It’s me, Jeanne, waaring the hat (I haven’t been able to find a red one) I wear on Eye Treatment Days to protect my eyes from the pain of sunlight ’cause even 2 layers of those dilation glasses don’t do the trick. Plus it makes me smile, this hat with its pretend (artificial) dahlia.
Dear Members of The 70273 Project Community,
I have not been a good leader this year. I have not been a good steward of your involvement, enthusiasm, commitment. There are reasons – no excuses, just reasons . . .
In fall 2018, my vision began deteriorating. By our third anniversary in February 2019, I could ignore it any longer. In March I went to the ophthalmologist in search of a new prescription. I did not get a new prescription, instead I got a referral to a retina specialist. In April I had a diagnosis: wet macular degeneration. I was asked to participate in a clinical trial, and after much research, I decided to give it a try. The monthly treatments started in April 2019.
Not liking to inconvenience or worry anybody, I kept my chin up and my feet in motion. By mid-May I was wising someone would offer me to a gold star if I’d pick up the Empire State Building and move it from New York to Atlanta because that would have been ever so much easier than throwing my first leg off the side of the bed every morning. I had to face it: I was in the quagmire of depression. It wasn’t allergies, I was in mourning.
I decided to do what I encourage others to do: pull out the white flag. Knowing that fighting it is futile, I succumbed.
Things are better now. The depression still nibbles at me some days, and I still have the occasional vegging-out day when the most physical effort I exert is walking to the sofa then to the bathroom and back.
The eyesight is somewhat improved, and I struggle to say that aloud for fear it will jinx something, that the Eye Sight Goddess will deem me cocky and overly-confident and smite me. In August, feeling emboldened by seeing a few more letters on the visual acuity chart, I asked about getting a new prescription for my glasses. After much consideration, he gave a reluctant okay. September’s treatment showed not improvement but deterioration – enough to make Dr. Bridges tell me to cancel my ophthalmologist appointment and say he might suggest I pull out of the clinical trial. We’ll know more tomorrow when I go for my seventh treatment. If you’d put me on your Positive Thoughts / Healing Energy / Prayer lists, I would be oh so grateful.
Because I feel adrift when I don’t journal and because I haven’t been doing that while in the blackness of grief and depression, I created a journal system that suits me just fine. I’ll write about it soon. I also bought I don’t know how many index cards and a storage case. I’ll write about that later, too. Because walking makes me feel like a different person and because I sort and solve things quicker when my feet are in motion, I’ve begun walking a minimum of 10,000 steps each day. 12,500 is my preferred minimum, but I’m careful to not set myself up to fail. And any day now, I will start yoga.
I have ideas for 2 more quilt themes, and several more creative projects under the umbrella of The 70273 Project that I think y’all will like a lot. I also want to do what I’ve longed to do for a while and really amp up the project’s podcast.
Now I am an accomplishment-oriented girl from way back, and I need the structure of a plan to help move me and The 70273 Project forward from here. I don’t know how or where it will happen (only that it will happen soon and that things are complicated by the fact that I am not allowed to drive), but what I really need is a retreat, time to be quiet and have space to think and plan. That’s when I’ll assign a target date for each idea, draw up guidelines, create things that knock around in my heart. That plan will be the ladder needed to move me . . . to move us out of the quicksand and back to sunlit ground. Stay tuned for that.
Thank y’all for your patience and tenderness with me. I don’t always reply to each individual comment on Facebook or here on the blog or over at Instagram, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read and appreciate them. Don’t ever think that. I read, reread, reread, and reread some more your good words. Read them before every treatment and many times in between. Your words of encouragement, support, and caring are my heart’s charm bracelet.
And thank you for not giving up on and walking away from The 70273 Project. We’re still here, and things are still percolating, and we still have a few things left to do before we turn the lights off.