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Blessed. Grateful. Awestruck (Part 2)

Dear friends, Today I’m sharing part 2 of my “was blind, but now I see” story. It will make much more sense if you read Part 1. Next step: surgery: one eye at a time, two weeks apart. I hoped I would end up with decent vision. Maybe my glasses wouldn’t need to be as heavy, or maybe I could go back to my contacts. Maybe I wouldn’t need glasses for driving. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, but based on how little I could see with my left eye, I knew to expect some sort of improvement. I had a clue after the first surgery** when they wheeled me back to the recovery area and I could read a clock on the wall from about fifteen feet away. I don’t ever remember being able to read a clock without corrective lenses. I smiled. My smile expanded as the week progressed. I had no pain. I had no light sensitivity—even the first day. And when I laid my glasses on my dresser after returning from the first surgery, I never picked them up again. “God must love you a lot,” Dr. Hunter said at the one-week checkup. “Of course He does!” I responded. Dr. Hunter then explained that something rare had happened: my near vision improved much more than anticipated for this type of surgery, to 20/20. No wonder I didn’t need my glasses! The second surgery went almost like the first with no pain, no problems. I told my husband I thought maybe the results weren’t quite as good, but since I had a little miracle the first time, I was more than satisfied. I was right. When I went for my one-week checkup, the vision in the right eye was 20/25. Not quite as good—but again, much, much better than anticipated. This time, Dr. Hunter said, “You have the special blessing of God on your life.” I’ll take that. And I am, and I do. Because today—almost three weeks after the first surgery and one week from the second—I have 20/15 vision in both eyes. And Dr. Hunter has no medical way to explain this. “You have the results people pay thousands of dollars to get—without paying thousands of dollars,” he told me. He also said, “You have the best results for this type of surgery of anyone I’ve ever seen.” Although he’s a person of faith, Dr. Hunter didn’t call what happened a miracle. But I do. I think eye surgery is a miracle in itself. And just as Jesus chose to heal some people with a word, some with a touch, some with mud made from clay and spittle, he chose to heal my eyes...

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Blessed. Grateful. Awestruck (Part 1)

Dear Friends, [I apologize for my delay in posting. March has ended up as my health month with lots of appointments, tests, and procedures as I make sure I maintain my temple. The winner (chosen at of last week’s review copy of The Caregiver’s Notebook  is Tiffany! Congratulations, and I’ll make sure to get the book out to you soon.] Blessed. Grateful. Awestruck. Those are the words embossed on the thin brass clasp bracelet I wear on my wrist. I wear it every day because these words describe the way I want to live. A few months ago, I knew I had to do something about my vision. The small cataract my optometrist had observed in my left (weakest) eye more than a year earlier eye had grown to the point that I could no longer wear my contacts. I knew I was depending almost completely on my right eye. We all need to see. But as someone who works with words and spends a great deal of time dealing with visual detail, my eyes are extra-important to me. And I’ve had serious vision problems since early elementary school. Ever since I got my first pair of (even then) thick glasses in second grade, I’ve been grateful to live in an era where vision can be corrected. I would read Bible stories about “the man born blind” and recognize that, had I lived in that era, I might have ended up begging on the street. I can’t say I loved my glasses or contacts, but I loved being able to see. And as of late last year, I couldn’t see much—not with my right eye, anyway. When I first visited Dr. Joel Hunter’s office this February, I had to say “I can see the screen” more than once during the vision test. And by that, I meant the screen was all I could see. No chart, no big letter E, nothing. “Well, you’re not faking it,” was the first thing Dr. Hunter said to me. (Exactly how do you fake a cataract, anyway?) He explained that the cataract on my left eye was a rare type and, if I waited for the surgery, it would worsen just as much in the next few months as it had in the past few. He and his staff did a great job of explaining the options. My eyes didn’t make me a candidate for the top level of surgery. But I could have chosen laser-assisted, or “precision” surgery had I wanted to pay almost $2000 per eye, the amount my insurance wouldn’t have covered. That would have brought my vision closer to perfection. But with three children in college/training school along with a mortgage and other family...

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