Monday, January 26, 2009

Detached Retina (Update #10)

Today I had a follow-up visit with Dr. Wyant. It has been about a month since my last appointment. As far as I am concerned I don't really see much change in my vision - things are still pretty blurry when I close my right eye and try to see out of my left eye. Once the doctor finished all his tests and exams he informed me that I had a little bit of improvement in the vision. I guess my left eye is at 20/100. I don't have to return to the doctor until March 23 and I no longer have to put any drops in my eyes. I am also going to make an appointment to see my regular eye doctor to get my glasses changed - It has been a year and a half since I last had my glasses checked. I can't say that I am happy about the vision in my left eye but I at least I have some vision. The doctor thinks that I will continue to improve over time but by how much he wasn't sure.

Detached Retina (Update #11)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Picture to Painting

On January 1, 2008 I started a project to take pictures every day and to post one of those pictures to a blog each day and so began As I See It 2008. I managed to complete that project and I surprised myself with the results - even though they aren't professional quality I did manage to learn a lot and I improved my skills. I was so happy with the results and enjoyed myself so much that I decided to continue with As I See It 2009.

At sometime during the year Thomas decided that he wanted to get back to drawing and painting. He decided to start a drawing journal using pencil colors and watercolor pencils. His thinking was that he would use my pictures that I took each day and make a quick 'study' of them each night. This would give him practice every day and eventually he would begin to paint on canvas. Although he doesn't do this every day he has been painting on a regular basis. Here are two examples of some of the studies that he did.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Day of Hope

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things. The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness."
President Obama

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Finally Starting the New Year

So far 2009 has been pretty okay. I know that sounds like I'm having a 'blah' start to the year but I really don't mean it that way. I just mean that it is so far just typical day-to-day stuff. We are now 14 days into the year and I have only done a few things of note. Of course we all have to get out of holiday mode and jump feet first into the normal work and home activities and I think that is a little shocking after all the holiday parties, family visits and days off of work. On the 1st Thomas and I decided to take it easy and just relax - we treated the day more like a lazy Sunday afternoon. We had two friends, Thomas' Dad, one of Thomas' brothers and three of his nieces over. We cooked a simple meal of spaghetti and watched movies - that's it - and I loved it. No big meal with tons of leftovers and no big family gathering to bring out all my neuroses.

On the 2nd I had lunch with a few friends (these are friends that I have met over the last two years through my letterboxing hobby). It was a nice visit and we all seemed to be looking forward to the new year with much Hope with the coming change. After lunch I returned home and as I walked into the house I had this overwhelming urge to de-christmas (not sure if this is a real word but it fits) and try to get the house back to its normal state so that I could really begin 2009. Six hours later Thomas and I had packed up all the decorations and put them into storage, cleaned the house, and returned to our relatively normal lives. Taking the Christmas decorations down this early is very unusual for me. I love Christmas and I love the decorations - they usually go up the weekend after Thanksgiving and stay up to about the second weekend in January. But for some reason I wanted them gone and I wanted to move on with the new year.

The next week was about getting back into a routine - work, household duties, sleep, exercise and recreation. The last seven months of 2008 were very difficult for me. When my retina detached in June my life changed drastically. About three years ago (when I started letterboxing) I also started exercising more and really tried to make my life healthier - which included losing weight (something my doctor really was pushing for). I did really well, losing about 50 pounds over time and building up to exercising daily and hiking 2-3 days a week (averaging about 5 miles per hike). I was feeling great and my health was incredible (my doctor's words). But once my eye problems started I was destined to complete the year with very little activity. My summer was spent indoors just sitting and lying around - no exercise, no housework, no going to my job, no lifting anything more the 15 pounds, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. My energy level was at an all time low and I had gained weight. In September I was allowed to return to work and was able to start exercising again. But I was so deconditioned that I wasn't able to do much and after a full day at work I had no energy to do anything. Then in November I had to have another surgery and the process started all over again. Mid December I was cleared to return to a normal activity level without restrictions and I have slowly started getting back into exercising. I am pretty much back into the shape I was in three years ago and it feels like I won't be able to regain what I had last May. But I am trying. With the cold and snow I haven't been able to hike but I am walking on the treadmill daily. When I first started walking again I only lasted about 20 minutes and I was so out of shape that I wouldn't even make a mile. As of today I am walking three miles on the treadmill in just under 50 minutes. I still have a long way to go and I am a little more hopeful but I still have a long way to go - the added weight and the decreased energy level have really played on my psyche and all I want is to feel better - and things are looking up.

I am also continuing my daily picture taking. I started As I See It 2009 on the first and have found that I really love challenging myself to go out each day and look at things differently and then pick a picture to post. I feel that I am getting better at framing subjects and making the picture more interesting. I am looking forward to learning more this year. Work is also back to a more normal routine, I missed so much time from work with the eye surgeries. I am actually glad to be back to the routine - it sure beats sitting around the house and not being able to do anything. I am able to complete a full eight hour day and still have the enery to do things at home afterwards - a very good feeling indeed. As for more recreation - a trip to Texas in March is being planned. My friend Diane and I are going to do some letterboxing and visit some friends. It should be a fun trip and will be a much welcomed adventure. So it seems that this year is starting to take shape and I am really looking forward to whatever comes my way.