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.