Update on Richard’s Eye

August 7, 2017
Page from a test booklet made with 140 lb. Fabriano Artistico Hot Press Watercolor paper. As people come and go I keep layering sketches on the page. It’s a very small waiting room; it’s best to sketch patients who are sleeping. This is the first bit of sketching I did with the new glasses. I’d been running errands all day and at my eyes seemed to work for distance and close up.

Thank you to everyone who wrote sending me good wishes for Dick! 

For Dick routine cataract surgery turned into anything but routine. It took 11 weeks but the epithelial defect has healed in Dick’s eye. “You have the most sensitive eyes I’ve ever seen,” his regular eye doctor, who did the surgery, said 9 weeks in when the variety of drops and antibiotics and steroids just kept sending the eye back to square one, necessitated daily doctor’s visits, and left Dick inventing all sorts of coping strategies, like the adapted swim goggles he wore all day which kept the eye humidified.

But for the past 12 days all the progress has been forward. He still needs to have regular visits to the eye doctor and the specialist who is monitoring the edema, but it’s all improving. And his old energy is back. He doesn’t need to rest with the eye covered and immobile. It’s so great to see him moving back to his normal self again.

Saturday I was whining about my new eye glasses. After 3 weeks I can’t see with them at all, at any of the 3 focal ranges. I haven’t been able to do my work without frequent breaks and an acceptance that there will be no detail. 

But for Dick, eleven weeks of pain and impaired vision and in all that time only one 15 second bout of “less than” cheery commentary from him.

Faced with far less, my behavior has been nowhere near as exemplary. After all these years Dick’s temperament continues to amaze me. 

I resolve to be more patient.

My resolve lasts only a few minutes.

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    • Paul
    • August 7, 2017

    Glad to hear that Dick’s eye is finally on the mend😉. Hope your new eye glasses get sorted out. I wear bifocals which require a very specific head tilt for viewing the computer screen which is literally a pain in the neck after a while😎. Nothing to do but take frequent breaks. It doesn’t seem to have affected your art, love that backpack!

    1. Reply

      Thanks Paul. We are pretty happy with Dick’s situation the past week. He doesn’t have to go to the specialist any more at all!!! I’m sort of accustomed to my new trifocals now (I’ve had trifocals for about 15 or more years) and it is a pain in the neck. We are making computer glasses, which will help a little with that, but the bottom line is I’m down to about 3 really usable hours of work a day. I can sit at the computer and work with blur, but I have only 3 hours to have eyes for sketching and I’m tearing out my hair. It has totally changed my art from detail work to messy looseness, and that has made me very grumpy. And then when the window of viewing is over the eyes refuse to see anything with or without the glasses. I’d complain more but it’s embarrassing with Dick facing his eye problems!!!

    • Kate Burroughs
    • August 7, 2017

    I would be very impatient about not being able to use my eyes, especially when almost everything I do requires their use. So glad that Dickʻs eyes are getting better.

    1. Reply

      Kate, thanks for the good wishes!!!

    • Judi Boltz
    • August 7, 2017

    One of my best purchases ever – – a pair of glasses that I use strictly for my computer, and, happily, also double as reading glasses. The bridge of my nose is grateful to be relieved of the heavy trifocal pair which I wear for expeditions into the outside world.

    1. Reply

      Thanks Judi, I’ve got a pair of bifocals for the computer but they couldn’t be updated until we settled on a trifocal prescription. Since we’ve finally been able to do that we’ve got the replacement pair on order, but even with the prescription changed I’m getting 3 hours of drawing time a day max. and that isn’t enough to do my work. We are looking at how to change things in my life.I haven’t even started back to life drawing co-op because I need all three “views” for that to work. I’m afraid I’ll go and be frustrated. Now the Fair is upon us and it will be a crucible of fire. We’ll see.

    • Louise
    • August 7, 2017

    Dick deserves a Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster for going through that in such a heroic way. 11 weeks is a very long time

    Best wishes for continued healing and a problem free conclusion to the entire ordeal. They tell you cataract surgery is fast and easy, but I know quite a few who would not agree.

    I wear trifocals too. I wondered if I received the correct prescription last time. We do become accustomed to head tilting. May the issue with your new glasses be resolved very soon, Roz.

    1. Reply

      He does Louise, you are absolutely right. I can’t tell you all the things he continued to do even though he couldn’t use his eye. He’s amazing. The edema is now gone and he no longer has to go to the specialist. He’ll see the regular eye doctor every other week for awhile more but in another 6 weeks or so they think they can fit him with new glasses as things will be the new “normal.”

      We didn’t have the correct prescription the first time. It has taken forever for me to start to get used to the newest version. But because of various tests they believe they are correct. I have to use my eyes differently going forward, so I’m looking at ways to break my day up differently and also not do some of the types of art I used to do. It’s disappointing but it’s what it is.

      Four years ago I had a different outfit make my glasses and they did the incorrect prescription. It was really obvious. They also wouldn’t admit it, so I had to make another appointment with my doctor and have them verify the glasses and the different segments were the right prescription. They weren’t and then the other company replaced them. But I had the extra office visit cost and all the time and frustration. I always have the same company do my glasses now—they work with my ophthalmologist.

      They are really good at getting the trifocal LINES in the right place.

      If you have non-lined trifocals and can’t seem to adjust I recommend you switch to lined glasses. It makes all the difference for me.

      Long ago when I first needed bifocals progressive lenses were all the new rage and I got them and they were AWFUL. I was seasick every time I put them on and never adjusted.

      Once I got lined bifocals (and now have lined trifocals) those issues went away. Now it’s just a matter of getting the right prescription and realizing that they can’t make each of the 3 ranges perfect. You have to give something up.

      If you use progressive trifocals think about giving lined ones a try. Right back at you with good wishes for your glasses to work SOON!!!

    • Eleanor
    • August 7, 2017

    This is the third person i know that has had trouble with cataract surgery. I hope Dicks issues resolve quickly.
    Getting new glasses for me is so traumatic. I feel for you Roz.

    1. Reply

      Eleanor, I had to go back in to my eye doctor because of my ongoing issue with vision change and glasses and there was talk by some that my issues might be cataracts (they aren’t—evidently I have a very slight beginning of something in one eye). My eye doctor told me it would be YEARS before he would touch me. He didn’t do Dick’s operation and Dick is happy with his doctor, but even so I laughed and said, “After what’s happened to Dick I don’t think I’ll ever let anyone near my eyes!!” And we all had a good laugh (Dick was with me for the visit.)

      I wish our eyes would not change! Thanks for understanding!

    • Sue
    • August 8, 2017

    I was thinking the same thing as Judi. (My current “trifocal” gradated lenses happen to work very well but I know they have to be ground just right. My husband got some that had been ground “digitally”, whatever that means, and he says they are the best he’s every had.) Have you considered getting three different pairs of single focal glasses just so you can separately check each prescription? BTW, a number of years ago I saw double through a certain part of the glasses I was wearing back then and one of my opthamologist’s assistants said that’s common from cataracts. (For years I’ve had very mild cataracts that barely affect my vision.)

    In any case, best wishes..

    • Julana
    • August 14, 2017

    I hate getting new glasses, too. I got new bi-focals last summer and fell down the last three or four of our stairs. They raised the line from 30% to 50% without asking me. I got new contacts a few weeks prior, and backed into another car, that was backing at the same time. Not a good two weeks.
    Hope you are coping ok.

    1. Reply

      Stop falling!!!!! Don’t do that. I’ve been fortunate that the glass makers have always done a good job it’s just that my eyes are really strained and testing them to find a norm from which to start has proved difficult. I hope you get your situation straightened out and don’t have any more accidents of any kind!!!

    • Dana Burrell
    • September 8, 2017

    Goodness! How did a month go by without me reading this? (and what else might I have missed?)

    I’m thrilled to hear Dick’s eyes are doing well, NOW! … but it’s disheartening to hear how much pain and stress he was in after his surgery. My own cataract surgery was a breeze but I too have heard of other people struggling. And as for prescription lenses… the day I gave up my “regressive” lenses for lined bifocals was the day my neck pain went away. I was lucky to find a good optician who worked with me to find the correct level for what I did. Thankfully, my new cataract free eyes barely need reading glasses now.

    Here’s hoping your eyes and “tri-s” are working better together now!

    1. Reply

      Thanks Dana, we are pretty happy with the way things have progressed. Dick has a new prescription but I have to go with him to get frames selected. I think he should just embrace the fact that he looks like the Ed Asner Character in “Up” and get black rectangular frames!!!

      I’m glad that you’ve found lenses that work. When I first needed bifocals I went to progressive lenses and couldn’t see at all with them. We found that I needed the hardline so I could know where to look. (I was sea-sick for 2 weeks and fell 2 times before I gave up—and I was in my early forties so I shouldn’t have been falling.) Now I have trifocals and when we get things right they work swell, but getting there is always an issue.

      I’m not sure what type of prescription Dick has now, but I know he also likes the the lined bifocals too.

      It just makes life so much simpler.

      I’m so glad you had great success with your cataract surgery. I know that’s what happens for the majority of people, but I have to say I’m a little leery about it and hope I don’t have to do it any time soon. Dick’s other eye is not bad as far as cataracts go so I think he’ll way on that.

      I’m sort of used to my newest pair of trifocals now, butI tend to over use my eyes and then there seems to be no coming back to usefulness. I just have to realize I have to work smarter for a shorter period of time. Or scribble all the time. I’m doing a lot of scribbling.

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