Feb 22

It was a dark dreary morning…

Regardless of the title, this story does have a happy ending.

Shortly before 6:00 AM I woke up without the alarm clock, as is usually the case.  I’d actually been awake since 5:30 seeing what I could see.  Nothing had changed.  I got out of bed and walked down to the hall and went into Grant’s room.  I could have both eyes closed and still know that I was in his room.

I made my way downstairs to begin my workout…no this is not an every day occurrence.   We’ll call it a New Year’s Resolution.  The past year has added a few pounds that really need to come off.  I have two nice suits that have been let out all of the way and I can’t see buying another one, yet.  Not only do my eyes need a little time to get adjusted to being open, but my joints need to get used to moving.  I have a feeling that is not a side-effect.

I spend 45 minutes, or so, of exercise in front of the Wii in the basement.  She’s my personal trainer.  It definitely helps to get all of my body going in the same direction.  Workouts usually happens 3 or 4 times a week.  This particular morning is rushed because I have a 9:00 meeting on the other side of town.  This gets me showered and out the door before 8:00.  On the way out the door Connie asked me if I wanted her to drive.  “The rain is coming down pretty hard and it was still pretty dark earlier.”  You see Connie makes sure that the kids get off to school and sometimes plays taxi driver.  (A job that she’s experienced with)  I indicated that I would be fine and was off to my meeting.  On my way I stopped at the Lil’ Donut Factory.  It’s a different kind of “crack house” as Connie and I call it.

It always nice to talk with the owner, Jordan, about business and life.  We never seem to solve the world’s problems but it’s nice just to slow down and talk.  Oh, I failed to mention that the doughnuts are not for me.  They’re for the meeting that I’m going to with lots of hungry customers.  By the time I’m back on the road it’s 8:05ish.  This gives me 55 minutes to go a distance that usually takes me 20 minutes.

As you can imagine traffic is bad.  It’s stop-and-go for quite a few miles.  The old me, the one with two good eyes, would have been weaving in and out of traffic while looking for the quickest route.  Anyone that has riden with me knows that I’m not noted for being a patient person.  But there I sat in the same lane for miles.  Changing lanes didn’t seem worth it to me.  I was content to move with the pace of traffic.

It gave me time to think.  What a novel idea.  Abnormally, I didn’t think about work.  I thought about my family and this blog.  There are lot of people that read this that don’t know that much about me.  Some of you may think you do, while others would just as soon not know :-).  In the next few weeks, I plan to share more about the rest of me.  By that I mean things that are not directly coorelated to my health.

For now, rest assured that the statement “no mold grows on a moving stone” is true.  We just completed a weekend that included 2 college visits, 7 volleyball games and 3 basketball games.  Look ma’ – no mold.

By the way, the traffic jam was caused by a fender bender.  Although, I never saw a thing.  😉  See, I told you the story would have a happy ending.

Feb 13

My Six-Month Checkup

Last Friday was my scheduled Six-Month Checkup with my Neuro-Ophthalmologist.  Ophthalmologist  What a screwed up way to spell a weird word.  Anyway, earlier this week, the doctor’s office called and said that Dr. Katz was going to be out on medical-leave for 10 weeks.  Crap.  We had the opportunity to meet with his “Fellow” Dr. Collins at the time we already had scheduled.  We took the appointment and was happy that we did.

He’s very knowledgeable and thought that we should stay the course for another 3 months.  This will take us beyond 12 months from the date of the surgery.  He was surprised (and happy) to hear that I was driving.  He said that my lid is farther closed than any others that he has seen, at this stage, but I am “obviously driven to get better.”   Both he and the nurse practitioner asked if I was back to work.  I could hear Connie laugh.  After the appointment, I asked her why she was laughing, she said that “you never quit working!”.  I did tell them that I had help, but continued on as much as possible.  He went on to say that it was “huge” that I was able to drive.

Connie knows how much I love to golf, but I must have told her a hundred times that “if I never golf another day in my life, that would be fine, but I’m not sure what I’ll do if I can never drive again.”  I actually played in a couple of golf-scrambles in 2011.  It was nice.  This year I hope to be able to play more.  I’ll be starting off, just as I did last year, with a trip to Florida with my friends Pete Miller, Eric Gowans and Earl Osborne.  We’ve added a couple of golfers this year.  Our friend Steve Rogers and my oldest-brother Dan will be joining us.  It’ll nearly double the number of people to give me grief.  I may regret this.

I can’t make the trip without remembering last year.  We had a great time and I played well with a 94 at Mystic Dunes on the final day.  If any of my golfing partners want to dispute it, I still have the card!  Three days after coming home, everything went wrong.  That’s in the past and that’s where I need to leave it.  … but I’m keeping the scorecard!

Dr. Collins offered some possible remedies, but will look to Dr. Katz when he returns for a decision.  He told me that I need to sell Dr. Katz on more aggressive surgery if that’s what I want.  That should be within me.  The range of options may include a lid lift for the left-eye and possible surgery on the right-eye muscles.  This will allow me to have a “forward gaze” and limited range of motion.  Something will also need to be done about my right-eyelid.  As for Dr. Katz, it seems that he had some heart issues, but his surgery went well.

As always it’s good to see and be seen.  We had our annual dinner with the Lowder’s on Friday.  It’s always great to catch up, but it’s unfortunate that so much of the conversation is about me.

I’m planning a party…and hoping that Connie will join me.  It’s for all of you that read my blog and share my story.  I wanted to call it a “Celebration of Life” party.  Connie informed me that they already have those, but for dead people.  Still working on a name.  Maybe I’ll call it “We’re still here party”.  Still working on a date.  More news to follow.  I hope that you’ll join me.

As always, your thoughts are appreciated.

Feb 07

If it’s dark and you’re my copilot…

… It MAY be time to switch seats.

I’m coming to the realization that most drivers with two good eyes SHOULD be better drivers than me.  This week I decided to have Connie do the night driving.  It wasn’t an easy decision for me, but probably for the best.

When I got back my driving privileges in October I was hell-bent on driving no matter where we went.  I had convinced myself that I needed to have the experience to get over my fears and to improve.  Now that my fears have lessened, I realize that my safety and the safety of others is more important.  Admittedly, that should have been the case all along.

There will certainly be times that I will need to drive at night.  Hopefully, those times will be few and distances will be short.

Some things are better experienced with both eyes wide opened.