Saturday, August 18, 2012

On Glasses...

Right out of high school I went to college in Buffalo, NY, to become an optician. I actually earned my degree and worked in the field for the past 24 years.

I say that only because I know so many people who go to college for years and get a masters in oceanography and end up being a claims adjuster for an insurance company or something else completely unrelated to their degree. I find that I (and my husband as a matter of fact, who did the exact same thing...!) am an unusual statistic! It really has made us think twice about the way we encourage our kids to pursue their "forever" life goals... however none of this has much to do with the topic...

I think I need some sort of therapy to manage my scatter-hair-brainedness! ...

Ok... I became an optician in 1987... Wow was that a long time ago! Since then I have dispensed glasses with no-line bifocals to my unsuspecting public with complete confidence and reassuring words that they are wonderful, and after a few short weeks they will acclimate to them with no problems and love me forever as the rescuer of their previously unappreciated youthful sight.

And then I turned 43, and needed them myself.

What had I been doing all those years?! I am now an avid hater of no line bifocals! (I can use the word hate because glasses are an inanimate object with no feelings or sensitivities for me to harm.) Up to this point, I solved my "issues" (well, my VISUAL issues. Others are still on the "solutions waiting list...!) by getting glasses that are not for distance or reading, a sort of visual compromise. It had worked pretty well for me for the past few years. No longer.

The above is a sampling (sadly only a partial collection! I am kind of like the shoe sales associate that gave Imelda a run for her money... only in the optical field!) of glasses past and present that I have used in every attempt to Make It Work. My employer did nothing but encourage me with free pairs of glasses and significant discounts to associates. And then add an online website that offers complete glasses starting at $6.95 (are you KIDDING ME??! NO... they aren't!) and the possibilities to solve my issue without  no-lines were endless!!!

I could tell you with complete honesty that my eyes are unusual. Really, they are clinically unusual, not just because they are in my head. 

(Be prepared to be wow-ed and impressed with a bunch of technical words.) 

My right eye is myopic with a slight astigmatism, and my left eye is hyperopic with tons (yes, that is a technical word!) of astigmatism, and now I am a presbyope. That even sounds painful just to say! 

Alas, I have had to bite the optical bullet and get bifocals.

I am not sure if I will survive this.

Suffice it to say I need to make a blanket apology to all the patients I have patronized, pacified, adjusted and (lovingly, of course...) called certifiable in the past. You were so right. I had no idea. Please forgive me.

I once helped a patient who told me it took them two years to finally adjust to their no-line bifocals. I pray I can succeed as quickly!

From here on out, I make no excuse, explanation or apology for the inevitable typos, skewed pictures and bad hair and make up days. I cannot see any of it with any degree of clarity so I am completely off the hook.

sig 2

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lists, Lists and More Lists!

There is an application on my computer called STICKIES that is like an endless supply of little yellow post it notes... and I am so addicted. Every little thing that comes into my brain can be put on one of these little notes and it is saved for me to be retrieved at my whim, and I dont have to think of it again until I need to think of it. You know what I mean? OFTEN through out the day I think "I need to remember to do this" or "Don't forget to include this", and lately it has been a little out of control, as my entire life is being evaluated through the lens of, "Will I use up some of my 50 pound per bag allotment with ThiS?!" My whole life is being evaluated, quantified, weighed and measured in the balances of "need vs. want", and "light vs. heavy"!! I have lists of things like "helpful gadgets", "personal needs", "medical essentials", "what would I run to Walmart for", "If Weight and Space allows"...! Craziness that is just what my brain is going through as we prepare to move to Zambia. Sometimes I wonder if I am being given too much time to think through it all! 

 This is what my laptop desktop would look like if I am not careful! Thankfully the little application allows me to shrink the notes up into a little bar that has only the first line showing! I am truly grateful for the time to mentally prepare for The Move.  I am also grateful for the past two years of living in a camper. It has clearly shown me what I REALLY need, and what was toted along thinking I would need it and never took it out, and also what was toted along and almost never used, but when I needed it, boy was I glad I had it! Deputation has a way of preparing us for ALL aspects of ministry!
 Time is my friend and my enemy at times. I am trying to cram everything into little boxes in my head, and realize that my nature is compatible with that. I like to have everything classified, organized, filed and taken care of.

And then I wake up and realize that LIFE is not compatible with that!

Things blend into one another and get mixed up, and intertwine and intersect at too many places. To categorize my life into "Moving" and "staying" and "living here" and "living there" is an exercise in futility and for me is really not possible. I am learning to take it one day at a time, and make lists on my computer.

I am able to dream of perfection and have a place to quantify it. When reality hits, I delete the sticky.

Easy Peasy!

I love this stage we are in. We are given the gift of time with our children. Time with family and friends. Time with Walmart and Wegmans. Time with consistent electricity and water! I am purposefully and purposely enjoying this time. Learning to appreciate the amazing gifts I still have complete access to is a good way to live. It makes me realize how spoiled I am. And how much God truly has blessed me with.

When I am tempted to be stressed or anxious about the unknown, I trust the Lord because there have been plenty of times in the past that I have felt the same way and worse, and HE NEVER LET ME DOWN. He is always a good God, and no matter what comes to me, it has passed through his mind and hands first. He knows what I need and don't need, and I am his child. I am thankful for verses that have held me and helped me through so much of this course we are on.

John 10:27-29, Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 139, Jeremiah 33:3, Exodus 33:12-17.

God made me, knows me, has a plan for me, and will complete it. As long as I surrender to His will, and trust His word, what shall I fear?

A Psalm of David. 
The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? 
Psalm 27:1

sig 2

Friday, August 3, 2012

Surgeries and Recoveries...

I hesitate to include pictures of the boys because they may very well disown me. Or bury me in my house and no one will ever find me again. They are  much bigger and stronger than me, but this is where they will, in the future... many years from now, look back and be glad I posted these embarrassing and not so flattering pictures. I don't have any pictures of me post wisdom teeth surgery. And I would So like to see one. Really! 
Our children were all born with thin cheeks. We didn't have even one that had those kind of cheeks that you cannot help but just SQUEEZE! Well Savannah got them around 9 months... I will have to find them and post them later! So CUTE! 
This is from a few months ago, just as a reference. Pretty slim cheeks, don't you think? 
Dimples showing and everything! 
And here is the picture for posterity. Is it a good thing? Well maybe not this soon after surgery. They both had all four wisdom teeth removed at once, and the reason his jaw is receiving ice in this shot was because that tooth was drilled into pieces and pulled out bit by bit. Si was later telling us how a part of the tooth fell DOWN HIS THROAT and the guy made him sit up to cough it out... Wow! And I am sure that was easy in his Novocain-ed state!

"Um dude, I can't feel my throat!"

Not good! Despite how it looks in this picture, he wasn't otherwise drugged. I think the state of his eyelids is either a mid-blink, or a result of shock. I am not sure.
 Levi shortly after surgery. Pre-swelling to be sure. Post swelling and his face wouldn't fit into a single camera frame. I would have had to do a panoramic shot. Not kidding. Well, maybe a kidding a little, but he had some seriously huge cheeks.

Caution... if you are squeamish, SCROLL FAST!






One more....

Siah in a swollen self portrait. He actually doesn't look bad compared to other people, but he usually has only bones showing. Even as babies my boys never had cheeks! 
Cutest little one year olds if ever there were any.... but pretty slim cheeks! :)

Needless to say, they did not return to work that after noon. Nor did they return to work for several more days after that! They had the surgery on a Thursday AM and were back to work by the next Tuesday... which I think is AMAZING!! Their stitches are all removed...  now that they found the few that the office missed taking out...!!

We are all glad it is over and they will never have to go through that again!
sig 2