Sunday, May 18, 2014

Precious Eyesight

As I dictate to the infamous Siri and to my Dragon software program, frustrated because they don’t like my southern accent, I realize how much we take our sight for granted. In my temporary sightless state, I am icing my bruised and painful eyes, feeling my way around the chair, trying to retrieve a bottle of water and my blanket, knocking over everything else my visual memory forgot that it was close by.

I am no stranger to temporary blindness; I had optic neuritis 17 years ago. Aside from the Multiple Sclerosis scare, I remember the despair of losing my eyesight for 4 days and the indescribable joy of gaining it back thanks to western man’s invention of steroids. Everything went pitch black one day from a bad episode of viral flu - an overwhelming darkness of being trapped in a cave. After agonizing and skin burning round the clock IV steroid treatments, burning that was only soothed by a microwaved washcloth, I gained my eyesight back - first a curtain lifted, then many shades of grey appeared, followed by black and white, and finally exploding full color.

My eyes are shut today after one hour of surgery and are covered with ice bandages to control swelling and bleeding. Unlike 17 years ago, I can see some light underneath the white cloth but I am not allowed to remove it.

I hear sounds from every direction and my sense of smell is much stronger. I can imagine my garden in full bloom, buzzing with bees, the sunshine, the cloudless blue sky, my back yard humming with birds, and the green forest teeming with creatures coming to life.

Chirping birds and agitated squirrels are vocalizing the presence of Bogart, my 15 pound Snowshoe Siamese who is so old and slow now, that no birds or resident squirrels need to fear him. The river is only a stone’s throw away but has disappeared behind the majestic trees that greened overnight and block the view of the glittering water. Only the Canada geese’s strident “honk-honk” give any indication that there is a river nearby. And I’ll be able to see and touch God’s symphony of spring soon once the bandages are removed.

My Jurassic Park

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