Gary's Third Pottery Blog

When the going gets tough, dragons gonna get going....

Gary's third pottery blog

WRITE TO ME! Come see me! Open studio HERE! November 25-26 (11-4 each day); Aurora Art and Design, daily until 12/24; Cooperstown Art Assoc. daily until 12/24; Ellis Hollow Community Fair, 12/10; December 10, Little Red Wagon at the Space at Greenstar. All material on this blog unless stated otherwise is copyright Gary Edward Rith 2016

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

the artist with glaucoma

I debated whether I wanted to write this or not.
Am I being whiny, wimpy, weak by sharing this or does it help me work out what is going on?
I am finding that talking it out helps a person calm down.  And its my blog.  About me and what I am doing. This is no plea for sympathy, just laying it out there....

Everybody has health issues of one kind or another. We are human, destined to fall apart and die one day.  Just look at your old car:  the worn out parts, the rust, that is us.

But still.  If you told me "colonoscopy with a side dish of root canal"  I wouldn't be too concerned, but my nightmare scenario is "going blind" or "surgery on your eyes".  SURGERY and EYES together makes me pretty damn anxious.

I mentioned here a few years ago the eye doctor had found that I was in the early stages of glaucoma.  It has  progressed, gotten worse, it has not responded to medication.  The medication dose was doubled:  absolutely no effect. I had a checkup yesterday thinking things must be under control, but the doctor wanted me to book surgery right away. I explained my reluctance to SURGERY ON MY EYES, saying I prefer at this stage to see what other medication options we could try.  So, he is trying another medication, doubling its dose, and if that doesn't work, he would double that, but if that doesn't work, it would be surgery. (glaucoma has no cure, medication and surgery attempt to slow the progress and damage)

I tell myself that the only thing worse than not having surgery is the vision loss and blindness that glaucoma brings.  That gets my attention.  And before the knives come out, there is a low-impact laser option they can try.  I just hate the idea of anybody poking sh!t at my eye, I mean hell, one slip of the surgeon's finger and SQUOOSH! there goes an eye....  such is my anxiety.

The upside of surgery is a break from medicine for a few years.  It is strong stuff.  It has been changing the color of my eyes from hazel to dark brown.  It gave me long eyelashes.  And a glaucoma side effect is night blindness and light sensitivity, and I think surgery can ease that.

Anyway.  I am lucky in a number of ways:  in America very few people go blind with glaucoma these days. I have access to excellent treatment.  And thanks to research, treatment options get better every decade, and as the doctor said cheerfully "you havn't lost much vision yet".  Because nothing is more precious to me than sight....

(mugs by Gary Rith)


gz said...

keep hope strong,keep on making your lovely work xx

smartcat said...

Losing sight is one of the scariest things I can think of. Keep on truckin'!!!

smartcat said...

Oh and those are some sweet swine mugs!

bartster said...

Glad you're finding ways to heal in a variety of ways're making those wonderful pots!

Lori Buff said...

I can’t imagine what you’re going through emotionally right now. I hope you and your doctors find solutions that work for you and ease the effects of this disease.

Barbara Rogers said...

I sure understand...I've had blinding migraines for a couple of decades, and when they started I was sure I was going blind. More tests are due at the beginning of the year with neurologist, but for now I'm grateful when I have stressful things happening and I DON'T have the blinding hebbie-jeebies. You are a very positive person and I send you an extra dose of healing energies.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Our sight IS so precious. I'm glad you have a good Dr. who listens to your wants/needs. I hope this medication helps you Gary. But....BUT if you do need surgery, just know that the DR.'s are so skilled at this....and it's MOSTLY done by a machine. (At least the laser surgery is)
Sending good thoughts, positive mojo and prayers your way.
Keep us updated.

Anonymous said...

That sounds really horrifying, but eye surgery does seem to get more and more precise. I hope if you decide to do it, your doctor gives you confidence.

Michèle Hastings said...

Glaucoma is scary sh!t! I think I mentioned in the past that my Dad has had the laser treatment twice, with good results. I think he went 3-4 years between treatments and no eye drops in between. Thinking of you and hoping that you can find a good alternative treatment to surgery or the laser.

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

Oh, Gary, that is frightening!
I'm one of those people who can't even watch someone put in contacts because the idea of messing with eyes is so worrisome to me, and I hear you loud and clear.
I do have another friend who was having troubles and had her surgery last winter. She was scared spitless before the first one, but it went well and her fears were much lessened before her 2nd surgery (for the other eye). We'd like to think that glaucoma is an old person's disease but now I have two friends of the same age who've dealt with it.
May you have peace in your decision regarding the next steps to take.

JB said...

I have survived eye surgery. I understand your fear of going under the biggest fear was,they were doing this without knocking me out completely. However...I did not see a thing. I did not feel a thing and when they took the bandage off, I could see. I had decided I could do pottery blind but I am glad I dont have to. Good luck with your medication change.

smalltownme said...

Scary! I hope the new meds work.

Anonymous said...

I thank you for writing about this. I found out my mother-in-law has glaucoma, as did her mother. My husband has to keep this in mind, and likely my children will as well. I had elective eye surgery, all done with lasers. Still scary. First bit was cutting a flap (!) on my cornea, then reshaping things with the big laser. Impressive how precise this stuff is. If I had moved too much beneath the laser I believe they told me there was a safety mechanism that would shut it down. They gave me some nice medicine to help me stay calm, and then some crazy sleeping pills so I could sleep loads the first day. -Jeannie

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I am a full-time studio potter, sculptor, and dog walker, married to superhawt Missus Tastycake.