Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Open Heart" surgery

As I was laying on the hospital bed awaiting cataract surgery, I had this phrase come into my head: "Open Heart" surgery. What are you jabbering about, Cyclops Boy. Surgery, with an open heart. Are we required to live our lives in fear, hoping beyond hope that we'll be illness free, and that everything will go smoothly all the time, when we know that's impossible? Maybe it is possible to meet even something as unpleasant as surgery with an open heart. I'm going under the knife, like it or not; these kind and well-trained people are going to care for me to the best of their ability; this moment is happening as it is, and I can choose to resist it, or if not embrace it, at least accept it. With an open heart.

What are you resisting?

The anesthesiologist said I would be "sedated," and I guess by that he meant knocked out cold. That's cool with me, doc! I woke up when it was over, about 20 minutes later, I guess. Lovely Rita waited patiently for me to wake up enough to escort me home, which I needed. Once home I went straight to bed and slept for about five or six hours straight. The next day I had an early follow-up visit with the doctor, and she said everything looks good. I'm amazed by how much better my vision is in that eye. I haven't been able to see well since my glaucoma implant just after my Mom died, in July 2008. My new doctor (I'm collecting them) said that I have a strong astigmatism now, probably from the glaucoma surgery. Even with that, I was able to walk around town yesterday without glasses on for the first time in years. My left eye sees pretty well (not great) at distance, and my left eye sees well up close. I'm used to them being different. I wonder if my depth perception has improved - that's been a problem when I'm hiking and going down steep terrain.

Thanks for all the good wishes from everyone who has written. It's great to know that people are caring for me, even at a distance.


My "poor Dave" photo. I only had to wear the patch for one day, although I have to sleep with it on for a week.
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The waiting room in my doctor's office. (I should have gotten a photo of the Saudi sheikh who was there the first day!)
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A dome above the entrance to a shopping mall.
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Wow! So cool! Oh, wait, that says Borders Books... Never mind, I guess.
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This sushi restaurant has a big flat-screen monitor at each table, I guess so they know what they're ordering.
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Another mall.
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Can you see the signs? Louis Vuitton, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, and Giorgio Armani. Gag me. Ann, who lives here, says that shopping is Singapore's national sport.
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It was a sweltering hot and humid day here - tough weather to be posing like mannequins.
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Yet another mall.
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In Singapore, it's totally fine to be a ho. In fact, my doctor is a ho, and proud of it. (If you don't get, just move on, it's not worth it!)
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A food court in Little India, where it's not as uniformly glitzy.
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A huge (and stinky) fish and meat market.
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Even though people aren't that outgoing generally, they've been very friendly. I showed this girl her photo and she was very cute and shy about it. 
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"Yeah, baby, you want some? Shrimp, I mean?"
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Blue crabs? Not familiar with those.
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When I was last here, in 1991, I wrote about a law in Singapore that not flushing the toilet will cost you $300. And look below - there are Seven Steps of good hand-washing? I bet my doctor could only name two or three.
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The colorful neighborhood of Little India.
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The first place I asked about a haircut they said it would be $25. I got it here for $4, but I don't think he'd ever cut long hair before. The only way you can tell this isn't in India is how bright white the walls are.
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Fresh flower garlands.
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A traditional Muslim family eating in a shiny-shiny restaurant. It's not the picture of Muslims you get from watching the news in the U.S.
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This group of Tamil men, from the south of India, are glued to a movie in their native language.
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Could be India, but, dang, everything is so clean.
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Hindu gods for sale in a Chinese-owned market. The three main ethnic groups here are Chinese, Malay, and Indians. And those are the official languages (Cantonese and Tamil, to be exact), plus English. An astounding 42% of the population is foreign. That's even higher than Arizona.
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The pool downstairs where I'm staying. It looks inviting - but I can't swim because of the risk of infection.
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Lovely Rita is halfway to the kitchen by the time I've walked down the short hallway to say good morning. And after she serves me great scrambled eggs and croissants, she comes out with a  fruit platter. I could get used to this. (Papaya, some kind of melon, and strawberries.)
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The End!