My World, in Blue and Yellow

undersea+mountains+in+Google+EarthThis morning, when I peeled off the patch over my eye, my world looked blue. Icy blue, like a super strong fluorescent light had been turned on. It was bright, crisp, and unbelievable. I squinted shut the eye that had been bandaged and slid back into the dingy, dun-colored world I’ve been in for the last five years.

The scarf that was a muddied brown and maroon when seen with my right eye was rich purple and orange when looked at with my left eye.

Diabetes is a disease of slow, creeping changes. They are  so gradual, you incorporate them into our perspective, into your reality.  At night, you see halos around lights. Small ones, that grow so slowly you accept them. Finally, you can’t drive at night because lights are blurs and oncoming cars are giant glares.

Street signs aren’t distinct, and you can’t read freeway signs. But you think it’s your glasses. Because diabetes doesn’t signal changes clearly.

Protein deposits cloud and finally occlude the lenses in your eyes. No glasses can imagesrepair the damage. Some diabetics can’t chance the surgery because of retinopathy–little aneurysms in the walls of the capillaries in your eyes. I was lucky. Having stuck to a sugar-free diet, lost a lot of weight, brought down my blood pressure and reduced the amount of carbs I love and wish I could still have, I was a good candidate for eye surgery.

The surgery was simple and fast–a surgeon removed the damage lens in my eye and replaced it with a clear plastic prescription lens. Not a contact lens, but the one behind the cornea inside the eye. I was awake during the surgery but felt nothing. Late in the afternoon of the same day, I was able to run some errands, although Cooking Man had to drive. Today I ran my own errands. Tomorrow I’m teaching proofreading.

But until the eye heals enough to have the same surgery on the other eye, one eye will see a bright, crisp world; the other a dusty brown one. With both eyes open, I see the clear world more often because my left eye is dominant. I had the left lens on my glasses replaced with a clear lens, because the correction is already in my eye.

It was a gift of sight, and the surgeon did a great job. I do have a black eye, but it’s a small price to pay.

Why am I taking up a whole blog to yak about health problems? Because a majority of diabetics don’t know they have it until the disease is advanced and damage is done. I caught mine in time, I brought the numbers down. The disease is almost entirely symptom free. If you love french fries, ice cream, cookies, pies, bread, sweets, sodas, and enjoy them, stop by a drug store or grocery store with a minute clinic. Ask for a blood sugar reading. It’s easy and almost painless. And it can save your eyesight.

And if you don’t have diabetes, this is also a wonderful opportunity to look back and see how you have changed and not noticed it. Your life is a metaphor. Everyone gets used to the dingy. What can you do to get that crisp view again?

Quinn McDonald lives in a blue and yellow world. Within the next month, both eyes will see the world clearly again.

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23 thoughts on “My World, in Blue and Yellow

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I am diabetic and told I have the start of a cataract on one eye. I am lucky not to have any other issues. I am glad your surgery went so well and excited to hear how things progress when you have the next done. Stay healthy.

  2. Quinn – I’m so glad your first eye surgery went well! I’m excited for you. Let me know if there’s anything you need help with. XO

  3. Thanks for sharing such a personal story so that others may save their sight. I’ve enjoyed reading your posts over the past year or so. I’m sure there are many like me who read and are touched by an insight, a wonderful description of spring coming to the desert, or advice about journaling and never comment. But we’re here … receiving … so thank you for giving !

  4. I am so impressed with your fortitude and commitment to this new regimen. I understand how hard it is to make this type of lifestyle change. I do love all those foods you mentioned and it is hard to say “no”, not so much to others as to myself! I’m looking forward to the art you produce and share with your new outlook on the world! Congratulations!

  5. Oh, it must be wonderful. I do remember getting my first glasses, how surprised I was at the sharpness of everything. And that was just a -1 correction at the time. I can’t imagine losing my sight completely, I think that would be the worst handicap for me.

  6. Exciting news. There are so many more pretty colours to come. I get my eyes tested every two years – crystal clear still, after 8 years diagnosed Type II. These days, I’m eating Paleo-Primal, low carb, high fat. really really low carb – usually less than 20g/day. It’s hard work, but so worth it. Keep it up Quinn! ❤

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