Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Somebody Pinch Me!

The past few days have been as crazy as this windy, blustery day.

I'm still adjusting to the new lens in my eyes. What a joy it was to chop up basil for my salad at normal speed. I don't have to go slow and worry about slicing my finger off. I still can't stop smiling.

The only downside is that the Prednesone that I'm taking is making me a bit over-amped, hungry and not sleepy. Apparently taking the pills a second time around is affecting me more than it did back in January. I feel so wired, its like a cartoon. Thankfully I'm tapering off so I know things will settle back to normal.

In the meantime, its just hitting me that a dream of mine that I've been hatching for the last three years is actually happening this weekend: one more day.

About three years ago, I learned about a dance called kizomba (from Angola, danced to kizomba music) and fell in love with it. I started to learn it with the hope that one day, I might be able to teach it to others and help the dance spread. At the time I was starting to look for opportunities to teach dancing. Dance as given me so much as far as confidence, fun and personal growth that I wanted to be able to share it with as many people as I could. Teaching kizomba seemed to be the way to do that.

When I started down this road, I started to imagine what it would be like in a few years: what would it would look like to "spread" the word on kizomba. I envisioned classes (I now teach at the Century Ballroom  - check!), classes at a congress (I taught at the 2012 Seattle Salsa Congress check!), visiting instructors (I've brought lots of them over starting last year - check!) and a weekend camp that would simulate my ideal learning environment: getting together with dancers who are just as crazy about the dance and being taught by an amazing instructional team in an integrated manner, not separate classes.

Jump forward to the now and here I am, ready for Seattle Kizomba Semba Camp that starts Friday March 22, 2013.

Can I get a "WHOO - HOO!" ?

Its, like, surreal.

There are 65 camp registrants and I have a great crew of folks helping me over the weekend. My check list for today is done and though there's more to do, I'm taking this moment to enjoy the excitement. Not only is this dream of mine coming true but I've got so much pent up energy from Prednesone and resting after the surgery, I'm busting out.


The instructors will be coming in tomorrow and starting Friday I'll be submerged in the camp for four days and I can't wait to spend it with my growing kizomba family.

Ready. Set. Go!

For more about Kizomba in Seattle, check the blog and the facebook group page.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Seeing Clearly with BOTH Eyes

Hurrah! Round two of my cataract surgery was completed today and while I'm not totally in the clear I feel like a new person AGAIN.

I know it sounds cliche and I know I had to deal with the blurry vision but this is simply an amazing experience that I wish everyone could experience without the stressful and threatening side of things. Seeing the world through a clear lens (even though I will still need reading glasses and anti-reflective glare protection) is a miracle. There's is a lot you take for granted when its right there - especially what you see. I never new how clear things could look until now.

Since this was my second time through the surgery, I knew the routine for the preparations: three questions (about phones, weapons and medical marijuana), lots of drops to dilate and numb, marking my eye lids to help with the procedure, instructions for post surgery and follow and finally, the doping lollipop to get me chilled out.  [Read about my first time with cataract surgery here.]

My right eye's vision prior to operating was better then my left eye's vision so while things were blurry, I could still make things out. Looking through my right eye was like looking through a piece of 50% translucent plastic. I was able to see the light bulb shining in my eyes and the doctor's hands as he brought instruments over to my eyes to work on them. I won't get into the nitty gritty details but it was harder to keep calm when I could see thing coming at me, no matter how blurry they were. With my left eye it was just white lite an then sensations when my surgeon was working, I think I preferred that to what I went through today (not that I'm complaining either way).

I was more aware of the sounds in the room and the pressure from the instruments as my surgeon worked his magic. I could see some colors: red (which I assume as blood since a cut had to be made - it washed away quickly) and blue (which is a dye I think they use). I really appreciated the cooling sensation when they hydrated my eyes as the operation progressed. This time I was aware of sutures being place, that was a little unnerving since I could imagine what was happening.

The blood pressure device was a life saver - being able to focus on that and my breathing was really helpful. As I said from the first time, even though I knew there would be no pain, its really hard to relax when you feel the pressure on your eyes as work is being done. My shoulders still feel the pinch as I think about it. I would highly recommend learning about breathing exercises: focusing on the breath really helped me a LOT.

When all was said and done, I was still amazed. when I sat up. That amazement melted away all the tension and discomfort from the procedure. While it wasn't as epic as when my left eye could see clearly, I still gained another level of clarity and that nagging blurriness is now gone - amazing! I'm still smiling. The clarity with which I see things (even though they are sometimes unfocused because of my aging eye muscles) is just a joy to me - its priceless.

Tomorrow I go to see the surgeon for a follow up and then a week of rest and 6 weeks of various levels of eye drops and more doctor visits and reading glasses.

What a trip its been and I'm so looking forward to enjoying these lenses in my eyes.