Seeing is believing. I know we’ve all the heard the adage, but in my case, it rings especially true. You see, when I sing the familiar lyrics, “I once was blind but now I see,” I mean it in a literal sense. I was born with a rare congenital eye condition where the lenses in my eyes were the wrong shape, in the wrong place and at the wrong tilt. Added to that, the ‘sacks’ holding them in place behind the pupil were deteriorating. Every time I went to see an eye doctor (and I went frequently) he would inevitably call in a number of colleagues and they would hum and hah over this apparent anomaly.
Great. It’s one thing to be ‘special’ but when I was a teenager I was told I would probably go totally blind by forty.
Well, my fortieth birthday came, and although I couldn’t see well by most people’s standards, I was very functional and lived a regular life. I even drove a car, although never in unfamiliar surroundings since I could not read signs. Then, at forty-five, things really started to happen. I developed rapid growth cataracts which forced surgery upon me – something the doctor’s had been avoiding because of the complications that were sure to follow.
By this time, the lens in my right eye was ‘hanging by a thread’. I underwent a 2 ½ hour surgery to remove the lens, along with the vitreous fluid and any remaining filaments. A new lens was implanted in front of my iris just under the cornea and apparently everything was a success.
One problem. The surgeons forgot to consult with my brain! You see, the brain can be a very stubborn customer. It has a mind of its own, if you will pardon my rather lame pun. Although the eye should theoretically be functioning better than before, my brain would simply not compute the new messages being sent while the other eye was still in its original state. Bottom line, I was blind for nearly two months as I waited for my next surgery.
In retrospect, the time I spent in ‘whiteness’ (I could still see light, but I was in a total ‘white’ fog) was such a time of rest and spiritual growth that I am very grateful now for it. I could not read (my Bible or anything else) or write (a painful prospect for a writer!) so I spent lots of time just thinking and meditating. It is wonderful how verses I had memorized came back to my mind. Also, once I got my white cane I was able to take walks (very slow walks!) on familiar ground and marveled at how much more intense the feel of the wind or the sound of a bird were. I also knit a sweater by ‘feel’, which I am proud to wear today despite its few mistakes.
All together, my recovery took five months. After that time I still had challenges and had to see a specialist every week for almost a year. But I am happy to say that, for almost two years now I have been able to see as well, if not better, than I ever could. It was the kind of experience that taught me so much more than I could ever have imagined – about being content, resting in God, and taking pleasure in the smallest things. Good thing. Apparently God isn't finished with me yet. :) As I write this very post, I am preparing to see the specialist once again tomorrow. Quite suddenly, my right eye has gone almost totally blind again. My husband commented on how calmly I seem to taking this turn of events. I guess its true. I honestly do not feel afraid or anxious, because I know that the Almighty has a plan and a purpose in all things. He gives us that kind of grace, certainly, as I know I don't come by it naturally. And so, I end this post with confidence - knowing that I will see you all again very soon!