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Writing is a way of processing our lives. And it can be a way of healing.
— Jan Karon

Below are a few words I posted on FB during my optical journey, through these words I was able to connect with many friends and family. The comments, love, energy and support I received will stay with me forever, they helped me down the blurry road to recovery. I am humbled and grateful.


March 19

Well my head injury was not as clean as I thought ... Turns out it did some damage to my retina. Got diagnosed with a ditched retina today in bali .. Finally made it to airport .. Headed to Singapore to the national eye center for emergency surgery ... Send some positive vibes my way. It's like a slow black curtain closing on my left "good eye" from the ear side inward.. Optical eclipse are the only words that come to me to describe it! Will send updates ! Xo


March 20

Hi everyone , thank you for all the love and support really helping me as I just read thru your words..
I've spent the last 16 hrs going thru the process here.. They finally found space for me to be operated on .busy eye center. I'm about to go into surgery 5pm Singapore time.
 "See " you on the flip side .. With updates.. Much love , j


March 21

It's a but hard for me to read with my right eye or I would write back to every post! I'm choked up with the love and support from everyone .. Tears in both eyes now thank you . Thank you, thank you!! Def making my stay in the hospital less cold! Although I have to say the staff here has been amazing .. Do wish I could get a few more pain mess thou.. It's hard here.. Basically had to almost kick the back of my bed off and press the button 30 times to complain of pain to get a shot in my arm to put me out. After 5 hrs of dealing with the pain, it was heaven . The doctors say the surgery was a success , I can not tell at this point.. It's painful to open my eye , and all I see is a black bubble floating around. It is a trip!! Doc says it will be there for a week or so. Think of an oil drop in water . I get out of here tomorrow , then going to stay in a near by hotel for a few days till I find a place to stay for a week or so... Till I can fly again. I'll keep u posted on my recovery .. Much love ... J
 


March 22

Escaped from the hospital to the link hotel. Feels good to be out after 3 days.. Im suppose to lay on my left side most the time , besides eating and showering .. At least i do not have to be on my stomach looking strait down.. That was what they told me b4 the operation. Will try and illustrate what I had done and when I can see a bit better open up photoshop and create what I saw thru this whole experience .. But now time to rest. Ill be in Singapore for probably 2 more weeks.. Tue I will most likely move to an apartment , hope I can see better by then .. It was a trip walking outside .. Thank you all for your continued support and uplifting words.. Much love , j
 


March 24

So yesterday I noticed a light redish bubble above the blue gas bubble .... But since everything u see is in reverse it is in reality red on the bottom , blue on top. It was kind of freaking me out because now my visibility is next to none .. I can make out some blurry shapes and a hand wiggle or two. So last night around midnight I jumped in a cab and headed to the ER since the instructions I have say , any change in vision please seek immediate medical attention . I saw the eye doctor on call , she had a look at my eye to see if the retina had detached again .. All very scary for me .. I do not really want to go under the knife again ... She said seemed to be ok , but there was blood in there which is normal . She sent me home , as I was in the cab I got a call from her saying they wanted to see me at 8 in the morning . Ok , so now I'm a bit freaked out .. Naturally I took something to calm me down and make sleep .. Resulting in me waking up a bit later than I should have , but not realizing it. Rushed downstairs .. Could not get a cab .. Finally a cab pulls up and let me in and then told me to get out because I was not going to the airport .. Not sure why he thought I was headed to the airport , as I had no bags . Me being a new Yorker .. Once u are in the cab they must take u to your destination . He was not pleased at this , but I pointed to all his religious items on is dash and said taking me to hospital is good karma , airport is more money more problems . He laughed and drove me .. I tipped him well and yelled good karma and rushed up to my appointment .

The doctors spent 45 min shining lights and magnifying them to see if there was a detachment again , they could not find one . Thank god! Just to be on the safe side they did an ultra sound.. The doctor giving me that was pregnant , while she was doing the ultrasound I asked if it was a boy or a girl .. She said boy .. I told her congratulations .. But was laughing on the inside as she did not get my joke at all .

So it turns out the red I am seeing is blood that was trapped by the Bubble , now that the gas bubble is getting smaller , the blood released .. Resulting in my not being able to see anything .. U should see me put my drops in .. . Have an appointment with my actual doctor tomorrow .. Will keep u posted .. For now my right eye has been guiding me.. Been an interesting ride!

Again thank you all for your continued support , msgs , calls and generosity , I am truly blessed to have so many amazing people in my life .. Xo


March 27

Had another doctors appointment today .. He said its a bit clearer in there.. Meaning the strange hemorrhage after the surgery has lessened . I still can't see much more than blurry shapes and the gas bubble that has been keeping me company ! I have started to get painful headaches in my eye .. But the doc says the pressure is good.. So been dipping into the low grade pain meds they gave me.. Seems to help for now. I've run out of medical tape .. So been holding my patch on with a scarf . With my scruffy beard .. I'm def going the way of a pirate!! I have had the help of some lovely friends new and old here in Singapore .. I could not have done this with out them .. As well as all of the positive energy , generosity and love from everyone around this globe... I'm humbled and grateful! My spirits are still high .. as i wait for more clarity .. As promised here is a illustration of what I had done .. Only thing I did not write on there was the gas bubble that was put in and the stitches that will both dissolve .
Have a phone call with my doc sat , meeting set for monday if all is good until sat .. Still confined to bed. BUT was given another position ... Sitting strait up while awake !!! I call this the one eyed owl. Then my old trusty . Lie on my left side when sleeping... Aka .. The tired tiger. At least I'm in a king size bed now .. In a strange little apartment designed by a Japanese gent !! Much love , j


March 31

Had a phone call with my doctor yesterday , to confirm our appointment for monday and
Give him a status update . Told him about a massive eye ache Friday morning , and more shapes are starting to form , so I can see a bit better , but its till lie looking thru a twisted fishbowl filled with water and laced with milk .. With a strangle little blue bubble fish. He laughed and said since I did not wake up with a eye ache on sat , I could leave my bed. A big smile came to my face and I walked slowly to the shower. And Slowly .. Would be the word that I would use to describe my next few hours .. Testing my current eyesight and my memory. As u know my current good eye , was my bad eye.. It really can't see to far away or see fine detail up close. Its stuck in the middle. So with my blurry twisted eye and the middle man I went on my solo adventure . I'm currently staying in the shopping area near orchard road .. So it's very congested with lots of movement - and maybe a bit aggressive for my first solo mission.. Lol. It was like being in a strange obstacle course where I had to remember how to get back to the start . I walked thru malls, stores, and ordered lunch .. Bumped into a few people on my blurry side .. Was frustrating at times .. Especially trying to order off a menu on a slightly far wall , but I managed by asking someone. I made it back to my apt with a few directional issues .. But was part of the fun trying o get home. What I learned from yesterday is that this is not easy , but I can manage if I take it slow and really pay attention to my surroundings and ask people for help at times . And that the left side of the world is very blurry and makes me feel like I'm tripping .. I think it's going  to take time for my vision to come back to "normal" hoping to see further and up close soon , but till then I'm happy to be stuck in the middle. Been very humbling .. Thank you all for your continued support , messages and positive energy.. Much love , j


April 1

Well , not the news I wanted to hear this morning .. Apparently there is still a bit of leakage thru one of my tears ... They need to drain it , laser it and put a bigger gas bubble in and hopefully this will work! Going into surgery in 2 hrs.. This only happens to about 5% of the people who have the original surgery I had ... I guess I should feel special having another gas bubble , a bigger one at that will greatly increase my chances of cataracts in the future .. Could happen in 3-5 years , but will happen . Also another gas bigger gas bubble means no flying for at least another 2-3 weeks. Singapore will have to get use me ! Def a bit frustrated , but hey a bigger bubble .. Who knows what twisted realities I will see.. Please send some more positive energy my way !! Will keep you posted!! Much love , j


April 2

So bit about my second surgery yesterday.. One if the tears was slightly leaking, so they had to go back in.. This time I decided on the local anesthesia. I went this direction for a few reasons.. 1. I would not have to stay overnight in the hospital 2. To combat my fear of being awake for it and all the needles i would endure 3. To experience something different than the last surgery . Granted I knew this one was a bit less involved because they did not have to put the silicon band under my muscle again.

So the prep began ... Again I got a sticker that said "left" above my eye and every person I saw after that asks me my name and what eye.. This time around I kept saying my third eye.. I got a few strangle looks and maybe even a smile once .. Still trying to get them to laugh more .. Managed to have my doctor today let down his guard a bit, I think he is getting use to my obscure humor , more on that later.

Now on to the changing of threads .. Traded in my black baggy Japanese inspired shorts and tee along with my size 12 sneaker boots .. That always get commented on.. And I'm begging to think the give me the smallest slippers .. old lady style .. To tease me .. Can.t be to sure thou besides the slippers .. I get a gown and the head net with matching underwater .. That I have had to put on twice each time.. They are quite small as well .. Surgery panty I've dubbed them.. So with those and my micro granny slippers and blue gown I was on my way in to prep station number 2. For some reason this time they saw that one of my big toes is painted metallic red.. Might have been that my ties were sticking out of these slippers. I explained to them it was there last surgery I had and I lived.. Also that it is there to cover a nail that never grew back on my skin all the way , toe was broken the day my dad passed away and is a bit of a reminder of the pain I went thru that day. This seemed to confuse the $hit out of them, they said nothing more and put away the nail polish remover.

I was led to a bed, had my eye flushed and painted with iodine .. Wheeled into the operating room and transferred to the table .. Now I started getting nervous .. Started to meditate a bit, that soon ended with needle number number 1 on the top of my hand .. This needle always freaks me out .. When I was a teen my mom use to take me to visit cancer patients from st thomas that were getting treatment in Puerto Rico. They always had multiple bruised makes from multiple filed attempts. Ok back to my needles .. The next one went under my eye and the third one went above the eye. They were not that bad.. I think it was the cold meds running thru my veins from the iv that calmed me... That cold feeling was the most uncomfortable part after awhile. But soon that stopped and the procedure started .. It lasted about an hr and a half .. During this time I could see shapes of tools working on my eye.. But most my nerves were shut off so it was not vivid at all .. Mostly interesting .. So interesting I started asking question after question.. Not sure if it was the drugs or what .. But probably should have just let him work . At one point he came to a cross road.. He cod not get a bit of the blood that was on my retina , because it was very sticky . So he Said he now recommended using oil instead of gas , this way if scar tissue appeared it would not just rip of my retina which might happen with a gas bubble. Also oil will let us see then scar tissue forming slower .. If I remember correct. I was sown up and wheeled to a recovery bed .. Where I kept asking for the pain meds I secured with doc b4 surgery .. I learned from my first experience .. They still did not work that well .. Crappy drugs here ! I was met at the hospital by a new friend here .. Dropped off at my apt . And slept for he next 9 hrs.
Will write more later on my doctor visit today . Thanks for having a read ! And all this love and support It has given my strength and made me feel closer to home! Much love , j


April 4

Ok .. On to my doctors visit after the second surgery. Patch came off.. Wow I can actually see .. But in a some photo shop moving liquify kind of way.  When I look at a still image .. It appears to be moving .. Hair flowing ,, arms melting ..
Mild hallucination. It's kinda cool for the first hr, but this oil is going to be in my eye for 3-4 months. Might get old.. Especially since it makes my glasses useless with that eye . Going to be tricky! Feel like I'm in the house of twisted mirrors when I solely look thru the oiled left eye.

Two things can happen now ..

1. 90% chance the oil will old the retina in place .. Then 3-4 get it removed and prob some cataracts with it.

2. 10% chance the tear will open again.. But oil will give them time to see thus happening at a slower rate than the gas bubble. If this happens I have to go back to the operating table again .

Usually I always get the bad odds on these eye issues , but since my luck number 13 popped up as I registered for the second surgery .. I'm in a good place

A new sleeping position was added .. Face down between pillows. I said cool, what about breasts with a strait face .. And finally had him in stitches!!!
My job here is done!

Today was my first day outside with these new adjustments .. Can't read a thing with the eye and people look strange .. A whole new world ! But at least I can see something the is recognizable and not just twisted shapes and contrast - which was cool in its own way, but scary!

Next apt is Friday am . Will keep you posted .

I'm so blessed to have the support from family , friends , new friends and strangers on the street. Thank you from the bottom of my heart .. Much love , j


April 6

So yesterday I had another doctors appointment .. Was not in the eye hospital, but changed to my doctors private clinic. It was closer to where I'm staying so I was all for it, he texted me the address and the floor number -- floor 13.. Dope! Was planing on walking there but decided to jump in a cab that rolled by .. Did not want to get lost or be late .. I'd save that possible adventure for the way back.

His office was slammed , just like he eye center! Dr Ong is on top of his game!
His assistant did a few eye tests .. Basically when I look thru my slick oiled eye.. All type I was reading looked italic and wavy .. I could kind of make out the sentence , but it kept moving .. Like my run on sentences. Wish I knew more motion graphics to really show what I'm seeing. It will be hard for me to forget , maybe a future collaboration with someone will pop up;) when I looked thru my right eye it was plain san serif text . A Mind trip!

Dr Ong saw me right on time .. No long waits here if u have an appointment .. Love that. I told him my eye was irritating me ... He says the oil is leaking a bit . I said "that does not sound good." -- When is an oil leak ever good.. Right? . He did not seem to worried , but said it was not ideal .. So this monday he is going to release a bit of it from where it is collecting. Hoping for no complications .. Or bigger oil spills! On a side note .. I've been seeing some crazy visuals when I close my eye after looking at a light source .. It's like these little white plasma animals morphing into different shapes then flying or fading out to a flat line .. They have little feet and tails .. No heads thou. -- Will try and draw one. -- hoping the oil spill does not contaminate my new visions. Maybe it's even causing them .. I have mixed feelings Now.. Lol. Besides the leaking he said the retina looks stable and the blood is clearing up ...He ended on a good note:) but I'm still not out if the forest .. At least I can see a few triode out trees thou!!

After my appointment I decided to walk back to where I'm staying .. Asked a few people for some directions and was off like a one eyed plasma vision! I made it home ok with a few wrong turns and a sushi meal. As I was walking I was thinking that this is going to be a blurry 3-4 months , but I'm up for the challenge!

Will write more after Mondays apt . I move to a new apt tomorrow (Sunday).. Glad to get out of this Current place.. It's very odd. I could prob write a short story on my flat and my flat mate .. But I'll just leave it at being woken up by the escort he called at 4am . Will spare you the details of the the things that can never be unheard!

Started researching a bit about what happens in 3-4 months .. When uts time to get the oil removed. How come mostly bad experiences pop up with medical posts . I've decided not to read any more and let the universe take its hand on what will be!

Thank you all for the continued support , love and light!! This experience continues to humble and reshape me.. Much love!!


April 8

So I still have not slept .. 30hrs in.. I think it's all the combo of pills . Pain, steroids, pressure release,, My mind is running with creative thoughts and mini speaker kicking out some beautiful beats . At least the pressure in my eye seems to be stable .. Yesterday was
One of my darkest .. Constant pain can bring u to weird places and back. I'm in my new crib now.. But since I brought up wired places .. I'll give u the scoop on the last apt. In my last Word spill .. I mentioned my flat mate and a friday night escort. Btw .. The things that could not be unheard were the romantic cheese music he thru on to drown out the noise and his plea in not wanting to take a shower for her .. She finally got her way.. Splash! Flash back 15 min .. Our front door opens and high heels click on our dingy rough grey floor past my semi frosted bedroom wall.. I caught that out of my oiled eye. Was entertaining his moans and the lack of hers was not ! I put on my headphones and drifted to dreamland.

Yesterday when I was packing to move to my new place .. This entertaining cat from Barcelona rolls in and tells me he is taking my spot . We started talking about the apt,
Apparently he has stayed there on and off for the past three years and knew the owner. I was like "this place probably looked a bit more polished back in the day. " -- description of it now - it is a Japanese designed crib, Very functionality, streamlined and a bit sterile, or so I thought . There is no furniture in the common area .. Kitchen is a ghost of itself behind some frosted sliding doors . 3 things - mini fridge , folding chair and an ironing board sit in a corner- oh and a huge fish tank with 2 micro fish , I never saw , added some color. - - he told me that the owners boy friend rents the place out now just to make extra money .. Apparently my room with the comfy king size bed is mostly occupied by high class escorts who roll in for a week or two and make bank -- the place was reasonable to rent. I laughed and said "I knew it" .. I had felt some crazy energy in there, was nice to get the back story on why, right before I left . But not before I slapped one of my stickers outside on the 3x3 balcony peeping in the bedroom - on a light box.. My mark was left .. Turns out there were many marks .. He pointed out oil stains all around the room dark wood walls and head board.. I took comfort in the fact that I had 5 pillows covering it when I was living in that bed. Shook his hand and gave him a sticker that is now on his phone and slowly left with a good story ! I told it to Norah my old nyc friend who lives here now , as she drove me to my next abode , we had a nice laugh! Hope you do too

Right after I settled into my new place , my eye pain started and kept me up till my 8:30 am Doc appointment .. Well I'm still up , but no pain after Dr Ong worked out the pressure issue. My appointment went well.. He says that there looks like no scar tissue is to be worried about .. And the oil spill has not gotten all that worse .. He plans to release a bit of it next monday. And says I can most likely hop on a plain to HK on the 19th of April . We chatted about when I need to come back and he seemed positive that that last surgical procedure will be end of June or beginning of July .. I will be back here for a week or so after the procedure to heal. This is if all goes to plan and my eye stays rock solid .. I'm sure it will .. It's gotten a lot of stimulation in the past few weeks! So things are good in my mind .. My eye might look a bit chewed , but its healing . I'm still seeing a blurry left side of the world, but it continues to inspire and spice up my visions !! I get my pressure checked again wed .. Will let you know how it's cooking .

Speaking of pressure , while I was wait for my pressure medication I ended up chatting with an 86 year old lady for a while .. She ran down the list of all the eye surgeries she had , including corneal implants many years ago .. She was a ball of energy with progressively worsening vision .. But 86, so it no to uncommon .. .. The kicker is she is a tour guide .. Still! Made my day!

Now if some sleep shall come .. I will not refuse !

I must keep saying this . Your positive messages and support continue to help me thru thus
Journey .. Thank you , thank you , THANK YOU! Much love , J


April 11

So I was able to get some sleep the other night , took a blurry walk thru little india and filed my belly with a late night vegetarian special .. It was spicy as all hell - I love spice - but wondered if this was the best idea for my hopefully soon journey to dream land. It was perfect - food coma! Morpheus granted my 6 hours of sleep , I was grateful ! 6am -- birds are talking , sun is peeping and I'm wide awake again.. Meditated a bit, then turned on some beats. Which got me thinking , I should make a mix of some of this lovely music that has been keeping me company in bed. Traktor for the ipad came out .. Might give it a whirl and see what happens . To be continued.

The new apartment has a kitchen that works, lots of light .. And Less stains def lacks the deviant charm and darkness of my last place .. - it was a perfect place to hide and heal right after my surgeries ! And walking Orchard street night and day was def an optical treat. My new place is a bit more residential and is on the backside of little india.
Btw Little india is a trip .. I first rode thru it Sunday as I moved apartments.. It was filled to the brim with men in their Sunday best doing nothing .. I think I spotted one woman .. It Was hard to tell from the car and my twisted eyes , could have been a man.

Back to my kitchen .. It's empty ! Figured I need some things .. So off I went to explore during the day. I have not been able to really wear glasses , my oiled eye and my current -6.5 lens do not like each other, I on the other hand enjoy the visual combination , but there is no way I can use it to navigate.-- I finally can sympathise with anyone who has looked thru my glasses. -- If I want to use them I have to shut my left eye ... Which is hard to do for a long period of time . So I have been taking it slow and going without my specs. Only mishap worth mentioning was not really all my fault!  I had just ordered a tea and was walking thru an open space in a mall , hardly anyone in sight . I have my eye on the sliding doors 13 feet ahead, when out of nowhere a tiny man and I collide .. He yells out something that sounded like "chewbacca" , I looked down and he was up to my chest ... I apologized and pointed to my chewed up eye .. We parted ways. I'm still wondering how he did not see me , but glad I did not ask ! My food mission was a success , my fridge more full than my nyc fridge .. Which was easy to accomplish .. Lol.

Later that night I'm in my crib and I got this strange feeling and crazy visuals .. I had a flash back to when this all first started , the slight weirdness .. I got a bit freaked and thought maybe a tear had opened again! Decided to lay down and meditate till I fell asleep with plans to text my doctor early morning, not much I could do besides go to the ER , there is not much they can do for me until the eye center openers at 8:30am anyway. I was able to fall asleep , woke up and texted my doc .. He told me to come in right away . Turns out everything was cool... He told me "have a little faith". It's funny .. That is all I've been having , but goes to show our minds can trick us and fear can sneak in .. Thought it was a good lesson .. And shows me that my twisted visuals are here for a bit and are part of the healing .. Bring em on

Been getting some lovely messages from people .. Thank you for all the love and light
Blurry eyed and a bit teary eyed.. Much love , j


April 17

So a few days ago I found myself sitting on the curb in little india holding my big toe and laughing ! How does this happen one must ask .. And probably wondered by people passing me in my hysterical state. First off The sidewalks in little India are beautiful mix of multiple color and textures of tiles , each store seems to be responsible for their own sidewalk . Instead of a flat walk across to the next street , you get an obstacle course of uneven surfaces. This combined with my eyes, a pair of flip flops and my big ass toes was a recipe for some street comedy! I was now officially injured head to toe! I thought it was broken because of its color, but thankfully Its just sprained.

Besides my street performance , I've been managing ok without my glasses , it's kind of like being in a dream sometimes ... Which can be fun and challenging ! My oiled eye was my dominate eye and seems to want it's title back at times .. Forcing me to look thru it while my right eye takes a back seat. I guess this means its healing or just getting use to the silicon oil. Keeps me on my toes When talking with a person it can be really trippy .. I see a slight version of dr jekyll and mr hyde !

Speaking of dreams .. I've been meditating for the last week at 11am while a friend who is a healer in tulum has been doing some long distance work with me . I lay down for the 30 min session and with in minutes I'm off in a day dream state .. Very lucid dreams , I awake with a refreshed calmness and a smile. It's the first time i've ever done any long distance healing work , I must say its a very enlightening experience ! I'm grateful my friend has offered her healing energy and light!

My doctors apt yesterday, went well .. No scar tissue and oil that has leaked does not seam to be causing a threat. Both good news they did suggest I get a pair of temporary glasses after I told them my toe story . Oil eye will have no correction , my right eye will be with its normal lens and  maybe sit in the passenger instead if the back seat . We will see if this can prevent future crashes.

This last month has been such a journey .. Experiencing a new city while recovering from eye issues was not easy by all means , but made a lot easier by new and old friends guiding and helping me down my road to recovery! Thank you! Your kindness , company , second set of eyes will not be forgotten. This blurry eyed pickle has been cleared to fly this Friday , with instructions that I must return in 2 months for the oil removal surgery . HK I will remember to look left and right .. But please watch out for me

My mission in HK is to try and get some of these images out of my head and into the world,
Now if i could only use my laptop. In due time ! Will have to find other creative outlets . My vision will be constantly changing, inspiring and hopefully improving .. Looking fw to experiencing this journey !

All of your positive energy , love and support has been truly amazing and continues to help my down this blurry road .. Thank you !!!!! much love , j


April 27

So I made it out of Singapore with instructions to be back mid June . This gives me two more months to experience life with this silicone oil residing in my eye . We have a love hate relationship going -- Well it's all one sided since it has not spoken .. Yet ;) But the things it has shown me continues to be wild. While sitting on a toilet in the Singapore airport gentlemen's rest room , the light on the ceiling caught the oil just right and it projected a white bubble with moving black shapes .. Looked like an army of zombies trying to march in a strait line -- I stared at it for a good 20 min in amazement! And thought for a slight second the Singapore customs clerk dosed me , then I thought wait I have not gone thru security yet , how did I miss that? Which added confusion to my dill-usion. Turns out I was not dosed -- the zombies did not follow me , and the security check point was at the gate. I must say - having individual security check points at each gate is a great idea... Totally eliminates the bottle neck of the traditional madness. Exit Singapore.

Enter the dragon ! Walking around some streets of Hong Kong feel is like the opening sequence to on old 70's Kung fu flick . Since the oil elongates and distorts shapes , each street is a new movie , just without the title ... I must start making my own. Half kindling aside its nice to be back here , I feel the love .. Thank you HK :)

More on my journey in HK coming soon !

I'm feeling good , other than my crazy visions .. I do notice certain spots in my vision that are always blurry .. Doc says this might stay that way . But time will tell .. 2 months to be exact .. Once the oil is out we will have a better idea.

As promised a mix from my days in Singapore , please read the description.
rainy-afternoon-dillight

Again your continued love and support as given me such strength !! Thank you!!!
Much love , j


May 7

Getting back to my HK Kung fu movie.. I'm kicking ass .. according to my doctors visit yesterday. Well maybe ass kicking is not the right word .. But I'm on a slow train to mastering the eye oil techniques .. I guess more like the smooth fluid snake move .. Def not the drunken monkey! My HK doctor is cool, does not seem like the joking type thou , we will see ;) she totally entertained my idea of wanting some medical grade silicone that is in my eye. Apparently It only come in a syringe with just the amount to fill an eye. Not what I had in mind , But it's a start and looks dope. I'm still on the search for more silicone oil .. 5 gallons bucket would ideal, more on that later.

Oh and one thing not to add to the bucket list -- getting a stitch removed from your eye, the feeling was unfamiliar and very strange.

Seeing strange on the other hand has become a staple in my life! A few days ago I was walking on the street without sunglasses ..I looked up with my eye only and saw many small black dots. I had not noticed this before , maybe one or two while looking strait, but def not this many -- best way I can describe it is like bad pixels on a computer screen, except these are in motion and sometimes in a re occurring pattern . When I first saw them I got scared -- this fear comes from somewhere , so let me take you back...

March 10th , Bali -- two hrs after my slippery fall ... I was thankful that nothing serious had happened .. No broken bones , neck/back injury .. Just four stitches in the back of my head and a pool of blood on some hard marble . Little did I know the inner workings of my body had their own plan. After we got home from the clinic we decided to go to the beach to see the sunset and surf. Surfing was not an option for me because of my stitches so I grabbed my camera . It was an amazing sunset on old man's beach and I stated to shoot one of my flat mates on the huge rock in the ocean . So I'm standing on the beach and she is on the rock -- waves are crashing , sun is transforming and all of a sudden hundreds of big black dots filled the sky for 15 min or so. I thought to myself .. Either the world is coming to an end, I'm tripping or I have a conclusion. Turns out it was neither .. That was the moment my retina decided it was going to let loose . It was quite beautiful and poetic .. I could have been laying in a hospital bed looking at the floor while getting stitched up .. But the universe gave me a visual gift! I finally got those photos of the card .. Here is a quick sketch I made..
https://www.dropbox.com/s/x24o07ij37xhnqj/tear.JPG

I have also been emailing with a new friend who is a retina specialist .
Here are a few words from his medical wisdom " Your fall account has me convinced- you tore your retina with a rapid deceleration! Holy smokes that was quite a fall. That happens to bungy jumpers too- when the line snaps taut and they suddenly decelerate." ... "Those were some major league floaters you ezpereinced. they represented tiny droplets of blood within your eyeball which were released as your retina tore."

Getting back to my HK stroll -- so as soon as I saw the black dots I freaked out slightly, called my doctor in Singapore and told him about my little dotted friends. He told me to relax and wait to see my HK doctor in a few day. Made me feel a bit better , but it was still on my mind .. Especially because now I was seeing these pixel dots all the time when I look at a bright source. I do find them interesting and beautiful , but they freak me too! 

What will I see next ? That was what I asked my HK doctor half jokingly .. I told her more tales of melting pulsing lights, blurs and plasma beings. She told me that since my oil has leaked a bit it leaves room for my body's eye fluid to come in .. The two do not mix well and can cause some continued interesting visuals -- another gift from the universe ;) Good news is the oil is doing its job in holding my retina in place, I still need to lie on my left side while I sleep .. It's getting to be uncomfortable and painful .. But it did helped me relate a bit with my dear friend who was pregnant .. Was funny to find some common ground between the two situations.

One thing not so funny was spilling a full large glass of carrot juice on a couple setting next to you .. They were on my blurry side and I placed the glass on an object on the table . I tried to help clean up my mess , but it was not wanted .. So as I watched them clean toe to table and talking while glancing at me .. All I could do was sit there and give the I'm so so so sorry look and hand them napkins, don't think it helped! I think I am now banned from carrot juice in 75 local joints. That has been my only real damage I've done here in HK .. Besides almost twisting the old ankle on the street and leaving my fav hat in a dark cab .. I'd say I'm doing ok :) -- knocks on wood!

Speaking of dark.. darkness is when my visual demons come to play .. It can be quite challenging and take me to a new unfamiliar world . One where I can't connect with people in my normal manner or feel really out of place .. I'm working thru this slowly and getting used to the anxiety. People have been wonderful , it's just my inner workings trying to adjust to familiar situations in new settings with lack of day light! The yin to my yang. It continues to stimulate me visually and pushes me to grow in ways I never thought possible. Soon I will run with the shadows and be free as the night. But till then daytime is where I feel the most comfortable .

On a good pixel note ... I was able to plug into a big monitor this past week, felt good! .. Trying to figure the best way to get a bit of design work going , I'm def not as fast as I was, but with time I will get things done . I'm currently looking at places where I can set up a studio to practice the oil eye technique with my design / photo techniques .. Could be a powerful combination digital kung fu .. I'm very excited to start sketching more of these visuals I've seen since the tear - using my computer to create story boards from my written accounts. Once I get them out of my head I'm going to try and recreate them in an interesting way , thus my search for silicone oil ;)

I'm still trying to not think about what my vision will be like once the oil is out , that is another road we will go down once it's out! Till then melting , blurry , bad pixel , twisted visuals welcome... As long as you mean no harm , I'm down to play.

As I continue down this road i'm am happy to be on it with you .. Thank you all for your continued support , messages , amazingness , humor , love and light!!! Much love from HK .. Xo!


May 9

New specs ! With the craziest script I have ever seen.. Oiled eye is farsighted. My other nearsighted .. I can see the future , past and a Trippy Now! Going to take a bit to get adjust !!


May 29

Lines are still waving, circles are still mutating cells and my eye has become its own tilt-shift lens... But surprisingly it's all becoming somewhat normal. I'm adapting , shifting and growing an auto focus. So no image stabilizer at this time , maybe the next model . Will have to submit a request to the universe. Kidding aside my eye has different focal points .. For example I can see some details in the distance , but when I look down to my feet they are blurry. It's a real trip .. I first noticed this when I took a yoga class a few weeks back .. My eye was all over the place .. To space and back.

Since I'm on the subject if yoga , let me take you back to Bali ... 3 days before I had my surgery in Singapore and before I was diagnosed with a detaching retina. -- I woke up Sunday and my eye had gotten worse , it was now dark black on the side and was pulsating like tweaked star after a long night! I decided to go to desa seni , my favorite yoga spot to take my mind off my eye. It was also their yearly fundraiser day , so it was packed .  There were many classes , lectures, music and festivities ... Was amazing to see so many people out to support aids awareness on the island. So there was a lot of energy, I was totally off my game .. Shying away from people as i was feeling so far away in my own thoughts and worries. I finally found a chill class and parked my ass in front with a beautiful garden view. The class was interesting and totally took my mind to another place .. Then I think it took me to another place in time . During shavasana I had my eyes closed as I always do, but this time I had a crazy vision in my one eye . I was seeing a beautiful woman doing warrior one then two . It was so vivid I thought I was in that class... I opened my eye and stared at the ceiling and think what the hell is going on , what was this I just saw .. A flashback , yogi's wet dream or the opening of my third eye?!

Flash forward .. HK.
Downward dog in my second yoga class and things are still weird ... But now it's the oil , not the blood leaking in my eye. This silicon oil is holding my retina tight and taking me on a slick ride.
But it's not only the oil that is distorting life - a cataract has started to form , I think this is what is making my night time vision so slippery. I've simply named her cat .. She's a prankster. Her and the oil take turns with the visuals, sometimes I think they tag team ! Both will be removed on June 17. Wonder if they will let me keep them ? Also wondering what will fill their space .. Hoping for good tenants! Other than than Cat my doctor says things look good ... Pressure is a bit higher than last time , but a few new drops are helping . I don't feel the pressure like I did in Singapore .. So no crazy headaches.

I got clearance from my doctors to head to a healing center in Thailand , I want to do a detox and healing body work . My back, neck and shoulder is a tight mess from my required sleeping position .. Almost to the point where I can't sleep because of the pain . I dream of when I can sleep on my back again , stare at the stars, clouds or ceiling for that matter.

More to come as my feet and eyes get use to Thailand as I prep for Singapore operation oil removal!

Thank you all for the continued light , messages and humor .. Much love , j


June 16

Blurry in Bangkok ! Staring Cat and the black pixels -- directed by Mr. Silicone. Sounds like a twisted tale. Maybe next trip to Thailand , this journey was about healing. Mission accomplished!

As I head to Singapore , I'm feeling in top shape - mind, body and spirit. Ready to tackle my final surgery and begin the process of life without oil filled twists and turns. I keep wondering -- how my eye will be after having this semi toxic substance filling its days and nights? What will be my new vision and what will that journey involve till its stable? What will become of Cat and Mr. Silicon ? One part of me wants to ask for them so I can release into the universe on my own ... Can't wait to see the doctors face when I ask him for their remains.

But let's get back to the present -- I'm writing this as a sit on a 7am ferry headed to Phuket via Kho Phangan. On one side of me Ashley and the other a vast ocean scattered with small islands. One day I'd like to make it back to visit more of them, this trip was only spent on Koh Phangan, besides Chaing Mai and a quick dip in Bangkok.

Chaing Mai , Old Town is an amazing healing hub, full of all sorts of eastern medicine specialists and not so skilled. Thankfully I had gotten the scoop from friends, but still had some interesting treatments. However, I started my process with a bit of western medicine .. A trip to the local hospital to get my eye pressure checked. Could not have been better .. Went down from 21 to my lucky number 13

My healing began with some acupuncture at Mungkala , met with Dr. Rungrat and explained my situation with my back and eye. She runs a lovey little center and is very informative. Next up was a much needed massage. I was told I must see this guy named Mike Tan, turns out he is a busy man and could not see me for 4 days. In the meantime I decided to check out some quick fix $4an hr joints. One was a place run by the blind , figured that would be interesting and fitting. The other was close to where Ashley was getting an abdominal chi massage. I now call that the fondled by old lady who makes monkey noises joint!! I left with a wtf just happened experience to meet a zen Ashley. I finally met with Mike Tan of Structural Energy Awakening , totally worth the wait -- after our 2 hr session I felt much of my back tension melt away. My neck remains in pain thou, starting to think my fall in bali may be the culprit. It was now time to head south to the islands. We had heard of this detox healing center in the north of Koh Phangan called Orion Healing Center.

When we arrived at the island it was dark from rain clouds behind us , looked like a black wave filled that the sky was coming towards us.. It was also sunset so things were about to get real dark and wet! We ended up staying at this place called Munchies for the night ... We got there at pitch black as soon as the storm hits. We were greeted by a rum happy Chek this crazy cat who helps run the place . He offered us drink and food .. Told us we could have monkey if we wanted. Apparently he shot it in the jungle that morning , we opted for the veggie curry. Before that came, Chek was telling me of the "herbs" he could get us.. By looking around the Bob Marley flags I knew what he was talking about... Soon we began to chat about the full moon parties , I then asked him about the famous mushroom shakes .. He did not understand me that well as his english was limited... All he said was "mushroom ... yes". I just shook my head no and laughed. So our food comes and it's real tasty .. I ate most of mine and then Ashley says "what's this ?" and puts a slimy thing on my plate .. I was not sure but figured it to be a veggie, I had eaten all mine. Chek appears with a plate of his own as he was eating he picked one of the slimy things off his plate and gave it to me and said mushroom for you. I then wondered if things got lost in translation and how the rest of the night would turn out! But No extra trippyness , just cat and the oil!

After the craziness at Munchies we welcomed the peaceful hippy Orion healing canter. Orion is a really affordable healing center, because of that it  leaves a lot of the work to the individual. We did a 7 day detox program. 2 days of pre detox prep, 5 days of no eating solid foods. Those 5 days were filled with morning coconut water, self administered colemas, super food supplements, detox drinks (bentonite clay and psyllium husk) and a veggie broth and tea for dinner. I Also did some light yoga, reiki, thai massage at Orion -- the perfect recipe to zen me out before heading to surgery. My reiki session was very interesting , I felt as if I was heaven as a rock, stuck to the table, while my mind drifted into a slight hypnosis as I stared at the white dots in my right eye -- both eyes were closed. The white dots were all random , but then they started to form a shape, first an X then a snowflake .. Then it would blur out and the image loop would start again. I awoke to my name being called. Was very cool It's been a few days since I broke my fast , entering the world of eating is slow and my diet is limited for a week. Might be hard in Singapore ... I can smell the food already.

Was nice to take my mind of my eye and concentrate on the rest. I did meditate with my black and white pixel dots.. I wonder if they will stay once oil is out. I drew a bunch of them just in case!

... Long bus ride and a short plane ride later ..

Back in Singapore -- just spoke with my doctor, surgery is set for Tue AM. Will be here for a week of recovery and doc check ups!

Excited to see what I see! Say a little prayer and shine some light... Thank you
Much love, j


June 21

Superman skivvies , Jimi Hendrix tee and some black samurai pants! My pre and post surgery attire.. I asked if I could wear the supermans into surgery, got a nice laugh from the nurses... Silly thing is I "almost" forgot to take them off when I was changing later, the nurse busted me as she retied my gown. So on went the surgery unmentionables, I was now ready to part ways with my friends mr silicone and cat.

Not going to lie, I was a bit nervous ... I was going to lose my natural lens to a man made lens that only has mono focal length and have my eye filled with saline that would soon mix with my natural fluids . I will probably need correction for reading and long distance . My days of looking at sharp details up close we're ending One thing I am gaining is not having to wear glasses for mid range vision, thus my left eye will be more balanced with my right eye. It all was a lot to absorb!! And since I decided to be awake for the operation, I was thinking about it until the surgeon busted out the long needles to go above and under my eye. Things were about to get real, I hate needles , especially ones staring me in the eye.. After two very uncomfortable injections .. The clamps came on and my vision went grey.

It did not stay grey for long, soon a storm rolled in and I got to watch the Gods battle in my eye. Dark blue clouds rolled in and out , the sky changed from light to dark and back again , shadows of creatures that I could not see flew by as space and earth intertwined. Then the bubbles filled the sky like little aliens in an underwater invasion , I could see them exit as fast as they came like schools of fish ... Then all of a sudden I could feel tugging in my eye ... I asked what was happening .. Apparently the meds were dulling .. He asked me if I saw any more bubbles .. I replied nope , the sharks ate them all. I then asked if I could keep the oil , as I wanted to release it into the universe .. They all laughed and said no.. I was like fine , can I at least say goodbye .. They showed me the syringe filled with his remains ... the surgical coffin now holds him as saline fills his place in my eye.

Crazy are my 2 cover images I posted on my way to the hospital. The clouds and the black tar with the water reflecting the sky . I saw live images like these as I was being operated on.. Similar colors and mood.. Foreshadowing at its best!

More to come on my vision since the patch off...

Thank you for all the positive energy , love and light... Much love , j


June 22

So, I had the patch off for a few days before I had to use it again. But while it was off I did every possible self test known to man... First thing I did was try and read and check out detail .. Its now all blurry .. Which is very scary for me. I'm hoping glasses for reading will help. My right eye is now my reading and computer work eye.. And as you know, it was my weaker eye before my left retina detachment. It's funny how one can adapt to what he/she has to work with.. I'm lucky I can still get by with my right eye.. This was not the case 3 months ago .. It was hard for me to use it since it was sitting in the passenger seat for all these years (since I was 2).. But I've had to rely on it for all my detail work since my left eye was injured.. And it has stepped up as much as possible. I'm sure I will face many new challenges as I learn to navigate the roads of my life.. Change is here... Time to embrace and overcome. Needed to find myself a macro lens converter

Besides the above, I've noticed a few other quirks .. 1. It's a different color hue than my right eye.. It's a lot cooler .. My right eye is warmer .. It's totally tweaking me out .. As a designer and photographer ... I now see the world in two tones.. White and bright white.. Black and dark grey , etc! I was staring at my reflection in the porch window and it was like looking at two different photo filters .. My own Instagram ! My right eye showed darker shadows thru the window, thus less reflection. My left eye showed lighter shadows so I could see more of the outside reflection.. Strait tripping! Two ways to see the world .. Which one should I follow?

Night time is still a bit freaky! It's like I have a slow lens .. F stop 6 .. Not enough light is being let in to see contrast. I tested this out in a dark hallway at night .. With my left eye I could not see my hand 7 inches in front of me, but with my right eye I could see it just fine. I'm not sure if it is the lens that is causing this or if it is damage from my retina tears and the blood that filled my eye. I'm told that the night time vision is controlled by your peripheral vision .. Since my tears were on the side near my nose .. It is the opposite side that I will see the effects . Another test I did was to stand at an outside parking lot . I positioned myself with 2 poles on each side of me.. On my right side I could see 2 parking spaces looking towards my ear. On my left I could only see 1 space . I'm not sure if there is a test to see the % off vision loss , but I'm curious to get a professional reading . Might need to attach a flash to my hat, maybe with a red filter .. Try and capture the shadow people. I see a new photo series in my future .. Shadows .. I've always been fascinated by them .. But now they seem to be alive!

My lens is not dirty , but it feels that way! The black and white pixel cells are still floating around .. The dead DNA of my eye has moved from the sky, to my center vision. They now float in and out of my life like schools of fish .. 80% of the time. The doctor says they may go away .. In just hoping they fly high again or swim around in the deep sea. But it's like having a dirty lens with moving spots.. My own little visuals to life's rhythm!

Another rhythm I get is a flashing patten . It's like there is a 90% opaque erase on a part of my vision and a flashing light is showing thru .. Mostly when I look at a computer screen. It's kind of like the histogram feature that flashes light on a over exposed image on some cameras. Like I said its very faint , but noticeable .

My distance vision does not appear sharp , will totally need specs to see long distance detail . The best I will ever be able to see is 20/40 with correction . I think my eye is 20/50 without correction
So I can see midrange vision without specs .. Which is a bit freeing after all these years .. But comes with a price . One that the universe brought to my doorstep. I guess it was time to view the world differently. Bring it!

I also still see wavy lines , might be my vision thinking is still looking thru the silicone oil .. Maybe it's still getting its see legs . We will see ...

As I walked into the doctors yesterday .. I had a list of questions . I got stopped in my tracks when he said that there was not enough fluid in my eye. He needed to add more saline .. And that this could be causing my visual issues. I was like cool.. When shall we do it ? He said "now, here in my office " .. I was like what ?? So as we walked to a sterile room with a chair and meds .. I tried to breath .. I was about to get a needle in my eye ball and topped off with saline ! I sat in the chair as they covered my face with a protective sheet that had an eye hole. He then said "you will only feel a pinch" .. I did not feel a pinch , it hurt like a mo fo.. Then it really hurt as I could feel the pressure in my eye build while he pushed more fluid in .. This  had to be the craziest procedure I have had to endure thus far . My eye then bleed for 10 minutes .. Once that was done I was patched up .. I need to wear it till monday ... More to report After my doc visit.

Again thank you for all the messages , jokes , positive vibes and support ! Really means a lot and has helped me thru this strange visual journey ... Much love , j

June 25

One of my visuals .. Just illustrated this to show the doc... The black dots are cells .. They float on by a lot .. The big fellas come every now and then to say hi..


July 14

It's been a little less than a month since I had the oil removal and cataract surgery ,  I'm getting use to my new vision, but it has not changed all that much since my post on what I was experiencing after the surgery.  It could take up to 6 months to see improvement.  Right now the cells are at work re constructing the retina.. they have done a great job thus far.. I praise their hard work to date .. Keep truck'n little ones!

So where does this leave me at this point in time ?  Still tripping out on things --  that's for sure as I said before these optical illusions fascinate me to no end ..  Yes they are frustrating , but when I think I could be blind in that eye ...  The frustration melts away.

I went to my HK eye doctor Friday for a complete vision test .. Distance , close up , x ray , third eye adjustment and cleaning .  After all my years of eye exams.. I still find them slightly confusing ..  So many switches of the little corrective lenses .. Pick 1 or 2 , 3, 4 better , worse, the same! With such slight variations ..  I'm sure I could get three different readings from two different doctors.  So after an hr of this .. We finally settled ... I know have a script for distance and reading glasses .. I feel 75   After all was said and done my over all vision with correction is 20/60 ..  Worse than I was before the detachment . We had hopped it would be 20/40 ,because of the new lens. But the damage caused by the detachment is still affecting my sight. This Was a slight blow to my one day driving career.. But I think most of you would pull over if u ever saw me behind the wheels of a car anyway. Thankfully I have 2 feet and amazing friends!  But if my little hard working cells fix it up proper you may see pigs fly and me drive.

I've been slowly getting back to designing , it's been challenging but I'm winning the game.  My world has totally tilt shifted .. I use to look at everything close .. First with both eyes . Then after my laser surgery in the 90's my left eye was my ace for detail .. Now that its gone I miss it a bit..  Might need to get a macro lens and see what the small things are up to now and then .   But since my left eye is the work horse now I get headaches .. I think it's because my left eye wants back in the game and tries to put himself in ..  And both eyes fight for focus. Since my left eye is not strong in the close up game he looses .. And tires himself out.      Lucky I have some great clients , that have been totally supportive -- thank you! As far as photography,  I'm still getting use to shooting, Thank The Lord for auto focus. And I can work my way around a CDJ .. Somewhat   maybe not as graceful .. -- Wait I never looked graceful ..  I looked like I was inspecting it for scratches! Just need good lighting.

In a nut shell , I still see wavy lines , mutating circles, distorted typography , small silicone bubbles that decided to stay and play with my vision and a different cooler hue than my right eye. Its better than darkness and It lets me see the world in a uniquely trippy way .
We will see what happens in the next six months, my eye is strong and looks great .. Redness is gone and I am not using any more medication .. It's up to my body, soul and mind to progress !   I will keep u posted. Now it's time to create some art to share what I have seen.

I'm in HK for one more month ... Then back to the U.S.  Asia has been wonderful besides all the needles in the eye, . Going to miss it !  Such a crazy optical journey , I truly thank all of you who helped my down this road ...  Hopefully I can read the signs better soon   Looking forward  to seeing many of you at BM ( I'm 100% cleared to go per my doctors ) I'm back in NYC  September 10th after some time in SF with my sister.

Much LOVE!

j


October 17

It's been awhile since an eye update. Things have been stable over the last few months , I still have distortion and oil goblins floating by - reminding me of the silicone oil that once filled my eye. The distortion mostly affects the outlines of things, straight lines and typography .  The typography part is a bit anoying as I design with it and basically see it everywhere . But my right eye is still stepping up for reading and working on my computer. Road signs on the other hand are still not my strong point ;) On the flip side , it's as if I have my own distortion filter on life - very interesting at times!!

Before I left Hong Kong, my doctor told me that I have a bit of cloudiness caused by the cataract implant .  This is known as yag capsulotomy - basically when they perform the surgery they leave a bit of the old membrane to help the implant adjust and adapt. Overtime this membrain causes the new lens to become cloudy.  Laser surgery is needed to break it up. At night see the effects of this the most .. Light sources shoot spiderwebs my way! It's hard to see sometimes , but if I look up and stare at a light , things pop into focus again .  It's a very strange and visually interesting experience, but I'm glad it can be fixed.   

This past monday I finally got to see a doctor here in NYC .  He is a professor at Columbia and the teacher of my main doctor in Singapore and referral doctor in Hk .  Needless to say he enjoyed seeing me :)  My eye is looking good !! Besides the Yag bag -o cloudiness. I told him my insurance situation and he is going to figure out a reasonable laser situation . He also took 60% off his visit fee and did not charge me for photos taken.  I was blown away by this , restored faith :)   After the examination I started asking him questions about what I need to do differently now , he said "no sky diving or roller coasters"  a bitter sweet answer , but I can live with it!!  Only wish I made a jump earlier in life .. One can still dream of free falling. He also said the distortion  will most not get better, My retina detached twice and i'm lucky to have sight.   And lucky I feel!  

Been busy bee since I've been back in NYC.  Finally got a work studio situation set up in east Williamsburg .  Time to start working on the interpretive art show of my optical journey .  I've chosen the date Friday December 13, 2013,  Please mark your calendars . I've gathered my journey in one place. www.insearchofsight.com I Will be documenting my art process , please stay tuned :)

Feels good to be back in NYC, embracing it's energy and elements!  And so many hugs from friends ,thank you!! 

Much love ,  j

Moving Forward

This experience has changed the way I see the world, I would like to share and explore these in more depth. Please visit the blog section for the next chapter. xo