Sunday, August 4, 2013

These Old Eyes

These Old Eyes
Peggy K. Mack

August 4, 2013

One of the challenges in growing older and entering into our Golden Years, as they are euphemistically called, is to face the changes our bodies are going through as we age.

My latest challenge began two years ago when I noticed little "halos" or "sparklers" were forming around light sources.  They were a problem when I drove at night or went to the movies.  While driving, all of the on coming car headlights turned into a sea of bright blurry lights that made it almost impossible to distinguish anything else in the dark.  The moon was no longer just bright.  Now it was bright but twice as large with a huge ethereal ring around it that made it twice it's size only fuzzy.  Television was blurry and the light coming from the tv made it uncomfortable to watch so I adapted by listening to it while working on my laptop or word books and then the print became fuzzy.  The lamps were too bright so I turned most of them off or changed the bulbs to ones with lower watts.  I was accepting life's changes to my eyes by making adjustments.  One day I tore off a piece of waxed paper and held it over a grocery ad.  I showed it to Bill and said, "Try to read the print on this page.  This is what my eyes see all the time."  He was astounded!

That's when I realized and accepted that sometimes the adjustments we make on our own are not enough for us to maneuver through life safely.   I believe in being independent and in figuring things out for myself.  I also accept changes with time.  However, when I had done all I could do and I was beginning to realize I was limiting what I could accomplish, it was time to turn to someone more knowledgeable than myself with these old eyes.

I went to the Ophthalmologist for a much needed eye exam expecting a stronger prescription only to learn that both eyes were completely fogged over with cataracts.  The cornea with age and sun damage had become brittle and no longer allowed my eyes to see.  At that point, I was challenged to accept the news and to consider a surgical procedure on my eyes.  I had experienced several surgeries in my life, but on my eyes?  That was a totally different and difficult challenge to accept.  So I worked through it by studying, listening, asking others who had been through the experience of cataract surgery and praying.  God has walked me through every challenge I have given Him in prayer and I have never been left alone.

So in February and March of 2013, I had two separate surgeries, one eye at a time, to remove my corneas and replace them with contact lenses.  At first, my follow up visits came back with the results that I had 20/20 vision in both eyes.  Praise the Lord I exclaimed and I felt so much relief and happiness. 

I was given another eye test several weeks after the surgery and was told that I have an astigmatism and will need glasses as many cataract surgery patients do.  So I followed their guidance, accepted the diagnosis and had new glasses made for driving and reading.  I believed the glasses would solve the problems and I was happy, again.

Now, I am in August of 2013, and I am experiencing problems with my eyes that I cannot adjust to because these eyes are old and things are changing as we age.   My right eye can successfully see the moon as it should be seen, but my left eye sees that same old filmy ring around it and the combination is giving me problems with driving, watching a movie and enjoying tv.   Within weeks, I began to lose trust in my driving ability because road signs were blurry.  Oh! how I longed for my vision when I was 10!  These old eyes are dimming and failing me and I am struggling with simple tasks I enjoy.  All the while I face it with a positive attitude, a belief that a solution will be found that will have me enjoying the simple things in life and the adjustment and challenges will be part of the past.

The other day I put on a pair of $10 glasses from CVS that I use for the computer.  My vision was clear.  Oh my!  I thought!  Great vision this morning!  Out of curiosity I tried on my $365.00 prescription glasses and looked at the computer screen.  Fuzzy and blurred images were all I saw.  Oh good grief I thought!

So, I am heading back to the eye surgeon and the office that made my glasses for me.  At this point it remains a mystery, yet to be solved.  God cannot heal my eyes. The eyes he created were damaged and the corneas are gone.  God does not fly in like Superman and miraculously give me new corneas.  What He does do is walk with me.  He calms my mind and clears my thoughts and holds patience here as a gift to me if I take it.

What I know is this.  Growing older each day is a challenge in everything we face.  But it is not about the challenges as much as it is about our willingness to accept them and to stay positive and close to God.  These old eyes will never be the same.  They may never see the world the way I saw the world as a child.  My eyes may grow dim like my Grandmother Kelley whose eyesight was gone before she passed away.  Her faith remained strong.  It was the core of her being and her strength, no matter what challenges came her way.

 These old eyes have been good to me.   We are fighting, now, for the best vision we can have with the skills of my doctor.  I am not worried nor afraid.  Whatever the challenge is for me in the days ahead, I choose to walk with God.

Dear Heavenly Father,
Our greatest challenge as we age is to learn to accept the changes and to do all we can to care for ourselves so we can continue to worship and serve you.  Give us courage to surrender our will by seeking help from professionals when we know we have adjusted all we can and need help.  Remind us that professional hands, minds and spirits can be guided by your love and will help us remain active and strong.  And in all we face, make us ever mindful, that by accepting the changes we see, we can then focus on the needs of those you give to us to help along the way.
In Jesus' Name,

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