Thursday, October 27, 2011

The clearer my vision the more blurred it becomes...

Last December, I had my vision corrected for the first time in longer than I can really remember.  I suppose, at least since I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 1994.  Yes, I still have spells of blurred vision and double vision.  The more fatigued I am, the less I can see clearly.  However, that day in December was such a miracle to me.  I have not gone back to find that entry, but if you did, it would a marvel of how the doctor actually listened to me and then was will to step outside the tried-and-true approach to help me.

You see, when I looked at the white bar with black letters, I would see three of them.  The questions: "Better One?"  "Better Two?" would sink me into despair.  I couldn't tell if One or Two was better because I couldn't figure out where I was supposed to look.  Which set of letters?  How can I tell when they are slightly overlaid each other? I would try to speak my problem, but no one really listened.  I could never really see clearly.

I found it rather ironic that just before I was moving, I found this wonder of a doctor who corrected my vision because she listened.  She listened to me.  And she wanted to help.

Of course, when she started the tried-and-true, I started weeping.  Small tears, but tears nonetheless.  So fresh was my grief. The doctor was surprised.  She said an eye exam should never drive someone to tears.  I explained my problem.  She said we could try a different approach.  Her idea was rather simple. And, for me, it was brilliant.  She ditched the smaller letters and went back to the second largest ones.  Two simple Es side by side.  She told me to focus on the edges, the corners and we went from there. And she told me to close my eyes as the lenses were being flipped so as not to distract me.

Close your eyes.  
Don't look.  
Now.  Open them.  
What do you see?  
Describe it for me.  
Okay, close them again.  
Now open them.  
How is it now?  
Describe for me how you feel about the difference, not just what you are seeing.  
What are you thinking as you look? 
Where does your eye fall first?
What troubles you still?
Close your eyes.
Don't look.
Okay. Open them.
What do you see now?

Slowly, starting with the easiest step before moving on to the smaller letters.  Only when I felt safe and sure and certain did she switched to the third set.  Then the fourth.  And the fifth.


I could see.  Of course, on the way home, I wept.  I called Bettina in joy and wept.  I could see!  I could see leaves on the trees again. I could see street signs.  All the way down the streets, I could see.  It was glorious to me.  Simply glorious.


Only the strange thing is that with my vision properly corrected, I could no longer see anything close to me.  My vision is now rather incredibly blurred. In fact, I am, for all intents and purposes, blind.  I cannot hold out a paper or a phone or a watch far enough to make a difference. I cannot read anything.  I cannot see anything. The strain of trying--because my brain will not cease to try--makes me dizzy and sparks instant pain in my head.  To me, it is rather remarkable.

And disconcerting.

For the longest time, as my life has...unraveled...I have simply worn my glasses.  I only had the one trial pair of lenses that I took home.  I wasn't really going anywhere.  What I could see or not see did not matter.  And in many ways, with my glass, it is easier to see the things close to me.  With them, I can simply remove them to read, to look at a watch, to make a phone call.  But a while ago I purchased new boxes of contacts because I do want to see better when I am out.  When I am driving, especially, since I still do not know the streets here.  And driving by memory, as I was doing in my last locale, is not an option.

Yet it is disconcerting to not be able to read or dial a phone or even really to see the dash board.

I drive with reading glasses.
I need stronger ones.
I keep forgetting to purchase them.

I actually wear reading glasses much of the time when I am wearing my contacts.  It is simply easier to do so.  Yet sometimes I leave the house for an appointment and forget to check my purse to make sure that I have a pair of reading glasses with me.  I have to ask people to read things for me, to look at things for me, to tell me what to do.

Where to sign.
What is the right bill in my wallet.
What day it is.
What is the time.
What is the phone number.
Where the right button on the elevator is.
Which is office.

With no correction, I can read but not see much past a few feet.  With correction, I cannot see anything within a few feet.  At least not anything small. At least not anything useful.

In many ways, the far vision of my life is being corrected.  Only the more it is corrected, the more I cannot see clearly the things right in front of me. Too, some of the correction is a work in progress.  The lenses are still being flipped before me, so while they are no longer what they were, they are not quite clear.  In fact, some of them are quite blurry.  And, in other ways I am blind both near and far, remembering so little.

Even the good things.
Even the recent things.
Even the things I want to know.

I suppose I have been thinking about this because I have been thinking about the things I see in my life, the way I see myself, the way I see the world.  To me, they are so clear, yet not so much so to others.  At least not in the way I wish it were.  I have been thinking about the New Testament, about the sweet, sweet Gospel.  To me, much of it is blurred, unclear, masked by law and condemnation.  Not the way I wish it were.

I could wish there were a pair of reading glasses for my life. But maybe I should concentrate more on the fact that I have someone working on correcting my vision.  Perhaps, by the time she is done. I shall have no need of reading glasses for the why of me.  Perhaps, I shall simply see clearly both near and far.

Oh, I wish there were a pair of reading glasses for the sweet, sweet Gospel.
No, I wish more than that.
I wish.
I wish I had an eye doctor like the one I met who could help me with the sweet, sweet Gospel.
I wish I had someone correcting the distortion in my vision.
I wish.
Oh, how I wish.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!


ftwayne96 said...

I cannot thank you enough for this post. It is so beautiful in a wistful, melancholic way -- yet also in a way that to me seems ultimately hopeful and faith-filled. In this post you look outside yourself to Christ. You look outside of yourself to the Word. To me you seem to be echoing the request and desire of the psalmists who cry out to the Lord for understanding of and confidence in His Word. And that is always a good place to be. As I'm sure you agree, you can't go wrong in the company of the psalmists.

ftwayne96 said...

That's my thoughts, for what they are worth. . .