‘Letting go’ provides a better ‘vision’ in life

Psychedelic green bursts of light pulse across my eye. It’s like a strobe light flashing over and over, as I “see” a colorful cascade of a lime green pigment appear before me as if it’s penetrating the eyeball itself.

It is! And, it’s called a “laser” procedure that a doctor from Presbyterian Hospital, a division of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, Philadelphia, PA (USA), is performing on my left eye. Flash after flash of the laser erupts across the eye in lightening-like shapes. Are those the veins of the eye this magical light is brightening as it strikes?

He “lasers” through one hundred and twenty-four “spots” on two different sections of the eye, where they discovered I had a detached retina. I thought I scratched the eye with a contact lens, but was wrong. (See: lens hazard)  And there I was yesterday, getting emergency treatment from VA (Veterans Administration) Hospital workers who, I believe, provide the best services in the world to needy veterans. I sit passively, leaning back with my head comforted by the head-rest of the chair behind me. Strange. But, I am at peace. Another doctor —  was it the third, fourth or fifth person I spoke to? — had coated the eye with some “numbing” liquid. It spread over the eye and apparently into whatever cavity leading to the nasal section. My breathing is clearer. So are my thoughts.

Rather, the “lack” of thoughts, as I have totally “surrendered” to these physicians, placing the outcome not only in their hands, but those of the Fates, as my ancient Greek ancestors called that Force in the Universe. “Whatever will be, will be,” Doris Day sings in my ear. It’s easy to accept something when you have absolutely no control over that something.

I pondered this as I drove earlier from one hospital to another, wondering if I would lose sight in my eye after seeing an eye doctor at Coatesville (PA) Medical Center. He called Philadelphia to set up this emergency “drill.” What’s the worst scenario, Michael? You’ll be blind in one eye, and won’t be able to see out of the other, unless you wear a contact lens. Otherwise, the world will be a blur, an unfocused, hazy collection of unfeeling objects. Kinda like some people I know who go through life never seeking  help or understanding from one another.

Ok, let’s say I “lost” the eye, I thought. That’ll cut back by 50 percent the amount of money I’d need for contacts lenses. Just buy for one, not two eyes. Won’t have to worry about scratching the glass lens on the left side of my spectacles. Couldn’t see through it anyway.  And, it’s not as if I would actually be “losing” the eye, replacing a natural one with an artificial one, I find myself telling a nice and kind female hospital attendant. You could still see both of my pretty brown eyes as I smiled your way, I added. I could blink, and the eye would respond. I’d be able to look in your direction and you’d see me looking back at you with both of my happy-to-see-you “peepers.”

Don’t forget the eye patch. A cool, black patch stretched over the eye, as I would stare you down with that sinister and menacing look of the pirate, the swashbuckler, the Omar Sharif-type character that is suave and debonair. What a new look! Might lead people to believe my 100 percent disability rating with the VA was due to the loss of  the eye while in combat, and not my hearing loss and/or the PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) “gain.” 

The drops placed on my eye immediately preceding the laser incisions seemed to spread over my whole being, bringing a calm I generally only experience while in “deep” meditation. “Doctor Will,” I address the surgeon, Daniel Will,  by name. “Do the eye drops make a person feel like they’ve reached Nirvana?”

That’s a new one,” he responds with a laugh. He mentions something about “bottling” it if the stuff really caused such an effect. I “feel” him smile at my remark. And I smile. I now know that no drug is causing me to face this medical “operation” with such an evenly peaceful acceptance on my part.

Must be the advice someone suggested I follow, and that is, to apply the self-adminstrated procedure of “letting go,” day after day. It will help to improve anyone’s vision.

12 comments on “‘Letting go’ provides a better ‘vision’ in life

  1. […] letting-go-provides-a-better-vision-in-life […]

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  2. […] ‘Letting go’ provides a better ‘vision’ in life […]

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  3. The Won Institute 137 S. Easton Rd. Glenside, Pa. will begin low cost treatment of veterans and their families with acupuncture. This will involve a few needles in your ears which helps greatly with PTSD and other stress related issues. This will be every Thursday evening beginning 3/18 at 6p and 7p
    Contact: 215 884-9340
    woninstitute.edu
    clinicdirector@woninstitute.edu

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  4. jessicacrawford says:

    Michael,

    I enjoyed reading your post because it is something I can relate to having undergone the same procedures starting about 4 months ago. I recall seeing the flashes of light and the “floaters” for nearly a year. When I noticed half of my vision was suddenly gone one day, like a hazy beige curtain being pulled over my right eye, I was extremely lucky to have found the doctors who ended up treating me.

    To date I’ve had two gas bubbles injected, 7 laser treatments over a total of about 15 office visits. It is probably the most trust you can put into a stranger’s hands, giving them complete control over what I believe to be the most important sense.

    Handing over something you have no control over, “Please be able to fix this” and the feeling of “Whatever will be, will be” are things I believe to be the biggest parts to help you recover. I now have 95% of the vision in my right eye.

    You’ll be in my thoughts. Please keep us updated, have you got your little Buddha yet? With your mindset, I have a feeling everything will turn out fine.

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    • contoveros says:

      *You have provided me with lots of encouragement. I’m trying to put on a brave face, so to speak, but this had come as a complete surprise. Not to mention how painful the laser “burns” can be at times. Had two sessions, 124 the first time and 288 spots burned yesterday. Will go back Monday, Martin Luther King’s day for possible “operating room” fun and games.* ** *Am keeping an eye out” for my little Buddha. How did you know that i was looking to get a little charm to hang around my neck? Must have mentioned it elsewhere.* ** *You sound hopeful, and I feel inspired to take on all the suffering of the world today.* ** *Stay tuned.* ** *Where did you get the image of that cool-looking eye? Awesome. Was that the one with the laser “touch-up?”* ** *michael j *

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      • The laser really is the worst part of the whole procedure. Ask them to turn the intensity down, that might help. To me it felt as if my eyeball and eye socket were being shocked or electrocuted, then the pain traveled into my temples with each burst of light. I dreaded those visits. Also ask if they could put extra numbing drops in beforehand and take some advil or other pain reliever 3o minutes before your visit. That helped out a lot. By doing those things, the last few “laserings” weren’t that bad. Then just tune out while they work away “welding” everything back together.

        As for the gas bubble, position exactly how they tell you. I read a lot during those times (face down), and I’ve found the gas bubble worked as a magnifying glass. Your back and neck will probably be sore from trying to hold one position for days, but it’s really a small price to pay for vision.

        The picture is of my left eye, I took it a few years ago playing around with my camera. Though the right eye, after all the work, is an exact healthy functioning replica;)

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  5. Snædís says:

    Eye say your way to look at life is highly inspiring and utterly brave in its amusement! You are a Star 🙂

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    • contoveros says:

      Talk about Brave!

      Here’s looking at you kid. You’ve helped to open the minds and hearts of a lot of people around here. Stay warm in your native Iceland.

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  6. sparrow says:

    Michael you are so precious. . .you will look great with a Buddha charm to match your Buddha heart. . .

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    • contoveros says:

      Now i gotta get a Buddha charm. This is the third time in less than 24 hours that this has come up. You know the magic with “threes. Thanks.

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  7. sparrow says:

    Oh Mercy Michael. . .Big Hug!. . .Sincerely my good thoughts and prayers are with you. . .May you be held in healing and comfort. . .

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    • contoveros says:

      thanks,
      Saw eye surgeon today (Thurs.) and will return Fri) for further treatments. It’s a new adventure.

      Met a medical tech who showed me two figures of Buddha she carries on a chain around her neck. We had great talk in between her diagnostic testing and my mindfulness meditation.

      Gotta get a little Buddha, but more importantly, one of those rawhide “chains” to adorn my “macho” neck.

      michael j,
      keeping an eye out for you!

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