Sunday, June 10, 2018

Photographing This and That

Webster Groves Sculpture Garden
One of the projects designed by SWT Design is the Sculpture Garden in Webster Groves. Located at the intersection of W. Kirkham and Gore Avenues, the once derelict area was transformed several years ago into a green oasis complete with multiple sculptures. A volunteer committee worked very hard with the City to develop a plan to light the garden, which culminated in a lighting ceremony Wednesday. Residents gathered to listened to a wonderful jazz group, chat and enjoy the treats offered by The Sweet Divine, winner of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars in 2012. Around 8:40 Mayor Gerry Welch threw the switch, and the area lit up to the applause of a delighted audience. It is such a lovely space!

lighting ceremony
Kirkwood Train Station
Saturday was the opening reception for the Women in Focus show entitled "Transportation". We were selected by the Kirkwood Arts Commission to have our exhibit hanging at the Kirkwood Train Station for the month of June. Built in 1893, the City of Kirkwood purchased the station from Amtrak in 2003 when the company decided it was no longer profitable to have a stop in that location. In a unique move, the City offered to staff the station with volunteers if Amtrak would continue to drop off and pick up passengers in Kirkwood. It has successfully operated as an Amtrak stop ever since. Because wall space is limited in the station, I only submitted one photo for the exhibit. Despite torrential downpours and some hail, we had a pretty nice turnout for the opening.
Rollin' on the River
Forest Park
Saturday evening we picked up some friends and went to Forest Park for the 40th annual Shakespeare in the Park Festival. This year's presentation was "Romeo & Juliet". The event is free, and you bring your own blankets and/or chairs and food and drinks. Or you can choose one of their reserved seats for a charge, and can also purchase food and drinks from their vendors. Due to the rain earlier in the day, the temperature had cooled down to the mid-70s and it was a pleasant evening to sit outside.

While Shakespeare is not my thing, "Romeo & Juliet" is one of his plays that I do enjoy. But of course they had to change it up. The costumes looked like clothing for the 60s - as in 1960, not 1660. And the dialogue just didn't have the same cadence as expected. All of the Shakespeare productions I have seen over the past several years have had the same dramatical editing done to them. I understand artistic license, but I will just say that I am not a fan. While the show was quite good, I found myself wondering, "Shakespeare's Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo?"

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Left Eye Cataract Surgery Follow Up

My one week follow up appointment for my second cataract removal was yesterday morning. When I woke up yesterday, my left eye was bothering me a bit. It sort of felt like something between a scratch and having something in my eye. The prescribed eye drops did nothing to alleviate the sensation. As I was heading to the doctor for my appointment, it seemed fortuitous that it began to bug me that morning.

A check of my eyes revealed the eye pressure was 10 in the right eye and 11 in the left, both well within normal ranges. My vision has continued to improve, and in fact I could read the eye chart and the text sheet they handed me better with my left eye than with the right. At home I very rarely have to slip in reading glasses, so that is fantastic.

Dr. Pepose said the left eye looked really good, but in light of my complaint he had the technician run dryness tests on both eyes. As both came back being too dry, he feels that the discomfort in my left eye is due to dryness. It is hard to fathom considering I am putting three drops in each eye three times a day, but there you have it. He suggested that I get an over the counter eye drop called Retaine. He also said that there is an ointment I can use in the eyes each night in case the day drops don't do the trick. Just what I need - more things to put in my eyes!

Retaine eye drops
Stopping at Schnucks, I found that they do not carry Retaine. After looking up the product online to see if I could substitute one of the other 30 brands of eye drops on their shelf, I found that Retaine has a proprietary ingredient that no one else has. Off I went to Walgreens to look for the elusive drops. Even there with the 60 brands of eye drops on the shelf, I had a hard time finding Retaine. After Googling it to see what it looks like, I saw that it comes in a square box with single-serving tubes inside, while I had been looking for a box that would contain a bottle. I finally located the drops, and was dismayed but not all together surprised to find that the price was $26.99 for the 30 drops. Yikes! No wonder a lot of older people don't take care of their eyes - it is so expensive to buy all the different kinds of drops you need! On the plus side since it was the first Tuesday of the month, the clerk asked if I was a senior as I could receive a 20% senior discount. Since their age requirement is 55, I'll take that as a compliment. Here's to senior discounts!

I have used the drops a few times now, in both eyes as directed. The immediate relief in my eyes is great, but about 5 minutes later my left eye feels scratchy again. If the situation doesn't improve in a couple of days, then I'll go pick up some of the ointment to use at night. It seems odd to me that there was no problem until six days post-surgery. Maybe there is just something in the air as the allergens have been high lately. We'll see what happens - bah!

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Cataract Removal in Left Eye

left cataract removal
Yesterday morning I had the cataract removed from my left eye. I was a little less anxious since I knew what to expect. They did give me a little more of the sedation drug since I had told them I didn't experience anything the last time, and it certainly didn't relax me for the surgery. I can't say that it did anything for me during the second surgery either, but boy did it affect me after the fact.

The surgery went well, and before I knew it I was being wheeled out with my juice and pretzels to meet Jim. I was quite hungry as I had nothing to eat or drink after dinner Tuesday night, and it was now 11:15 on Wednesday. I remember finishing the pretzels and my drink in the car, and then bam! I was out like a light until Jim pulled into our drive. After he helped me in the house and I ate an English muffin, I crawled into bed and slept for 4 hours! Apparently that sedation drug impacts me after surgery if not during. I can't remember the last time I have napped that long. I was afraid I would not be able to go to sleep that night, but it was no problem.

Today I had to see Dr. Pepose at 7:45 in the morning. Jim drove me as I still had to wear the plastic shield over my eye. I definitely would not want to drive looking through it. The doctor looked at both eyes, and the pressure in my right eye has dropped to 9, which is excellent. The left eye was 20, which is high but not unexpected. Dr. Pepose seemed very pleased with my progress. Like last time, I am on limited activity until he sees me next Tuesday, and I only have to wear the shield when I am sleeping.

designer shades
Having the brightness and clarity in both eyes now is quite remarkable. My eyes are a bit sensitive to the light, but that should calm down in the next couple of days. My uber-expensive, designer (hah!) sunglasses help outside at least. I can't wait to see what my reading level will be next week when I go in. Hopefully the reading glasses will be a thing of the past, or at least only be necessary in low light/small print situations. Speaking of small print, I find it extremely ironic that the writing on eye drops is so minuscule. It is impossible for people with poor eyesight to make out, and once you add the first drop to you eyes, forget about it. While the lids are different colors, it is not helpful if I can't read the sheet that tells me which eye drop to use next.

Anyhoo, it is great to have this experience behind me. It was inevitable that I would get cataracts since both my parents and at least one of my siblings had them, so hopefully I will have a lot of years ahead to enjoy my enhanced vision.