Saturday, October 10, 2009

Going Blind- Part 2

Let’s see now, where was I? Oh yes I remember; blind in my left eye but still with good vision in the right.

I was divorced by this time and had met Joni although she was still living in Baltimore. The thing that really helped me was knowing that the damage to my eye was not permanent. My cornea was ruined, but corneas can be transplanted. It was a lot of waiting though. My doctor had to make sure the infection was totally healed and would not come back before she would do any surgery.

Now, I want to explain how these transplants work. Once a cornea has been removed from the donor it can only be stored for five days. So the surgery is scheduled a month in advance without really knowing if there will be a cornea available or not. The day before the surgery they call you to let you know if they got one. Unfortunately I didn’t know that. My doctor never explained it and it never even occurred to me to ask.

I was so excited as the day of my surgery approached. I was living in Dallas at this time and Mom was driving all the way down from Nebraska to be there with me. The day before the surgery, they called me and said they did not have a cornea for me. I was flabbergasted to say the least. I had to call Mom and give her the news (she was more than halfway to Texas by then). She decided to turn around and go back so she could save her vacation time for when the surgery really happened. Years later she told me she felt bad about turning back but I totally agreed with her decision.

Anyway that was in January 2003, I think. They went ahead and re-scheduled the surgery for February. I began getting my hopes up all over again even though I tried not to.

The day before my surgery arrived again and this time I was prepared. I wasn’t going to let them surprise me again so I called that morning and asked if they had a cornea for me. They did! I was so excited! Mom was on the road again and I called her right away so she wouldn’t have to worry.

That afternoon the doctor’s office called me back. The cornea didn’t pass all the tests. Tests?? Yep, the cornea has to be tested for HIV and other things. That makes perfect sense but I didn’t know about that at the time. I was beyond crushed. I knew Mom was only a couple of hours away by then and I didn’t have the heart to call her so I just let her drive the rest of the way. The doctor wanted to re-schedule again but I said no. I just couldn’t go through it again.

In May of that year, Joni and Adam came to Dallas to live with me and Joni started talking me into re-scheduling the surgery. I finally relented in October and they scheduled me for November.

This time everything worked out. I got my new cornea on November 7. The doctor said I could take the bandage off the next morning, and when I did I could see! I had almost perfect vision in both eyes again after waiting for two years. Maybe God was just waiting until Joni was with me so I wouldn’t be alone for this. Certainly He was trying to teach me patience.

Well, obviously this is STILL not the end of the story but I will have to leave it here for this week. I warned you that this might take awhile. I hope you’ll come back to hear the rest!

Psalms 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.


  1. Oh dear, you are a cliffhanger, like the friday episodes of soap operas, or the end of seasons. Humpf. Are you doing this on purpose? ;)

    I'm so enjoying reading your story. Of my blind friends I've met in person, I'm really the only one with a story like this, so while I'm not glad it happened to you, I do like knowing another with a similar story.

    And you must have much much more going on in your life than I because I blog a ton haha!

  2. S,
    If only you would come out in the snow today and feel the coldness on your face, shiver as the wind makes your skin curl! Walk with me on this leg of our journey. ILUSDBAFTIB!
    J ;-)

  3. R,
    I told him he should be blogging more and to stop keeping his readers on edge! ha ha I sure hope he takes me up on that! :-)
    p.s. love your blog and story!

  4. Oh I'm glad I came back because I had forgotten to subscribe to the comments by email. I sure hope you can work your womanly magic and get him to blog more ;)

    I'm finding it really theraputic, and its a great way to keep track of when I did stuff. I'm glad you are liking my blog *grins humbly* I can't seem to not blog haha!!

  5. It's amazing how God works in bringing people together to be some source of therapy for one another. Don't worry R, you're not in this alone and it looks like we all share something in common. I relate to your story more than you know and look forward to reading it. And my womanly majic, eh? ha ha I lost that years ago. ha ha (kidding)

  6. Man, I just finished reading a blog by a man in Malaysia who lost his sight at 54. His story is incredible. Its called, "My Blind Site" and you could find it on my list of blogs that I follow.

    I was able to send him an email, because his comments have word verification, so I can't comment on his blogs. I gently asked him if he might change his settings ;)

    Yeah, I don't really have my womanly magic with my boyfriend anymore, not in the persuasive arena anyway ;)