Vaccine Blues and Hopeful Days

I am of two minds just now… like many of us, I imagine.  I am so tired of being quarantined by this effing plague that I have started screaming at inantimate objects, but I am also trying each and every day to find a vaccine for myself.  Due to the ineptitude of our federal and state governments, I can’t find a vaccine anywhere.   Damn.  I just want enough immunity so I can be like the ‘normal’ people in the plague.  I will wear my mask, wash my hands and go out to more places than I have been to since last March.  Alas, I don’t know when that will be.

Whatever.  Yes, I am grumpy.  My lupus is in full swing and it is telling me to go to bed and die.  It hurts everywhere and I am fatigued most of the time.  But, I don’t listen to it anymore.  I started a new medication last week that lowers my immunity further (yeah!) but might make me feel better.  I have to try.  So far I have not felt any effects other than nausea and pains in my stomach.  But, my online tutoring gig started today so I am up and creeping along and trying to do what I can.  I am probably making things worse by over exercising whenever I feel a bit better.  I need the work out to dampen the depression.

I know there are others in much worse shape than me.  My heart constricts for the 330, 000 dead (just in this country!) and those they left behind.  And I pray for those that have the disease currently and are praying to just recover.  This monster is so big and we have had so few good weapons to fight it that it is just overwhelming.  I am praying and I am talking to a lot of good people trained to keep my mental  and spiritual health together.  I hope others are too.

I am angered beyond belief that my 21 year old son attends a state college where they refuse to comply with safety standards for Covid 19.  They risk his life, mine, and others  without asking.  I will make certain they hear from me on this matter.

And yet, I think we have a little reason for hope on the horizon.    Tomorrow Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in to the offices of President and Vice President.  They have a plan to roll out the vaccines and help our economy and ramp up help to beleaguered hospitals.   I really hope they can get their work done and that all of the states comply.  There should be no such thing as a ‘red’ or ‘blue’ state at this moment in time.  There are states with PEOPLE in them.   These people are all of our loved ones, and they are us.  We have to stop this beast as soon as we can.  I feel like we have been fighting on so many fronts for so long that we have forgotten what ‘normal’ even looks like.

I am praying for all of us to join together and pray for forgiveness for our anger and hatred of one another’s views.  I pray for trust to replace mistrust.  I pray for health instead of death and sickness.  I pray for the men and women serving on the frontlines in the hospitals, many of whom have been ill and have died from their jobs.

Lord let us recover as a nation of people and help us move on.


Cosmetic Eye

Last Friday, just three short days ago, I had surgery on my right eye.  I really underappreciated how much it would hurt.  I am still glad I did it but the point is that I am appalled that when I had it done three years ago I was so out of it and sick that I really didn’t remember much of anything.

Let me back up  a bit and explain why I have had eye surgery in the first place.  I was born with a severe case of Amblyopia in my right eye and a severe case of Strabismus in the same eye.  In other words, my right eye has pretty horrid vision problems and it came  crossed. A siamese cat has nothing on me!

I remember that  as a small child that I would look at my nose and wonder if everyone could see their nose as clearly as I did.  I mean, my eye wandered towards my nose and it just seemed like my nose was in the way somehow.

My parents took me to our family ophthalmologist.  He was a very old man who treated my uncle with his eye issues.  He put a patch over my good eye and told my parents to take me home and make me use the bad eye so I could strengthen it.  That didn’t last very long.

I was all of two years old and I was constantly falling or running into things.  I am sure I was constantly screaming and crying in a very loud–two year old way.

My parents said it was impossible and that I would just have to use the one good eye and we needed to fix the Strabismus or cross eye part of it.  So, that began the cycle of surgeries to correct the cosmetic side of things.  Visually, I don’t think anyone really know or understands what I see.  For most of my life I have been declared blind in my right eye.

My parents decided to approach this from the standpoint that if we didn’t make a big deal about it I would not consider it a handicap.  Instead, they enrolled me in all kinds of of lessons that required the thing I just don’t have: hand eye coordination.  I am left eyed and right handed.  I do not fault them for this strategy though, in general it worked really well.  I never thought of myself as handicapped, just clumsy.

I have always liked being active but by the same token I have always stunk at sports that involve balls that have to go in specific directions, or worse yet, be caught or batted back somehow.  That whole thing just got depressing.  I sort of wish someone had just said, “Hey, you are not going to do well at this because you are blind AF.”  That might have saved me some self esteem issues as a teen.

My dad was really freaked out about a lot of things in reference to my sight, now that I look back on it, but I didn’t think about it then.  He absolutely HATED getting in the car with me behind the wheel.  Also, he wouldn’t let me mow the lawn because he thought something might fly up and poke out my good eye.  (Hey, that worked fine for me..).

But aside from my vision I dealt with the constant teasing at school for being cross-eyed.  I had surgery at the age of two, and then again at four but all through school kids would say, “Are you looking at me, freak?”  It was really upsetting.  I hated it. My eye wasn’t off by much but it was enough for asshole kids to pick on.

When I was a freshman in college my brother in law, an optometrist, decided that a ophthalmologist he knew might be able to align my eyes a bit better than what the doctors had done way back in the late 1960’s.  The 1980’s had brought about the new techniques of ‘microsurgery’.  So, I went to Houston and this cracker jack surgeon did an amazing job for me.  I felt bullet proof for years.  I knew my sight would never improve but I didn’t care.  As long as I didn’t look like a freak, I was happy.

Well, that surgery held up for a long, long time.  When I got sick in my forties is when things seemed to come undone.  I started to notice it when I was tired.  I also knew things were off when strange doctors in hospitals and E.R.’s would stare at me and say, “look at my finger.”  Dear Lord but that is annoying!  They ask me if I know my eye isn’t tracking with my other eye.  For frick’s sake, “YES!” I tell them.  “I KNOW!”  I have been me this whole time.  I give them the abbreviated version of Katie’s eyeballs and they usually shut up.   And then the next doctor comes in and we start all over again.

Anyway, three years ago an Optometrist recommended a doctor here in Austin that did the surgery on adults and suggested I give it a try.  I did.  I think it worked for a while.  Then I went to Dallas and had surgery and I fell apart and was in the biggest mess of my life.  Maybe that undid it.  I don’t know.

This fall I decided that my insurance premiums were paid up and I had time off from work over the holidays, so if the doctor thought she could make it better, why not?

She has claimed she can give me more sight in the eye as well.  I do not understand how and my brother in law, who has practiced for over forty years and been looking at my eyes the whole time, is skeptical, but what the hell?

So, here I am with my fingers crossed and hoping my eyes aren’t crossed… for once.

I guess it is just vanity, but damn it! I can be vain, right?

So, here it is a bit more than two weeks out of surgery as I finish this.

My eye is still not healed.  It looks  more aligned some of the time but I was told it could take a full eight weeks to make its final adjustment.

I am crossing my fingers this worked.

I have also realized that if this didn’t work I probably need to make my peace with the fact that my eyes are not going to align again.

I don’t want to keep trying.  I think that is stupid.

So right now I am not focused on my nose but I tend to close the eye when I am tired.

Please wish me luck and if you see me, and for crap’s sake, don’t ask if I am looking at you!