How to Avoid Going Blind

1378 Relax and Succeed - How to Avoid Going Blind

Please accept my apologies for being unable to notify you about my medical emergency and its impact on my posting. As the word ’emergency’ indicates, I got very little warning. As things were bad, they moved very quickly and I’m still under daily care.

Thanks to a dear friend, I am able to dictate this post to ensure you get it. My reason for posting while still undergoing care is because it’s not impossible that learning this could save you or a loved one your sight. I’m no ophthalmologist, so I can’t tell you all the ways you could go blind. But I can tell you about one.

Let me begin by saying that there is an extremely tiny chance that your situation would be anywhere near as serious as mine. Good doctors and modern medicine mean this isn’t something you have to be afraid of, just aware of. My case is rare, difficult, and extremely painful. Most people, if they react quickly, rather than facing blindness, have quick and relatively pain-free recoveries.

What I’m describing is a retinal detachment.

You can think of your retina as the pages of an open book, shaped into a curve and lining the inside surface of your eyeball. It serves many functions, and includes layers where your cones and rods are located (it’s all very fascinating).

Even in a normal case of a detached retina, it is important that you do not delay in going to an emergency ophthalmologist as soon as you notice your symptoms. Do not wait. Go now.

Potential symptoms include: sparkles in your vision; black flecks in your vision that block out the background completely (not to be mistaken for the floaters that all of us normally have); flashes of light in one or both eyes; blurred vision; gradually reduced peripheral (side) vision; a curtain or veil-like shadow over your visual field; a heavy feeling in your eye; straight lines that start to look curved; or, as I had, a disc or section of your vision completely blocked out. Pure black.

In a normal detached retina, a tiny hole will occur on the top page of the retina that receives light. The fluid of the eye will then get through this hole and create a blister. At this stage, this is where you are likely to experience your first symptoms. If you react quickly and head to emergency, ask to see an ophthalmologist. Trust me, they will get you in as quickly as they can.

If you’ve caught it quickly, the ophthalmologist will arrange for a painless laser operation to weld the hole closed. You may have blurry vision for a few months, but then you’ll be fine. Yay, modern medicine!

But if you wait, the fluid in the blister will slosh from side to side and turn that tiny hole into a tear—and you will also place several pages of your retina at risk. Obviously, spot welding a little hole in a single layer is much easier than welding an entire jagged canyon through many, or all, the layers.

1378 Relax and Succeed - Eyeball diagram

These are the things you need to know to protect yourself and your family. This can happen to anyone at any age, although people playing sports or who experience impacts to the head are at even greater risk. Let me reiterate: if you act quickly, this is not something to be afraid of. If anything, you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of Star Trek. But delay, and you risk your sight.

The one thing you don’t want to be in a doctor’s office is ‘interesting’. This means you’ll be beneficial to teaching residents about rare cases. But rarely are those rare cases easy. I have some great stories to share with you about my fantastic doctors, as well as fear, pain, and mood management, as soon as I’m well enough to get back to writing—which I hope is very soon.

In the meantime, if any of you have been thinking about booking time—particularly telephone time—now would be a great time to schedule it, as it will be somewhat problematic for me to meet people in person for a while.

I’m sorry I can’t tell you exactly when I’ll be restarting, but I can assure you that time away from you has even further invigorated my spirit about my work. Despite the fact that I was worse off than many of the other patients that I met, their choices led them to have much more challenging interior experiences than mine.

Thank you for your patience, understanding, and dedication to my work. I very much look forward to reconnecting with you all very soon.

peace. s

Unintended Consequences

You wouldn’t think a loving family would torture their own mother but people do it all the time. And they’re not bad people in the slightest. But there are certain things that egos cannot see. And if someone is living in ego—which the vast majority of people are the vast majority of the time—then these things are inevitable.

704 Relax and Succeed - What's the differenceThere are countless examples of this and there’s undoubtedly times where in my efforts to care for my aging parents my passions lead me to unintentional disrespect them. A friend from another city recently told me of classic case of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

We start with an elderly but very fit woman who is the most positive and supportive and optimistic person my friend has ever met. Always happy, always discussing what she was grateful for—she was even positive about the impending loss of her eyesight. She was always talking about how fortunate her life has always been.

In possession of considerable wisdom and in anticipation of her impending blindness, the very positive woman moved into an appropriate care facility and downsized to her most precious possessions but little else. When her sight did finally go her family’s reaction was understandably fear. Before that she could sort of half-see her way around, but now they were worried she would fall. When they visited all they saw was sharp edges on every table and pointy things, and potential tripping hazards everywhere. And so despite her heartfelt pleas they removed all of her things and replaced them with things they had judged to be better for her.

704 Relax and Succeed - The way you do thingsOf course they had no idea what it was like to go blind. But this is an experienced, well-adjusted woman. There was little reason to suspect she’d approach blindness blindly. She had moved herself into the facility, she found it herself and she did all of her own packing. She had a sharp mind and she had known her new apartment for 18 months. She was comfortable finding her way around in it blind just as you’re okay wandering your house in the dark. You know where stuff is. Because she was blind didn’t mean she suddenly had dementia.

She told friends about the incredible sense of violation she experienced as a result of having her entire home and her most precious things all stolen away from her in a single day. All to be replaced by strange things to which she had no connection at all. It was one of the most painful experiences of her life. And remember, all of this is being done by her genuinely loving family who believe they are doing the best for her. Do you see how the world works? Why we can’t get rid of evil? Because it’s not evil or bad or wrong. It’s an action and a consequence and in this case the intention is not at all ending up where intended.

Feeling profoundly betrayed by her children and isolated in a strange dark place, she slipped into very negative thought habits and before long she was miserable and deeply depressed. She felt as though she had lost her family right before death. I bawled my eyes out when my friend told me that the lady had fallen down a set of stairs and struck her head. She’s in a coma. The prognosis is not good. It is a tragedy of epic proportions and all made of entirely loving and arguably logical decisions that went terribly awry.

704 Relax and Succeed - A great relationshipWe want to care for those older than us. We want to make sure they’re safe and secure and doing things that are good for them. But we cannot become their parents. We can’t start ordering them around or making decisions for them if they’re not mentally debilitated. We have to calm down and remember that after as much living as our parents have done they actually know a thing or two about most or all of what might work for them.

That family was just trying to keep their mother safe. Their intentions were good and it was possible to make sense of their decision. The only thing missing was the blessing of the person at the centre of it all. So respect all people. Don’t listen with an agenda. Listen with an open heart. You might not hear what you expect to hear, but what you do hear might lead you to both different conclusions and different behaviour. And that applies to everyone, not just our parents.

Now go be yourself and have a great day.

Love you all.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #60

645 Relax and Succeed - Be kind to everyone

Happy Friday, Happy Spring, and to top it all off today is the #InternationalDayOfHappiness How good can it get? Oh yeah, it’s also the #MarchKindnessChallenge so please be nice to yourself, don’t use your own ability to think to beat yourself up. Not for March. Also, no gossip or running others down in your head or talking negatively to others. And the best part is, give lots of sincere compliments. This feels great to do. I’ve already had so many reports of people who have been experiencing a change in their happiness by participating. Change your life by changing your mind about what things you choose to invest your consciousness in.

Let’s start off with this bit of fantastic news. Tests are beginning for the first anti-cancer nano-robots and the hopes are very high based on animal testing. It’s really quite a simple process once we understood enough. It’s clever and it could literally change the world massively:

DNA Nanorobots Seek and Destroy Cancer Cells

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The reason I went into film and television in the first place was because I had seen it demonstrate the power to move people—I love how it allows people to spend some time inside the perspective of another person they might have otherwise have judged. And I love how, as an art-form, it accomplishes all of that through empathy, connection, compassion and even love. So today I’ll mostly get out of the way and I’ll just let you enjoy these three little films–the three looks at love. The first features how love works with a group:

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Next we’ll see how love faces adversity:

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And we’ll finish with a story about why love lasts over time:

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There’s a lot of wonderful things going on in this lifetime. Spend more more with your attention on those and have a fantastic weekend.

peace. s

The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy.