Nov 23, 2013

KEEPING MY EYE ON THE PRIZE: Recovering/Thanksgiving from a Retinal Detachment in Northern California

Dear Friends and Blogging pals,

A few years ago I had retinal tears in my left eye.  It was a very frightening situation for me as I am an artist, I paint paintings, furniture and lots of decorative accessories.  I need my eyes.  After five surgeries (and a 8 month silicone behind the eye treatment)  and a brand new lense implanted in my eye, I could see again.  Not as well as before but gradually my vision corrected.  My fear faded and I did have my 'good' right eye which gave me huge reassurance as I painted my art projects in the studio everyday.

Recently I experienced flashes in my right eye.  I knew from my earlier experience that those flashes could be a sign of another retinal problem.  This time my 'good'  eye was vulnerable and I became very nervous as I live quite far away from Guatemala City and up very near the volcanos at a higher elevation than where I would be treated.   Surgery was needed and recovery seemed difficult as there would be lots of back and forth visits to my much trusted and fine Opthamologists, Dr. Luis and Jorge, Guatemala City.  So,  I opted to take a bit of a risk a travel to my nieces home near Sacramento, California (bonus, she is a nurse).   Thanks to Kelsie Reed, Elizabeth Bell, Juan Carlos Castillo Fuentes, Mark Creelman and Burton Pasternak I was swept off, literally door to door, to the airport the very next morning.  I had great flight connections in Houston and then quickly on to Sacramento where my niece had arranged an appointment with a leading Opthamologist.  Relief, happiness and peace of mind immediately came to mind (plus much inspiration from the dozens of prayers from my facebook and blogger friends around the world).

The very next day I had surgery.  I also had the most amazing and updated treatment one could ever hope for.  The surgeon, Dr. Robert Wendel was splendid as was all the support group of pre-op nurses, operating room staff and a really fine anatheisiologist...a giant of straightforward calm and caring.  The surgery, installing a ' buckle '  around my retinal detachment was a success.

I've had one follow up visit with Dr. Robert.  He thinks all is healing especially well and I will have another visit with him next week to review my progress.  It seems that I will actually SEE better than before.  I am relieved, I feel glad to rest and regroup in the home of my niece, Jennifer, who along with her daughter Laura have been marvelous when caring for me.  Room service and every other kindness has been coming my way.

Thanks to all of you, both family and friends.  I am still regrouping but I have so much gratitude for all of you out there in facebook/bloggerlandia. 

Prayers of Thanksgiving,
Citrus Heights, California on a sunny/chilly day


Grandmère Mimi said...

Splendid news, Len. I rejoice with you.

JCF said...


Len, you schmuck, I'm about 5 miles away!

If your peepers are up to it, let's get together before you depart, 'kay?

jcf1899 at gmail dot com

[And/Or come hear me sing in St Michaels, Carmichael, choir tomorrow! 10AM]

David said...

Prayers of thanksgiving for this wonderful news.! Hugs from Montreal

Jane Mason said...

This is splendid news, Len. I have been praying ( and offline fir three days with Internet failure at the river) and NOW I read thus. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia and Amen. God bless love from
Jane in South Africa - online and connected at last!

Leonard Clark said...

Sunday morning (it's sunny in Northern California) Greetings! Thank you David and June for your enthusiastic support and thank you Jane for finding me (you must have had lots of emails to sort throught after a few days off) and wishing me well. I send you all my best and I am comfy and happy and healing...who could ask for anything more? Stilly lying low to insure that nothing upsets the stitches...but, wow, stitches or no stitches I feel really lucky and blessed to have received the expert care in Sacramento. Love to all, Len

Leonard Clark said...

JCF, There you are! I thought you were somewhere near Fresno! You are singing (no, doubt with gusto) as I write this. I am on Pippin Way not far from you. I am still spending most time horizontal as I don't want to disrupt the eye is read still but I CAN SEE FOREVER! I will know more about departure dates to return to Guatemala soon after my appointment on Wednesday with Dr. Robert Wendel...what a champ he is (as is the the rest of the staff). My niece works at Mercy San Juan which is nearby all feels so good to be well taken care of...and then, what a nifty surprise, there is YOU! Un gran abrazo, Len

Leonard Clark said...

BTW -- under the department of how I am looking? I look like my right eye was hit by a truck...but, alas, no time for vanity when a miracle has occured!

susan s. said...

How great it is to know 'the latest'!! I will be looking into Facebook also to keep up with you.

Leonard Clark said...

Thank you Susan...I feel better each day (the eye keeps healing and adjusting but I can see well(...according to the Doctor, I may even see better close up than before...that is a good thing when painting. Best to you and yours, Len