it has carried over to other parts of my life pretty well.

So, why am I writing this now about what happened almost twenty years ago?  I’m in a position of needing patience once again.  For the last 19 years, since the last retina surgery, I’ve used a contact lens to have any useful vision in my left eye. This is because in order to save the eye they had to remove the internal lens and at that time couldn’t implant another one for several reasons. The contact lens was often frustrating, but was a blessing, since it allowed both eyes to work together. 

Recently a local eye surgeon told me he could implant a lens in my eye and thus allow me to get rid of the contact lens.  We investigated it and liked the prospects, though as with all medical procedures there are no guarantees. Over several appointments he measured my eyes and did all the things necessary to prepare. I of course hoped that the new lens would immediately correct things and I’d have the excellent vision I do in my right eye.  Well, that hasn’t been the case. Last Wednesday the surgery was done quickly and I knew I could see better than I could before without a contact lens, but nowhere near as well as I could with the old contact in.  What is that all about?

Well, at the follow up on Friday I learned that the surgery had gone well and the lens was stitched in place behind the cornea in the anterior chamber and in front of the iris.


He explained that although the vision isn’t great yet, it should improve when he removes the stitches in three weeks, and yet more after weeks for healing and the body adjusting. So, it is more waiting to see what happens, praying for total success, and realizing it may not be all I had hoped for.  But this too shall pass, and I’ll learn to be even more patient.






26 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

We are home, safe and sound, with our puppies and all our luggage. It was a very long day. We got to O’Hare just before 10 – flight at noon. First hiccup – two of our bags were overweight, so we had to open them on the sidewalk and rearrange stuff. We ended up checking four bags instead of three – total charges of $120 – but not too bad actually, as they were super cheap tickets ($200 each). We got our boarding passes after redoing our seating (they’d changed it due to changing from a 757 to a 739, smaller aircraft) and got through security with Dan getting the fun of a total pat down. We stopped at Starbucks for a latte and muffin – then on to our gate – a little over an hour to board. Soon – our second hiccup – flight was delayed an hour and ten minutes. Hmm, glad we had over 2 hours between flights in LA. By the time we actually took off we were running nearly 1 ½ hours late. Dan and I had aisle seats – but 10 rows apart. The pilot really hauled ass and made up some time in the air and we touched down in LA just an hour late. This was fine for us, but some people really had to hustle to make their connections. We only had to go to the new “pod” (which isn’t really a pod like the old ones) for our little SkyWest plane to St. George. We had eaten a lunch on the plane that we bought while we were waiting – very tasty but pretty pricey. Dan had also bought us a couple of snack boxes on the plane – we never even opened them – will give us something to eat in the morning. We touched down in St. George at 715, exactly on time. It was so good to be back in Utah. Didn’t even mind that it was still over 90 degrees. Will be over 100 for every day for the next week at least – no problem. Kim brought our adorable puppies when she picked us up. I was so glad to see them. They have slimmed down and look fantastic. They were all over me all the way home. Kim offered to take us through Wendy’s so we could get some dinner – we got her a salad and she gave the chicken off of it to the dogs – she’s a vegetarian. Kim stayed about an hour to catch us up on some stuff. We will touch bases again in a week or so to take care of details. The house looks fantastic – Dan said later we should hire Kim as a housekeeper! Anyway – bags still in the garage – we will deal with them tomorrow. Watching some local news to unwind and see what is happening. Fantastic, once in a lifetime trip around the world. Glad we went – even gladder to be home. Will be so good to sleep in our own bed.

25 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

Last full day in Chicagoland. I am really getting anxious to get home. Slept in a little, then went to get some coffee and toast for Dan so he could take his pills. After a while, we went upstairs and visited with Cinda and the kids until time for them to go to the pool for diving lesson and swim lessons. Dan went too and he and Cinda made a trip to the post office and then to the cemetery where Gary is. I held down the fort and did one load of laundry – we will arrive home with clean clothes! I also spent an hour or so somewhat organizing our stuff and repacking a little. Since we have not acquired anything here – actually got rid of some items – we shouldn’t have any problem tomorrow. Everyone got back just before noon. We were eating lunch of assorted leftovers when the tree removal guys arrived to pull out and cut down some ash trees in their backyard that were dying from some sort of bugs and pull out other evil thorn bushes. It turned into a bigger deal than they thought – and before Cinda knew about it she had missed the time for Kellar’s swim practice. Oh well. The kids were kept occupied for a couple of hours watching the process in the yard – including a lot of chainsaw activity. We just spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out and watching some Olympic trials on TV. About 630 Henri finally got home and we went to Shelly and Shane’s for dinner. It was my first opportunity to meet Shelly’s new husband and stepson Connor. Shelly had had the kitchen totally remodeled since we were there and it turned out great. We really like Shane a lot and his son was very polite and pleasant. I spent the evening with Connor’s shih tzu, Maddie, on my lap. I threatened to steal her as I miss my dogs so much. I think Shelly would have been fine with that – she is not a dog person. Anyway, dinner was awesome. Shane had grilled salmon, tilapia, and big hamburgers. There was also creamed corn, roasted new potatoes, and a huge fresh fruit salad. Only negative was the weather – it turned cold and windy. We spent the last hour or so inside. We got back to Cinda’s about ten and I am going to do a couple of last minute things and then to bed. We leave for O’Hare at 900 in the morning.

24 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

Slept well last night. Quinn slept over, so morning brought the three kids playing nicely in the playroom. Always fun to hear children playing together. Cinda made waffles and Henri made pancakes for those who wanted them. I haven’t had homemade waffles for ages. After breakfast, everyone but me took off to spend some time downtown in Downers Grove at the annual Grovefest, a local street fair with rides and entertainment and lots of fair food with some interesting additions – like tempura vegetables that Dan and Cinda had. I enjoyed the quiet time. The girls rode the Tilt-A-Whirl and Kellar and Uncle Andy rode some ride that spun people around standing up – not sure what its called. Kellar loved it – as grandpa had predicted. They all came home about 3, grabbed a little snack, threw 4 racks of ribs into the oven and then Cinda, Henri and the kids headed for the pool for a couple hours, leaving Dan and me and Uncle Andy to watch over and sauce the ribs in the oven (well, just me, actually). It was pretty hot (90s) and humid today and Dan was pooped after the trip downtown to the street fair. The three of us stayed in under the AC and watched the NASCAR road race at Sonoma. Everyone got back just before six and dinner preparations kicked into high gear. Cinda and Henri got potatoes cooking and made salads. Quinn showed Grandpa and Kellar the pictures she took during a trip to Michigan with her other Grandma Lester. The kids were so hungry at dinner that they greedily shoveled in bowls of salad. Although none wanted ribs, Kellar decided to try them and loved them. Of course the adults loved them too. They really turned out well. It was a great and fun family dinner – wonderful to have everybody together. We told the “best part of my day” stories from each of us and talked about the street fair rides. All too soon Andy told Quinn they really had to get going. Henri quickly whipped up a promised milkshake for dessert, pictures were taken, and good byes were said and they were off. It helped knowing we will be seeing them again in two months at the wedding. Cinda, Henri, Cooper, and Kellar stayed outside catching fireflies. Dan and I came inside. My day was fairly relaxing, but I think Dan is pretty beat. We have had a great visit with everyone here, but we are getting anxious to get home.