“He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness; For His name’s sake.” – Psalm 23:3
Age has an effect on our eyes, just like it does on our joints and other parts of our bodies.
When I reached my 40s, the natural internal lenses in my eyes became less flexible. They could not focus as easily from near to far vision as when I was younger. I had to wear spectacles to improve my vision with adjustments to the lens prescriptions over the years.
When I was 56, I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease caused by a buildup of plaque. I had coronary bypass surgery to improve the flow of blood to the heart and avoid a heart attack. These interventions served me well.
My ophthalmologist over the years advised me that I had cataracts in both eyes and at an appropriate time, when my vision is uncomfortably affected, I should have them removed. Cataract is a medical condition where the lens becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision.
Week before last, as I was about to celebrate my 78th birthday, I heeded my doctor’s advice and had cataract surgery on both eyes, at the same sitting, to improve my vision. I deliberately did not research the details of the procedure before the operation.
As a result of a painless procedure with minimal discomfort, I am back to 20/20 vision, or as close to it as possible. The new lenses are good for another 50 years. I have discarded my old spectacles through which my vision is now blurred.
Having now apprised myself of the history, since 1880, of cataract surgery, including the technologies used today, I am full of praise for the professionalism of the skilled surgeons and researchers who successfully engage in this practice. Thank you God for everything!
As I rested after surgery, I have found a new pastime – that of listening to words of wisdom from YouTube. This is a new lens which I now use to remove the blurred vision of the past. I attempt to listen to the offerings of Caribbean leaders, an Eastern spiritual master Sadhguru, Irish leaders (Ireland is now the fastest growing country in the European Union), Imran Khan (the Prime Minister of Pakistan who is transferring his experiences on the cricket field to the political leadership arena), the UN Secretary General (who is showing great interest in the Caribbean from a vulnerable states perspective), and Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (who having positively transformed Malaysia, retired as Prime Minister, and who has returned at the age of 93 to be Prime Minister once more). New ideas emerge from these leaders which allow us to focus on the opportunities for Caribbean economic growth and sustainable solutions to Cricket West Indies (CWI) and LIAT, all three of which we have already addressed in this column this year.
My holiday this year included a conference, visiting friends and relatives expecting that at the end of it I would be suitably refreshed (a new lens) before returning to my usual routine. Well, this holiday turned out to be a bit more than I had bargained for.
I received the news of the sudden illness and passing of my cousin Richild Springer, Barbados’ national standard bearer in dance, who spent most of her life performing and training as a dancer internationally from her base in France. It is my hope that a Caribbean cultural industries project (a new lens) could emerge in her memory to reflect on her talent, knowledge, international experience and success in her chosen field for posterity.
I believe that if a human being is fed a nutritious diet, allows enough time for sleep and exercise, practices peace of mind, routinely recharges batteries through a departure from the regular routine and embraces an environment of love (God is love), then we should be pleased with the outcome.
For the last five weeks I have departed from the regular routine and I have shared (above) my diverse experiences over this period. I now feel gratified, invigorated, inspired and guided to take the right path as we face the future in His name’s sake.