Friday, September 1, 2017

The Value of Vision

Collage of my granddaughter Jassy
None of us are getting any younger.  This has never been clearer to me than this year when my husband’s vision has been threatened by a chronic condition triggered by high blood pressure.  Even though his blood pressure is under control the vision condition has continued to grow troubling.

Work in progress on Ivy Collage
About two years ago he suffered a Retinal Branch Vein Occlusion (RBVO), which basically means that a blood vessel in his right eye burst and stopped supplying that part of his retina with necessary oxygen and nutrients.  A large portion of his retina died in the right eye.  He now sees a large black area in the middle of his vision with only sight in the upper quarter and side right quadrant.  Over half his vision is obstructed.  This has caused him to loose some depth perception and he often has to close that eye just to use the computer keyboard or risk hitting the wrong key.  He began looking like Popeye, with one squinty eye.

Work in progress #2 on Ivy Collage

The problem didn’t stop there.  Because our bodies are so wonderfully made, his eye sent signals that there was a lack of blood flow in that eye and the brain sent back signals to “replace” or grow new blood vessels to replace the ones that were missing.  That sounds great only the new ones were malformed and actually obstructive in themselves.  They look like cauliflower rather than smooth veins and they tend to burst and cause more blood floating in the vitreous of the eye, which causes more obstruction and cloudiness.  

Work in progress #3 on Ivy Collage
This happened again a couple weeks ago and he had to have surgery to vacuum out the cloudy blood from the vitreous in his eye, as well as cleaning up and cauterizing the new vessels.  Just when my honey gets used to the small amount of vision in that eye, even that is taken away.  He is having trouble gauging something as small as a curb and nearly tripped stepping into the parking lot.

All this has made me look at my art differently this week.  I’m so grateful for my vision, for my work and my ability to continue working.  No one knows how long they have on this earth or how long they even have the strength or vision to do that which makes them most happy.  I’m grateful for each day I have, and each day I have with my dear husband.
Work in progress #4 on Ivy and the Chicken Collage