I was blind in my right eye, distraught and awaiting a second surgery. Then, this simple statement of compassion left me resigned to my fate with some sense of peace.
The Christian Impulse to Heal
by Marcus Nobel
September 28, 2014
Not long ago I had an unfortunate incident. Literally, out of the blue I became blind in my right eye. I had a retinal detachment. I knew it was serious when I called my doctor, and his first question was, when did you last eat?
Within hours, I had my 1st surgery under local anesthesia and 5 days later I had a 2nd surgery under general anesthetic. The first surgery involved laser surgery and cyrotherapy to seal the tear. The second surgery involved a Scleral Buckle, which is a flexible band placed around the eye to counteract the force pulling the retina out of place. In this procedure a gas bubble is injected into the vitreous space inside the in combination with laser surgery or bio therapy. The gas bubble pushes the retinal tear closed against the back wall of the eye.
Only a few years ago, surgery to treat a detached retina, required the patient to lie facedown for up to 90 days after the operation. With the buckle/bubble treatment I was able to ride my bicycle after 10 days in Cycle Oregon 2014.
I literally had a new lease on life by regaining my eyesight.
As I walked the streets of Northwest Portland, to kill three hours before my first surgery, I wondered why? Why me? Why now? And what could I have done to prevent this? It was dark in one eye and I was stumbling around in an undertow of darkness and apprehension. A wave of fear was building and it had not yet broken.
I took some comfort in knowing the miraculous achievements in the hard science(s) of treating retinal and vitreous diseases. After all, it is this hard science of medical technology, that would healed my eye and give me back my eyesight.
However, what I did not expect –and was so reassuring– were the “soft” skills of genuine concern, kindness and compassion that all of the staff had for my well-being and healthy recovery.
I now look at the world with a newfound gratefulness and gratitude towards those who have helped me through a very dark episode in my life.
I would like to give my specific thanks to Providence St. Vincent Medical Center and Retina Northwest, PC and my wonderful surgeons and anesthesiologist:
Apurva K, Patel, M.D
Richard F, Dreier, M.D.
Mark Paul Haubrich, MD
God bless you for good work you do.
As my healing process began at Providence, I took great comfort in the fact that everyone I encountered was so kind and helpful. It took my mind away from the uncertainty and doubt about my injury and let me rest in the comfort of being in very competent and caring hands. And at the root of the Christian tree, the impulse to heal that Jesus taught: love, compassion, forgiveness and healing.
As I drifted into sedation I was completely at ease in the knowledge that I had turned the corner from injury and into healing.
I was blind..but now I can see.