Friday, July 25, 2008

Sense - Abilities # 2: Bad News, Good News

Welcome back, friends!

"The moment of truth was approaching. I could feel the anticipation in the air. What was going to happen next? Little did I know that we were now going to hear the bad news as I went with my girl friend to my eye exam." said Richard.

I could see a tear in Dad’s eye as he shared what his eye doctor said next.

After taking a deep breath, he said, “Richard, you have retinitis pigmentosa, RP, for short.”

“What’s that?” Dad asked.

He then told him about RP and how the main sypmtoms are night blindness and tunnel vision. He told him that right now his field of vision was still about 20 degrees, with normal at 60 degrees or more, plus peripheral vision.

“Your peripheral vision is not great and it will get worse. We don't know how rapidly this condition will progress,” he said regrettably.

"Your Uncle Walter is blind, also from RP." Uncle Walter, who is now 88, went totally blind at age 25. Dad was 20. Would this mean he, too, would be blind in just five years?

The doctor asked Richard if he experienced problems seeing at night? Richard remembered that sometimes he had run into trees, low hanging branches and telephone poles.

Once, he had tried to jump across a ditch filled with water, not knowing that it was about a 10 foot jump. He did not clear it and landed in a ditch full of water. Though that sounds funny now, he was very embarrassed at the time. He was at a junior high party.

Now, at least he knew why those things had happened.

Now, some of things that happened while playing baseball and basketball in high school and college could be explained. He now understood why he had lost balls that were right at his feet while playing shortstop and why he missed so many bounce passes in basketball.

All of a sudden, he connected the dots of what had been happening to him.

I felt really sad for Dad during that moment. That’s why he always loses the Kong when I drop it at his feet and he asks me, “Find the Kong, Zane, and bring it to me.”

Now, I really understand the importance of my role in Dad's life! My job is to keep him safe and enable him to life a great life!

Oh yeah, the good news. The doctor gave Dad a letter to give to the draft board explaining that he had RP and was not suitable for military service. Dad went to his military physical in 1971 and gave them the letter. They looked into his eyes, agreeing that Dad was 4 F, and dismissed him from military service.

Dad said that he walked out of the doctor's office that day, stunned about this news.

What was going to happen to him? How long would he be able to see? He was not sure that there was much good news in this report, but this was the hand he was dealt, now it was time to play it.

Gosh, what's going to happen next? What will be Dad's next big challenge?

Stay tuned my loves,


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Zane,
I love hearing about Dad and his past. He never took life for granted did he? I'm glad you are so intuitive and a good listener. I'm sure Dad appreciates your being able to write so well. Thank you.

We just came back from Mono Hot Springs, CA.. The weather was perfect and the swimming refreshing. You would have loved hiking, camping and fishing with Dad and Claudia if they could have come. Gary, Kate, Kim, and Caleb caught several fish. Remember how you loved watching the fish wiggle on the line when they were reeled in? The stars shone every night and Sayers adapted well to swimming, climbing on rocks, watching stars and watching the campground activity from our cabin's porch.

You missed an earthquake having a magnitue of 5.4 in Brea, Ca. last week. We missed it too, as we were camping. All of our neighbors said that they got shook up and are glad it was only a 5.4. Things fell off shelves in our house, but overall, everything was fine.

Well Mr. Zane, keep writing, and please give Richard and Claudia several licks and hugs from me.

PS Gary is working non stop in L.A this week. He, Kate and Kim send their love.

PSS Don't eat any more cantaloup!

Miss Vicki