Friday, January 20

My Three Month Hiatus

It’s good to be writing again! I can’t even think of the last time my personal life made it hard for me to write. I’ve been blogging since I left AOL all those years ago. That’s a long time!

My website “Bekkie In Wonderland” actually started on Windows Live Spaces around 1990 something. I can’t think of the specific year now. It was a very rough looking site compared to what I have now at Blogger and when I remember those old posts I want to blanch with embarrassment over my writing skills. We all have to start somewhere though.

Windows Live was a good place to meet people and I met many of my online friends there. Friends I still have to this day (along with all my newer friends here at Blogger.) That was Windows Lives' heyday before they started dropping all kinds of services until they were down to Messenger, profiles and Spaces.

Then Windows Live informed us that they were dropping Spaces in 2009. They offered to transfer our sites over to Word Press and I agreed. I started a Word Press account and waited for my site (and work) to show up. It never did.

I licked my wounds and started blogging on Word Press. Hated it! I like to have my animated gifs and Word Press wasn’t having it. Also, I was using Windows Live Writer (I’m using it now) and although it worked with Word Press too, I just didn’t like the fit. (I've since given it up, MSN dropped Windows Live Writer in 2011 or so.)

It was the best thing that ever happened to me in my blogging career because in 2009 I wrote my first and last blog of the year on Blogger. My writing and my website have improved greatly since those fumbling early days and I have a website that I’m actually proud of now on Word Press. So where have I been lately?

In January of, 2012 I had a change of eyesight and found out I had developed an ocular hole in my right eye. Everything turned out fine but it was hard work and a frightening experience. I worked very hard to get that hole closed after surgery.

The end of November I noticed another change of eyesight. It was disheartening to say the least. I got pretty depressed and quit writing. I knew the hole had opened again and I’d have to go through it all again. No surgery is a piece of cake.

When I went to see Dr. Lam she told me that it had indeed opened and that I was one of 6% that had it happen again. She was surprised it had happened so fast. I had surgery again before Christmas.

I was so worried about my eyesight. I don’t need to really say it but eyesight is so precious. Losing it even in one eye is not an option I wanted to explore anytime soon.

After the gas bubble got smaller I began to be able to peek over it. I saw black and white spots all over the place. Even though it was one eye I could see them with both eyes. I decided it was better than being blind, and thought they must be permanent.

Last Monday I went to Union City to see Dr. Lam with a heavy heart. My eyesight seamed worse and the spots were everywhere I looked. I sat in silence during the ride soaked in my sullen thoughts.

Not only was the hole gone, but during surgery my doctor removed the tissue that was pulling and causing the hole to return. She also told me that the spots were only temporary caused by the gas bubble rubbing against the iris. (I didn’t have spots at all after the first surgery.) The nurse had tested my eyesight early in the visit and I was told my eyesight had actually improved.

I was dumbfounded. Then I experienced extreme happiness for the first time in what seemed like forever! I even let out a whoop while still at Kaiser. I’m keeping all my digits crossed that the hole doesn’t come back again. Did I tell you my eyesight is better? What an emotional merry go round I’ve been on in the last year.

The sight in my right eye isn’t perfect but I can see. If I’m looking at a line with that eye it will have a kink in it and words can swim around but if I’m patient I can read it. Also if a person is far away or the light is dim, one side of their face looks like a monster. (Yeah it’s hard to explain.) Actually my brain lets me see fine with both eyes. I feel like I won the eyesight lottery!

I will be posting regularly now and things are getting back to normal again. I really enjoy working on this website and I’m happy to be back. Thanks for all your support through this and I hope you will come and visit me soon.

Back, to Wonderland!

Keep On Bloggin’!

Sunday, January 15

Eye Will Be Offline Having Surgery

I like to try to blog once a week or more but recently I haven’t been blogging at all. This is because I found out more about my serious eye problem and need an operation right away due to Macular Degeneration. 

There are two kinds of Macular Degeneration, wet and dry. The dry form is by far the most common type and doesn’t require surgery. The wet form is much less common, but it comes on more quickly and can become severe. Lucky me because I have the wet form and I am not a brave person.

The dry form accounts for 9 out of 10 causes of Macular Degeneration. It develops slowly and causes central vision to become dimmer or more blurry over time. It usually doesn’t cause severe vision loss unless it turns into the wet form.
The wet form accounts for only about 1 out of 10 cases of Macular Degeneration. It can cause serious vision loss within months or even weeks. People who have the wet form have the dry form first.
In either the wet or dry forms of the disease, one eye may seem to be affected while the other remains unaffected for a period of time. During that time, the healthier eye may compensate for the affected eye. However, in most cases, if one eye is affected the other eye will develop Macular Degeneration in time, too.

My eyesight has been pretty good for this aging Hoosier. Anything up close is blurry without drug store glasses but I still have good vision when looking far away. I had no vision problems that I had to worry about and sometimes still could see close up on a “good day.”

About a month ago I noticed an eyesight change. My eyes seemed to be growing more tired while watching TV, reading, blogging, etc. I could still see just fine but questioned my vision change. Since it wasn’t something I could put my finger on, I chalked it up to my eyes getting worse with old age. Vision changes can hide a serious problem so I decided if it got worse I’d go to the doctor.

One night when my eyes were really bothering me I put my hand over my right eye; no problem my sight was fine. Then I tried the left eye….OMG! I could see with it but I noticed right in the middle of my sight I could see a problem. Especially when looking at a straight line, I saw a kink in it. Also when looking at a person’s face the left side of their face looked distorted. I had no black spots in my vision and I could still see fine at night but obviously, there was something seriously wrong.

After going to my doctor he referred me to an Optometrist who told me that some of the vitreous gel in the back of my eye turned to fluid and that was why my vision had changed. He said it was due to old age, told me not to worry about it and referred me to a Retina Specialist Dr. Lam. This is when things got serious; I got my diagnosis and she said I had to have surgery as soon as possible.

This last Monday I had 3 appointments to get set up for my surgery which will be January 19th and I just got a call from Kaiser today ( telling me it will be at 1PM. I wish they would put me to sleep for the operation but I have to be awake and this will be the first surgery I ever had like this. I am petrified at the thought of being awake during the surgery and just hope they have some strong-ass medications so I’m not at all aware of what’s going on!

I don’t know how my sight will be when this is all said and done but sight is one of the most important senses we have. I would rather loose a lot of other functions then my sight. Even one eye would be acceptable to me. My grandmother (bless her lovely soul) lost an eye to cancer and took it like the trooper that she was. She was no young lady either; in her 70’s when it happened. She was awesome!

The Eye

♦ The retina is a thin lining of nerve tissue on the inside back wall of the eye. The macula is the center of the retina. It is the part of our vision process that makes possible recognizing faces, reading, and driving a car.
♦ Symptoms of wet macular degeneration may include loss of central vision and visual distortion. For instance, a straight line may appear wavy or a small object may seem to be farther away than it really is.
♦ Macular degeneration doesn't cause total blindness. Peripheral vision may not be affected, but central vision, which is used for activities such as reading, watching television, and doing close work, is.

Then there’s the after eye surgery torture! OMG! I have to use this therapy device that keeps my head pointing down for a week OR MORE. That’s 24/7 folks; eating, watching TV, going to the bathroom, riding in a car, or anything that keeps my head in this face-brace control in a face down postion. This is to keep the gas bubble on the healing surface.

Bedtime will be fun! I need sleep so I have to sleep (if I ever sleep again) on my stomach with a board-thing stuck between the mattresses holding the face-brace contraption on it. So comfortable.

They think they have a plan so you don’t go completely insane. The face-brace contraption comes on this folding chair that has a built-in table and a two-way mirror. They expect me to spend most of my time in it so I can watch TV, read, (oh my aching back) and try to eat with my face down like that. I’m sure straws will be in order.

24/7 For At Least 10 Days!

If I don’t use this stuff and keep my head just like they tell me then the gas bubble they inject into my eye will not float to where it belongs and fix my eye. If I screw it up, I get surgery again, mess up my sight more plus all the costs that aren’t covered by insurance.
Oh, did I mention that my face-brace contraption (and comfort items) costs $20/day (at least) and my insurance (Kaiser) doesn’t pay for it? Wave bye-bye to aftercare.

Freaking Out Now

I have always been an artist and my love of beauty, hell my love of life has everything to do with what I see! Then there’s “Blu” my beloved sports car that I adore driving! I almost lost my license in 2010 due to a medical problem and I live to drive. (Not a typo).

How am I going to blog and be online? Not easily even with a two-way mirror, I’d say. As you can tell it’s going to be hard to use my computer AT ALL. Bummer! My computer is not a laptop. Big sigh! Being busy getting ready for this has put me behind in my writing. Something I miss when I can’t do it.

I really shouldn’t be whining; I mean it’s not cancer or other painful, horrible and fatal diseases people get every blink of an eye. It’s just another crisis in the life of Rebecca Del Sanchez and she’s had so many in the last 2 years. I don’t use my blogs to complain but it’s time for me to have a good year. I just want to enjoy my life as much as I can. It feels like a huge boulder is on my chest and if that bolder was just a bit smaller, well then managing it would be a little easier and I could catch my breath for once.

Dr. Lam assures me that she’s done this surgery many times before and as a team, we can do this. I just worry if it’s so important to keep my head like that (and the gas bubble stable) that I should be in the hospital a few days afterward. You know how it is these days everything is outpatient! Organ transplant? No problem, have you in and out in a day! Yes, you can wear your 5-inch heels when you go home. Tee hee!

Today I’m just trying to chill out and prepare for Thursday. I am taking a break from being online until my procedure is done and heals. I pray my sight is at least this good when I am finished so I can come back and do all of the many things I enjoy doing! And get my head out of that torture device so I can live and eat like a human being again!

Pray for me if you will and I’ll be back ASAP!

Keep On Bloggin’!