Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Laser Eye Surgery

Just 3 1/2 weeks ago I had the opportunity to get laser eye surgery done... I would post pictures of how my eye looked after the surgery, but I didn't think it'd be very nice for the viewers to be accosted by the image of my bruised eyeball... so I refrained :)

You're welcome.

Maybe you're wondering, "did it hurt? what did they do to you? how long did it take for you to recover? what were you thinking/feeling? what's your vision like now? did it really work as well as everyone says it does? would you recommend it?"

No it didn't hurt at all! (and I would say that I have a high pain sensitivity). There's several different procedures available, the most common are PRK and LASIK.

1. PRK
An older method in which the surgeon takes a knife and cuts the cornea back- actually, I think they just scrape off a very thin layer of the cornea, and then do the surgery; the cornea does not get replaced after the surgery (my stomach turns at the thought). Then they do their laser thing and it's all over... it's supposed to be the most painful method. "The surgeon removes the outer layer of the cornea (epithelium) with a surgical blade or blunt instrument. The laser beam, guided by a computer, is then used to vaporize tiny amounts of tissue under the surface of the cornea. The procedure removes just enough tissue to reshape the cornea in a way that corrects vision. The initial healing process is complete in about a week." (read more about it here)


A newer method, much better than PRK... "This surgery is more complicated. The surgeon first cuts a flap in the cornea with a very sharp blade or laser, and then lifts it and uses a computer-guided laser to remove calculated amounts of tissue from the inside layers of the cornea. Afterwards, the flap is put back and the eye heals more quickly than with PRK." (read more about it here)

You can get the LASIK surgery with a blade or with a laser.... I opted for the laser, because then I could get a lifetime guarantee (if you're a candidate, that is). Also, a laser's bound to be more accurate than someone's shaky hand! :) the Bladeless LASIK method is the most accurate type of surgery available right now; it's pretty much guaranteed to have perfect results.

A bruised eye ball is not so beautiful to look at.... but it's a lot better when compared to watching the surgery itself take place!!!! ugh, it's awful! if you think you can stand it, take a look at the video... I watched the first little bit but then had to cover the screen with my hand and close the window with my other hand !!! I went into the surgery somewhat ignorant of what they would do to me... every time I tried to research the surgery or listen to my doctor explain, I just got grossed out... now that I've been through it, I thought I'd look into what they did, and in a sense, it's interesting... but I probably would NEVER have had the surgery if I knew exactly what it would entail! If you think you want to see it, the following youtube clip will show you the entire surgery. The surgery is only 8-10 minutes per eye. Here it is...

Before the surgery, I was a nervous wreck! they tried everything - the calming music, the water trickling down the fountain, the relaxant pill, the reclining chair.... yeah whatever! these people were about to laser off my eyeballs!!!!!!!

Then they led me to the operating room and sat me down... First they put this brace thing on your eye so that your lid doesn't close. Then everything's black except for the flashing laser, and then you feel this weird sensation that something wet is coming off of your eye ball!!!!!! I think that's when they laser'd off the cornea... but I'm still not too sure if that's actually what happened! some time goes by, and then someone's always calling out the remaining time: "just a minute left, Louise, you're doing great, just 30 seconds left, awesome Louise, " etc etc... and then it was over!! They were really sweet, so caring! But they better be - I had to pay them the hefty sum of $5000!!!! but it's an investment... it'll pay itself off. Glasses are anywhere from $400-600, and contacts are about $300 per year! so I'm thinking it was worth it, looking at it from a 20-year span.... in about 20 years or so I might need to get reading glasses, but that's okay I guess...

For the first few minutes after the surgery it was a bit hazy, but even just a few hours later, everything was crystal clear! and it has been ever since! I'm going for a checkup on Thursday - by then it will have been exactly one month since my surgery. My eye doctor had told me that I was a perfect candidate for the surgery b/c of my eye shape and corneal thickness, and my prescription (it was 4.00 and 3.75)... I'm extremely happy with the results, and highly recommend it if you can! it's so wonderful to not have to depend on my glasses / contacts anymore!! I think it's so amazing to see what doctors can do nowadays.... I feel so incredibly blessed to have been able to get the surgery done, and that it went so well too!!!!

Thank God I didn't go blind and that it all went well after all! :)

I just love it!

Monday, September 15, 2008

A prayer for the world

Dear Lord,

I pray right now for a major crisis I don't know about and that isn't being reported on. Thank you that you know what is going on in every corner of the globe, and that you always care. Thank you, too, for having chosen to share in the suffering of this world through your Son and his sacrifice on the cross.

I pray for Congo, where war still rages, where corruption is rampant, where children brandish machine guns, and where displacement and severe economic instability is leading to the starvation of many. Help us to care about this because, we confess, it can be hard.

I pray for Orissa, India, where there is perhaps more persecution of simple followers of Christ than perhaps anywhere else in the world. Whole villages being burned down, hundreds in hiding, many killed. Comfort those who have been or still are being affected directly, and for those who have been affected indirectly through the loss of loved ones. As these families suffer, may we suffer with them, and grieve for them - as your Spirit does. Show us what we should do. Send the comforter, your Spirit. And may we respond to the persecutors not in anger or hatred, but in love. In fact, from all of this, send labourers to go to, live among, work with, and care for the primary persecutors of these people.

I pray for Zimbabwe, which continues in crisis, where the limbs of opposition party members' children are being hacked off by the brutal regime in a mostly-successful attempt to intimidate. I pray for the leader of the opposition, Tsvangirai, who is in talks with Zimbabwe's repressive leader, Mugabe, through the mediation of the President of South Africa - for Tsvangirai in this time when he undoubtedly feels the hopelessness of grave injustice. Give him wisdom at this critical moment. For the nation of Zimbabwe, which is receiving perhaps only 0.1% of the coverage of the U.S. elections, we pray for *your* attention. And we know in faith that it has it.

As the great nation of China returns to business as usual in the aftermath of the Olympics, we pray for the unknown pastors hidden behind bars - imprisoned for their faith. We pray for their families - that you will comfort them.

I pray for Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam - and for the hundreds of thousands who are captive to the sex trade in this region. I pray for those who have been infected with AIDS and are dying from it - feeling shamed and worthless. Show them that you love them and that they have great worth in your eyes. I pray for the thousands of children, who at such a tender age have been flung into cesspools of sin, forced by those who shelter them to gratify the desires of clients. Bring justice, Lord.

For a child huddling under a mound of simmering garbage in a slum in Egypt or Peru or Bangladesh, I pray. For the young professional who running after career and money, but is feeling hopelessly lonely and empty, I pray. For the man who is facing bankruptcy, I pray. For the families who are being affected by the war in Iraq, I pray.

In the midst of all the lostness, pain, and hopelessness; I thank you for what you are doing, and for the sure hope so many have found in you. Thank you for that family in Southeast Asia that has taken in unwanted orphans. Thank you for that center in Uruguay that is opening its arms to the people no one else wants. Thank you for the *many* who are working, hour after hour, on behalf of those I have been praying for right here - many in the trenches, many on their knees, many in advocacy. Send more workers, Lord, and use us as you will.

In Jesus' name. Amen.

"But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish." - Psalm 9:18

---> Nigel Barham, Thursday, September 4, 2008 Blog Entry

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Daily Strengths for Daily Needs

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage,
and He shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.
Psam 27:14

He giveth power to the faint;
and to them that have no might he increaseth strenth.
Isaiah 40:29

Leaning on Him, make with reverent meekness
His own thy will,
And with strength from Him shall thy utter weakness
Life's task fulfill.

Should we feel at times disheartened or discouraged, a confiding thought, a simple movement of heart towards god will renew our powers. Whatever He may demand of us, He will give us at the moment the strength and the courage that we need.

We require a certain firmness in all circumstances of life, even the happiest, and perhaps contradictions come in order to prove and exercise this; and, if we can only determine so to use them, the very effort brings back tranquility to the soul, which always enjoys having exercised its strength in conformity to duty.

(all of the above selections are from Daily Strengths for Daily Needs, August 20; I've been wanting to post it since I read it, but haven't had the chance till now! I hope you are edified by reading it. )

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Camp Tamarack

(Photo courtesy of ypfriends! thanks! :)
Unfortunately I did not take ANY pictures at camp!
:( :( :(
very unusual for me.... what a shame, especially since my memories are mainly built on photos!!! (I hate to think what would happen if I lost all my photos, or worse yet, if I lost my eyesight! )

Camp Tamarack is over! Once again, it was a great week! Throughout the week, we heard seven messages from Pastor Anjema, Pastor Vogel, and Pastor Stringer on the theme of "the glory of God", along with workshops on various topics from which each camper chose two.

Each message that was brought brought different points of conviction. I pray that God will continue His work in me and in the others who were at camp, and that our lives may display God's glory for all the world to see! It's far too easy to get on that 'high' at camp, and then you come home and find that things are just as you left... I pray that each one would purpose in his/her heart to live out what they've learned, that they would be changed and renewed after this week of spiritual refreshment.

This year was somewhat different for me than other years - mostly because it was my 7th year helping out at camp. There's a lot of young people coming up who are beginning to replace the older ones. It felt strange to not have as many of those older people there this year, and though it was still fun, it certainly felt strange to be one of the older ones (I was the 4th oldest female camper!).

Now I'm one of the role models for these young people - yikes, what a thought! ;) I've always struggled with feelings of inadequacy in fulfilling this role, especially at camp, and this year was no exception. I see so much in me that needs to change, so much sin that needs to be expelled; I need the Lord's work in me so much, every day! I know that God hasn't yet finished working on me. He will continue to purify me, cleanse me from my sin, and make me more into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.
I long for the day when I may be perfectly whole!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 16

It's been seven years now since Dad passed away.... time passes so quickly. We still miss him a lot, but God's grace is sufficient for our every need. I look forward to the day that we'll meet each other again in heaven!

[The Lord] knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.
For the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
And its place remembers it no more.

But the mercy of the LORD
is from everlasting to everlasting
On those who fear Him,
And His righteousness to children’s children,
To such as keep His covenant,
And to those who remember His commandments
to do them.

Psalm 103:14-18

-- William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

I wandered lonely as a cloud,
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced;
But they out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Arrival in Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo

I'm sorry to those of you who have been wanting to see pictures from Ruth and my trip in Europe! Pictures take absolutely FOREVER to upload to the blog - so I thought I'd make slideshows instead...

The following slideshow is of our arrival in Bulgaria, and of our tour through Veliko Tarnovo, an mideival city which also used to be one of the old capital cities in Bulgaria. I mentioned it also in one of my email updates.

The slideshow's actually only 3 minutes... but the song goes for nearly 5 minutes! I don't know how to fade it out!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

House Cleaning!

Last week a bunch of people from my church were getting the house ready for our missionaries (Rich & Ange) who are back on furlough from Mexico. It's awesome for us, because they're living right across the road from us! sweet little helper
I was cleaning the windows, not taking pictures of myself :)
ugh... yet so beautifully made, at the same time!
it was weaving its web outside one of the windows I was cleaning

Rich & Ange, we're looking forward to fun times ahead with you guys and your kids!

Visit at Tim & Charlene's

After cleaning at Dan & Joyce's new house last week while they were on their honeymoon, I had dinner at Tim & Charlene's - our first dinner in their new condo! there were a lot of firsts that day: I was the first to use their shower, to have dinner there, to use the new dishes, cutlery & glasses, and to use their beautiful new dining room table! pretty exciting! :)

Thanks for the fun times, guys!! looking forward to many more to come! :)

Splash Pad!

Charlene and I got to take the kids to the splash pad last week! the water was absolutely freezing cold, but it was tons of fun! Ash & I dared each other to go through all the different water spray things, but Charlene & Jaden both found it too cold for their liking.

as we approached the splash pad, Jaden got a little nervous ;) he doesn't seem to love water as Ashleigh does! but perhaps that's good thing, at his age.

But he sure doesn't mind getting OTHER people wet! he started a waterfight - him against all us girls! :)

but he soon ended the fight by dumping the rest of the water out...

It was a beautiful day in a beautiful park! it was fun being a kid again ;)

Charlene also posted on the day...

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dan & Joyce's Wedding!!!

the beautiful bride...

I didn't take very many pictures of the day... but Carole took some good ones.

Later at the reception...

our MCs for the evening:
Tim & Charlene

hehe I'm sorry Tim... the following picture makes up for it :)

they sure got practice with those swooping kisses! :)

Beppe with her three beautiful daughters handsome & beautiful, aren't they? ;)
"Great is Thy Faithfulness"
by TorontoYP

My mom and Joyce's mom are like two peas in a pod - they even bought the same dress (by accident!) :)

The Shoe Game

"who's going to wash the dishes?"

but they disagree on some things...

was this question "who's the better driver?"

Congratulations, Dan & Joyce! It was such a blessed day! I pray that your life together will truly be blessed by the Lord!