Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Good News to Share with You


Hello All, nothing much has been happening here in the Ready household. 
Step inside and you’ll discover no philosophical conversations nor discussions 
of academic books that branch the dendrites.

No. Nothing like that. BUT . . . I can share with you some welcomed news about my vision. 

Way back on December 9, 2015, I had my three-month, routine appointment with a local ophthalmologist. He measured the pressure in my eyes. Abruptly, he drew back from his perusal, obviously alarmed. My pressure? Left eye 54/right eye 59.  

(The pressure that’s considered acceptable is 15-20. When the pressure reaches 21, most patients begin to use drops.)

He immediately called a specialist whose reputation drew patients from a five-state area. Yes, she’d fit me in. I just had to get there. 

“You can’t drive,” he said. “At any moment, you could be blind.” He called one of my friends. She came immediately and drove me to the specialist, an hour away, across the state line. 


Before leaving his office, I was told that within five hours I would be completely blind unless the specialist could help me.  Now it was I who was stunned.

Two hours later, Dr. Meg (not her real name) worked her magic with a series of thin, thin, thin needles. She got the pressure into the mid-forties and scheduled an operation for each eye the following week. 

Since then, I’ve had two or three more operations on both eyes—all to save the optic nerves. Dr. Meg explained that these were “severely damaged” by the initial high pressure. She’s now worked with me for nearly six years to keep further damage from happening. Or, more accurately, to slow its progress. 

That’s background.

 Here’s the most recent news: 

In March, laser surgery on my left eye failed; the rising pressure did not decrease. 

Then on May 13, Dr. Meg did a lengthy (1 ¼ hour) surgery on that eye because the pressure had gone up to 26—which could further damage my optic nerve.

During the operation, Dr. Meg inserted a new base and a new stent deep down at the side of my nose. She then sutured several layers of tissue to close it up. At each of my subsequent four visits, she checked my left-eye pressure to determine if the stent was working. It wasn’t; the pressure kept going up.

Then yesterday, GOOD NEWS! The pressure was down to 6. The stent had opened up. It worked! 

And yet, an ominous tone was sounded. If the pressure gets too low, possibly to 0, vision may cease. My vision test revealed the truth of this: I could not read any of the letters—no matter how big—with my left eye.

So, 6 is too low. The magic numbers for me—with my vision concerns and my damaged optic nerves—is between 8 and 10.

The pressure in my right eye has hovered between 9 and 11 for three years now. Excellent.

Now, we need to get the left eye pressure to that normality.

So . . . instead of putting three Glaucoma drops a day in my left eye—which I’ve done now for five years—I’m to put only one. ONE! Wow!

Also, I’m to use lubricants less often.

For five years I’ve put drops in my eyes 10x a day. During March, April, May, and into June of this year, I put drops in 19x a day: glaucoma meds, lubricants, inflammation meds, anti-biotics. 

Now, wonder of wonders, I am down to doing this only 7x a day.  Oh, joy in the morning.



PS: I don’t know how to turn the “No Comments” sign on. I know you are all cheering for me. So please feel free not to comment! Take care. Be gracious to yourself. And please excuse typos. 

Monday, June 14, 2021

The Crocodiles Will Arrive Later


Today the mind is taking a wee rest and can't recall when I begin to read Kathy McCoy's blog: sometime in 2011 or 12 or maybe even 2013. She had probably left an intriguing comment on someone else’s blog. Perhaps that comment led me to her blog: Dr. Kathy McCoy: Living Fully in Midlife and Beyond. 


I was on the far side of “midlife” and into “beyond,” so the title intrigued me. Her postings did that also. Each was filled with workable suggestions for how to handle tricky situations. She seasoned these suggestions with a gentle humor and an understanding of the human condition. It was clear that she had extensive experience in counseling and knew whereof she spoke! 


I quickly felt a rapport with Kathy. The blurb about her on Amazon noted that she was a psychotherapist who’d won awards for more than one of the many books she’d written. She’d also been published in Family Circle, Mademoiselle, The Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, and several other leading magazines. 


Moreover—and those of you who know me will appreciate this—she and her  husband live in Arizona with four cats: Gus, Maggie, SweetPea and Hamish. Ah, my kind of gal!

When her book Purr Therapy: What Timmy & Marina Taught Me About Life, Love and Loss was published, I immediately read it and left a review on Amazon. In it, I said that while the cats with whom I’d lived had often purred me into a welcomed perspective, none of them had ever done what Timmy & Marina—Kathy’s two therapy cats—had done for her patients. They were truly amazing. 

After reading that book, I so hoped she’d write a memoir.


And she has: The Crocodiles Will Arrive Later.


Reading this memoir could have depressed me for the “crocodiles” of the title are the violent mood swings her father experienced as had his mother before him. The crocodiles devoured his treasure trove of good will, intellect, and humor. His three children quaked in terror, fearful that he might kill them, as he threatened to do almost daily.  


Given that title and its implications, you can see why the book could depress. And yet. (It’s these “and yets” in our life stories that so fascinate and captivate me.) And yet. And yet, Kathy grew up to be a woman of great good sense—a sense of the deep-down desire we all have for wholeness.


She fashioned a career, married, made friends. Laughed. Fell and got back up again. Mourned and embraced the next day with renewed expectation. Importantly, as the memoir recounts so vividly and tenderly, she came as an adult to the gift of realization.


What was that realization? 


That beyond the mood swings, the threats, the slow disintegration of her father’s personality she daily witnessed as a child, teenager, and young adult, there was love. A love threaded with her father’s fear that she, too, would know crocodiles. A love that tried to find ways to protect her.


Kathy’s memoir is filled with light, love, and laughter. As the songwriter Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.” Because of her great honesty, the cracks—the crocodiles—in Kathy McCoy’s life reward the reader with the realization that out of painful experiences can come an understanding that leads to forgiveness. Her father’s crocodiles ultimately gave Kathy the tools she needed to not only survive, but to thrive.



Postscript: I've previewed this several times and keep having problems with white lines. Not sure why and can't fix it. So please ignore all formatting problems! Thanks. Peace.