Sharon J. Cole
My husband, Farrell, has had cataract surgery. It was a few years ago. They wheeled him outside after the surgery; I said, Let me help you. He said “No, I’m fine, Really. And I CAN SEE!!!” That was pretty-much it. He followed their directions for care, used the drops, dark glasses, no lifting, etc. Success! A piece of cake. (Well, this turned out to be my #1 hurdle)
So, now, it’s my turn. I consider myself healthy, and usually I overcome things pretty well.
My appointment was to be 8:30 am on Wednesday. They called Tuesday afternoon to let me know they had changed the appointment to 6:50 a.m. (this was my next #1 small hurdle) Ugh. So we made the almost 2-hour drive at 5 a.m, in the dark, in the pouring rain. (Another hurdle, #2)
We made it on time to the clinic. I wasn’t nervous about the surgery—I was ready to get it over with, seeing how “easy” it could be, and looking forward to having a good breakfast and getting back home to life as normal. No big deal. And I thought I kept pretty calm through the rainy, dark drive.
When the surgery was over, I was unsteady getting out to the truck (small hurdle #3), and for our planned breakfast. But (small hurdle #4)…I can’t see very well—everything’s blurry—and I just really would rather get back home. I was so tired; so exhausted, and just didn’t feel good at all (small hurdle #5).
We made the trip home through flooding rain. Still blurry vision, and double vision. I thought I’d come home feeling fine, seeing well and “ready to go”. I hadn’t thought of the differences in my own surgery and Farrell’s. He only had one eye that even needed surgery (both mine needed it), so when that was fixed, he could see. And he didn’t have bifocals, which I’d had forever.
The distance part of my vision was (probably) improved in the one eye, but was evidently having a little trouble adjusting to working together with the eye that had not had surgery yet. Or Something!
The follow-up was the next morning at 8; we had good weather so the drive that day was fine. Still fuzzy, double vision, but no real problems, just very tired.
I haven’t mentioned that I sometimes kind-of have “a thing” about doctors.
After some very negative experiences over the years, I typically resist them as much as I can. I work on my attitude toward most doctors, because I know we need them, and they’re vitally important. And I truly believe I had a good frame of mind toward my doctor.
In my visit with the doctor that second morning, I suppose I never mentioned anything positive to him about how improved my vision was, and (later) it occurred to me they must be used to hearing things like that. That’s all I could think of that might have given him a negative vibe toward me. I told him I couldn’t read, and my vision was blurry up close, and also at a distance, and that I just really “felt bad”.
He dismissed the blurry vision part, and said the reason I felt bad was probably because they had to give me extra sedative. I said, “Well, if that was to keep me from hurting I’m good with that.” His answer, “No, it wasn’t for pain; it was to keep you calm.” (This was a little bit bigger hurdle to me)
“I wasn’t calm??”
“Well, eventually you were…”
Hmmm. I never felt “not calm”. At all. I wondered later how he measured that, but I didn’t think to ask at the time.
The old doctor-doubts were creeping in.
But the main thing was, my eye was technically good!
Thankfully there was a kind, young assistant who came in before the doctor. When she asked me how I was, I told her I felt crazy, and my vision was blurry. She was very caring and answered kindly that I was truly doing excellent, and to just be patient and give it time—that it absolutely would improve. She explained that my eyes were used to working together, and now one of them has changed; that it was just taking some time for them to learn to work together again. That made sense. Thank you, Lord, for the words of this kind young soul.
All the rest of the conversation with the doctor including my questions and his answers, seemed to go the wrong direction for me, but I was able to shrug it off. We had planned a nice breakfast out, before heading home, and this time we were actually able to relax and enjoy it, with only the occasional little snippet of the doctor flitting through my mind.
I don’t know why my vision isn’t clear, nor why I have trouble reading. But I know two things, Well, three really:
1. The sweet young assistant told me it would get better, and I was counting on her words.
2. My eyes have improved ever so slightly each day.
3. This all can be overcome—my eyes will improve; and I can get over the doctor issue.
And the Overcoming part is the point, today.
There isn’t a good reason to let the Professional in the room—or in your life—determine your outcome. God blessed this doctor with the knowledge and ability, and possibly talent, to make my eyes better. He’s done his work on one eye, and I do have confidence he did his work well. So now, my job is to:
Trust the process…
Listen to that voice of that kind young woman…
Take this opportunity to Rest…
(That’s the hardest part)
And Again, Be Patient (the other hard part)
And receive my good vision in due time.
Ohh…and be nice to the doctor.
Next week after my second surgery is done, I plan to tell my doctor I appreciate him (his reaction to this makes no difference to me, good or not), and then Be Patient again, for my eyes to learn to work together again.
There are all kinds of different hurdles we go through in this life (and this one is actually so small!!). And there are all kinds of different ways to get on the other side of those different hurdles.
Disagreeing with my doctor won’t help me get well (and it won’t help me or him in any way). Harboring negative thoughts about my doctor’s uncaring attitude will also not help me (nor him), so…On to things that can help.
1. Look for and Hold onto the positive words that come…
2. Follow the directions that are known to help
3. Have faith in the process
4. Do not dwell on the knowledge that other people seem to fly right through this same trial with no problems;
5. Think of things to do that you can do, and even enjoy doing, that don’t disregard your directions;
6. If someone does things for you, enjoy that. If they don’t, enjoy doing things yourself. You can do it.
7. Bundle up warm, and get outside when the sun shines.
8. Appreciate any progress you see;
9. Accept “what is” (but keep moving forward)
And when you have a hurdle in YOUR path,
You Have Choices…
So… When Your Hurdle Comes... What are your Choices?
Can you Climb on top of it, to get over it? (Not sure how this works…)
Can you go around it? (There may be ways to do this)
Can someone help you to overcome it? (Possibly)
Or, will you have to just face it, and go right through it?
If you do have to be tough and go through it, you can do it:
1. Step easy, ready to re-route
2. Look ahead, with each step
3. ”Feel” your way, where you can’t see
4. Be ready for another snag…
5. Listen for small encouragements or good touches along the way
6. When you make some progress, take some time to be happy about it.
7. Keep your face looking forward
8. KNOW… The process is going to get you through.
9. Be Determined, for Your Very Great Victory!!!
There are Big Hurdles, and there can be several small hurdles grouped together to feel like a big hurdle.
Being physically “down”, not having any energy, confused about my sight—not being able to read—these things blindsided me, and it felt like a high mountain to climb.
But it’s not. And that’s the way so many of our hurdles in life are—tricks to make us feel trapped. We’re not. These steps I’ve given help show the way. And there will be hints along the way for you)
(Oh… And, cataract surgery is a real surgery. It will affect you, and it does require respect. I learned that.)
If you have a hurdle, you can get through it, and with a smile.
If I can help you in any way, just contact me by email, on social media, or leaving a message on my phone.
UPDATE: My Follow-up Visit:
I was attempting to tell the doctor that I COULD see better out of my left eye if I covered my right eye…but he caringly interrupted me to tell me a story about a patient he had a few years ago with this problem, and the therapy she had that took care of it. He gave me hope in that after the second surgery next week, to give it some time, and just relax to see what my eyes will do on their own before being actually concerned about it. It made me feel much better that he had evidently been thinking of my problem in the meantime enough to take me seriously and remember that previous patient, and acknowledge that my problem was real.
I’ll see you Next Week!
Be Accepting… And
Enjoy your Victories!!!
If you would like to schedule a one-on-one session with me, just email me and let me know. I respond to email; I’m here and I want to help you. Let’s create some more Calm together.
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