The Spot In My Eye

I have complained for months about my inability to see very well from my right eye. My left eye is clear and my right eye resembles a foggy windshield, a sometimes hazy picture, like stepping in from the cold into the warm and everything turns opaque – – but only in my right eye. My eye surgeon is one of the greatest in the country, but he’s not the easiest to get to. He has a bevy of people around him who are bright and young and eager to solve whatever ocular degenerative cases may be approaching Dr. Mann. So it’s often difficult to get to see “the man” because the up-and-coming brilliant minds can usually solve your problem.

“It’s like this, Doc,” I said to the brilliant young doctor peering intently into my eyeball, “I’m not dangerous to drive when seeing only through my right eye, but you wouldn’t want me to do brain surgery on you if this was the best I could see,” I said, hoping my feeble jab at humor would break him from his dogged determination to put a contact in that right eye. He had already poured Milk of Magnesia in my eye and jabbed a 1,000,000 megawatt flashlight in there and was peering so deeply into my eyes I was quite sure he could see my brain. “No,” he said, “There is nothing here but degenerative eye conditions that we can rectify with limited success by applying a hard contact to your right eye.”

Methinks the phrase “degenerative eye condition” is a nice sweet way to say, “You are getting old and your eyes are, too.”

I looked back at the doctor who is about the age of my son and said, “I haven’t had a good track record of wearing contacts, Doc. I fight allergies pretty strongly and take two allergy pills a day, so having something in my eye that makes me tear all the time isn’t something I’m necessarily interested in. Are you sure there’s nothing else there?” He turned back to his lab-clothed assistant and leafed through my 3 inch file folder, spoke a few words in native Swakarian with a tinge of northern dialect, uttered a few clicks and clucks and then said, “No, sir, this is the best you are going to see.”

A few minutes later I was driving home, running over only the smallest cars, and thinking of what he said. “This is the best you are going to see…” That didn’t sound too promising to me. After a few days of a personal weather phenomenon called half-a-fog — a condition that leaves the left side of your body as clear as a bell but the right side of your body seeing like the Great Smoky Mountains, I decided to make another appointment and this time I would hold out to see “The Man–Dr. Mann” and no one else.

The day of my appointment arrived and my seeing-eye dog/friend/slave/employee took me all the way downtown Houston. I met a new set of beautiful, brilliant young people each eager to discover something about the eyeball that no one else had ever seen. They mixed potions, concocted elixirs, dipped Q-tips into the smoldering cauldron and rubbed things in my eyes I don’t even want to know about. They effectively shut off the front of my eyeball so they could look into the back of my eyeball. I suggested they put a light in my ear and just look in from the side because they were already probing so deeply they were bound to see the light in a moment. Side note – – young brilliant people with multiple medical degrees do not think wisecracking older men are humorous – – a tough crowd indeed.  They must have a procedure done to them at school that de-laugh-inates them.

Eventually the fine new doctor looking into my eyes said, “I think I may have a solution that can solve your problems, Mr. Jones.” Says me, “I have been bringing both of my eyeballs to Dr. Mann for more than 25 years, and I really want to see Dr. Mann, but I am willing to listen to your postulation.” He began, “I think if I put a contact on your eye we could get you seeing marginally better…”

There was a wan smile on my face that caused him to pause, and I said, “I want to see Dr. Mann, please.”

A few moments later the office door opened and to the sound of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus through a kaleidoscope of color (or maybe from the paste in my eye), in walked my friend, my trusted eye surgeon, Dr. Mann. We shook hands and greeted one another, recounted a tale or two from the past, and he sat in the chair with the searchlight attached and peered deeply into my right eye. In about 15 seconds he said, “He has a posterior subcapsular cataract, a very young style, early-growing cataract, and he will not be able to see well until it is removed.”  Queue angel choirs, queue the fat lady, listen to the angels sing…”Dr. Mann is in the house.”

In two hours I will have this cataract removed and by tomorrow morning I will be singing, “I can see clearly now, the fog is gone.”

There may be many good people telling you that your life is what it is and nothing can change it. But remember — No matter who tells you that you have to blindly grope in a fog as you enter 2014, keep searching for someone who has the ability to see what’s blocking your vision and get with them so you can get going.

I can see clearly now the rain is gone.
I can see all obstacles in my way.
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshiny day.
It’s gonna be a bright (bright) bright (bright) sunshiny day.

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Comments (9)

  1. I'm ready for the day when "lay hands on the sick and they will recover" includes eye issues. I've had a problem with my left eye since July. I've been to two doctors, had one procedure, saw marginal improvement, then a reoccurence in December. I'm scheduled to see the doctor again on January 2, but I'm still believing that according to my faith this issue is resolved before then.

  2. Good stuff! Seems like there’s a lot of smart, intelligent people out there with answers on how to cope, but not many with answers on how to fix. Good you found one! God bless!

  3. Not to 'kiss up', but I get a lot from your writings. You are giving the old saying 'if thine eye offends thee, cast it out' a whole different meaning. Hope both left and right side don't give each other further issues from now on now that the surgery removed your cataract.