The Eyes Have It

Mitch said to me, “My left eye is cloudy—as if my glasses are dirty but I’m not wearing glasses.”

We were boarding a flight to San Juan, P.R., our destination alternative to a Hurricane soaked Big Island. Thus began a four-month ophthalmic odyssey involving around a dozen eye and retina appointments, two nasty procedures, two surgeries and the terror of temporary blindness. It’s been a tough year for my sweetie.

CoverWe got to know most of the doctors at the UCSF Ophthalmology department. With nothing to do but worry, I kept myself busy during the appointments by sketching.

Recovering from retina surgery is an ordeal. The patient has to keep his face down/parallel to the floor 90% of the time for four days. We rented a massage chair thing and apparatus for sleeping as well. 

The planets were aligned against us, as two weeks following the left eye surgery, the right eye retina tore as well. What are the odds? This took us…





The ordeal—two torn retinas at the same time: blind man’s bluff for 4 months. The sketches are all from eye #2. And it doesn’t include the appointments in Puerto Rico. 

Thanks to the incredible Ophthalmology staff at UCSF for restoring Mitch’s sight! Now for a new prescription…

2 thoughts on “The Eyes Have It

  1. Aloha Susan! Your Lassen story led me here as I love your writing and your sketches…somehow I did not know about this scary ordeal. I hope Mitch is now okay & seeing well?
    On another note, Jon crafted and told a story at Jamaica’s 10th birthday party-almost 20 years ago-about a grandmother & a Hawaiian has always stayed in my heart, and I’ve asked him many times to please write it down. If he ever does, I hope you would agree to be an illustrator & the 2 of you could create a beautiful book….

  2. Thanks Mary! Yes, last year was brutal. He got through it like a champ, though—and he can see fine now, thanks to the skill of his docs at UCSF. BTW, We went to Puerto Rico only because our visit to Suzanna T on the Big Island was thwarted by hurricane Lane!

    The Quilt story sounds lovely and I’d be happy to collaborate…we can talk about it when I see you in 2020. We’re planning a trip over there. I’ll keep you posted. ❤

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