To all the Ships at Sea,
There are times in a a person’s life that may result in an earth shattering major change. In a couple weeks I am scheduled to experience one of these changes.
You see, I am blind in my left eye. I was born with crossed eye and had surgery at age two to uncross my eyes. At three I developed lazy eye syndrome. I had a second surgery and a patch on my right eye to try to make the lazy eye work properly. Somewhere around 5 years old I got German measles. During that time a nurse accidentally left the blinds open which destroyed the vision in my left eye (or so I was told.) So, I have been blind from age 6 until today. Most people rarely notice because my left eye does follow light. A couple years ago, I started having problems seeing through my right eye. I was told I had a cataract. After seeing six specialists, I was told no one would do surgery on me because I only had vision in one eye which was quite devastating. Well, two years have passed and my vision has gotten worse which would be a problem for anyone let alone a one eyed photographer.
A friend of ours, Ken Ferris, a fine cameraman, had cataract surgery. JoAnne happened to run into him and in conversation mentioned to him about my eyes. He said I had to see his eye doctor! I figured it was just another waste of time and money but JoAnne insisted. A couple days later I ran into Ken at the gym. He said you have to go see my eye Doctor, his name is Dr. Liegner! Well Ken was pretty convincing. JoAnne wanted to accompany me to the office to meet this Doctor. I told her I was old enough to vote and could go by myself but once again, she insisted and she explained that she would not be sitting in the waiting room! They ran me through approximately two hours of tests with a thorough and efficient staff. I was then told the doctor was going to be in in a few minutes. He came in and asked me, “How do you see out of your left eye?” I said, “I don’t, I’m blind in that eye.” He then asked how about your right eye? He then explained that my right eye is now 20/400 and pointed out the cataract and the damage in that eye to JoAnne. First thing I’m going to do is explain to you that you left eye is perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that eye. With that I became even more confused. He said, I’ll simplify it, and explained that I did not lose my vision to German measles, I lost my vision in my left eye because my brain would not comprehend vision in the lower left where my eye pointed and that part of my brain said we’re only going to look through the right side. He then told me he could do a procedure, so I would have close up vision in my left eye and in two weeks after he would do another procedure to give me 20/20 vision in my right eye! I will see colors and shapes like I’ve never seen. The only drawback would be that I would see things 12% smaller as I’ve been wearing glasses all my life and then joked about something else probably looking smaller as well.
Well this Doctor is a true visionary and I’m truly excited and looking forward to my new lease on life!
© JoAnne Kalish
To all the ships at sea,
I know you’re going to find this hard to believe but Murphy even travels to Cuba! As a matter of fact, Murphy has a pretty much free reign in Cuba -one little slip on a cobblestone pothole and I went down like a ton of bricks. No big deal, I know how to fall… well, I did something to my back. When I went back to our pencion (B&B), our host family turned me on to some local doctors and, believe it or not, they made a house call. Not one, but two- a doctor and a technician. They came in with a tens unit, the typical doctor’s bag, and went through a whole protocol on trying to piece me back together again. Yes, there was ice then there was heat then a fabulous massage. We ran that tens unit on 220, it was really great. The interesting part about it was that the doctor was President Obama! Now I know you may find that hard to believe, the president of the U.S. stopped by my room to make sure I was okay. They pieced me up so I could finish my shoot in Old Havana but more importantly, it was just the way that they went out of their way to make sure that I was okay. Not to be outdone, on return to Miami and then to Boca Raton, I had a fabulous doctor in the ER at Boca West at 11 o’clock in the evening. A five hour wait was cut down to 20 minutes, then they gave me an epidural and prescription medicine for my back with a recommendation for acupuncture and a massage. I had the greatest massage I had ever had from a Taiwanese master masseuse and then the acupuncture was unbelievable. Everybody came together to piece Humpty Dumpy back together again… oops that’s not my name! It’s Dumpty Humpy….no, I think its Joe DiMaggio. It’s surprising what service you can get with a white beard, man when these people find out I’m 28 years old they’ll be angry! Medicine from Cuba, to Miami, to Boca, to New York- it’s all good. It’s actually all great!