DIANE PHILLIPS: The eye – so small, so big in life


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The eye is so small, so big in life. Think about it. With all your senses, what would be the worst thing to lose? Most of us would say the view. You lose your sense of smell and the best part is you don’t smell like garbage, the worst part is you don’t smell like coffee or cinnabon. Lose your sense of hearing and you don’t hear birdsong or a rooster crowing, but you get through the day somehow. Lose your sight and the whole world changes. Becomes dark. You lose your way.

I hadn’t thought about the small size of the eye compared to the role it plays until a skilled technician named Jennifer at Eye Associates of Boca Raton told me that when she was studying at University from Maryland, she focused only on the eye. because he was so small and played such a big part.

If you are among the lucky ones and have no eye problems, you have no idea how blessed you are. I had my first eye operation before I could speak and the second before I could walk. This week I had my most recent truly amazing scientific and surgical study that allowed surgeon Dr Douglas Kohl to enter my right eye, break a cataract, break it, suck it out and replace it with a cataract. multifocal lens. which replaces contact lenses or glasses forever.

My local doctor had referred me to Dr Kohl, a recent Harvard medical school graduate and member of several of these institutes that are very particular about who they certify.

Kohl has done around 6,000 surgeries and says that by the time he finishes his career he will have done around 20,000. The most complex are for patients with glaucoma. I was one of the simpler ones, no glaucoma but when you think about the science of getting into the eye and replacing the lens, this is one of the wonders of the knowledge age in which we live in.

This science was the invention of Dr. Patricia Bath, a black American from Harlem, her housewife and housekeeper mother, her sailor father. The story of Bath is incredible, the first woman to head a department of ophthalmology at a major university (UCLA), inventor, holder of numerous patents, humanitarian, and best known for her 1981 invention, the Laserphaco probe, which allows to the surgeon to make an insertion -millimeter in the patient’s eye to vaporize the cataract.

Cataracts aren’t just annoying with blurred vision. They can lead to blindness. Mine was 3.66 out of a possible 4, the worst on a scale of 1 to 4. From start to finish, the process took less than a week. First, there was an exam that required dilation to check the health of the eye, the dilation not being as bad as it used to be when you wasted a day on it and vowed never to do it again. (although you did the following year).

The next day there were measurements, going from station to station and room to room, each piece of equipment costing over $ 50,000 on average. There were IOC, Lenstar, corneal topography, endothelial cell count, and macular OCT measurements. There were probably more, but that gives you an idea. All of this is to be measured for the manufacture of the lens that will be inserted into your eye. You start the eye drops two days before the surgery.

The day for surgery comes and you’re nervous, but there’s no reason to be, unless it’s insurance coverage – a separate issue we’ll cover in another column. on health insurance. The only sacrifice was not to eat or drink anything from midnight the night before, which I could only think of at a coffee.

The anesthesiologist named Dr Knowles had connections to the Bahamas, providing a feeling of inexplicable relief that I never questioned. Light sedation and I was taken into the operating room of the operating room which was reminiscent of an emergency room with a curtain on one side. Very comfortable. The actual surgery only lasted a few minutes.

An hour later, I was wide awake, eager to go for coffee and half a corned beef on rye sandwich at a local grocery store.

As for my eyesight, it is too early to tell, but I was told during the follow-up visit the day after surgery that everything looked fine and I can’t wait for another week to pass ( the cornea stays swollen for about a week) and I can see how well it looks on me.

I know this, it saved me from blindness and I will never have to worry about wearing glasses or contact lenses in this eye again. So small a piece of your body, such a shining piece of science, such a big piece of your life.

This year that is fading, yes it’s true

If there have been times over the past year that you’ve felt your life is passing by and you’ve just wasted a year of your life that you will never find again, you were actually right.

According to a recent report, the coronavirus pandemic has had a measurable impact on life expectancy which, for Americans, was 78.8 years in 2019. By mid-2020, it was a full year shorter, or 77.8 years. For black Americans, it was even worse, with the number dropping by 2.7 years, from 74.7 to just 72.

Part of the drop was a direct result of deaths from COVID-19 which, as of May 20, numbered 3,435,717 globally, of which 587,000 or more in America alone. But the side effects of the pandemic, including drug overdose, alcohol abuse and suicide, have contributed significantly to the reduction in lifespan. More than 165 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported worldwide. It has been a mad race for a year.

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My Favorite Charles Carter Story

Like thousands of others who knew and respected him, I mourned the death of Sir Charles Carter this week, a one of a kind individual who put his money where his mouth was, that deep and believable voice undeniable in mic telling the Bahamian Music and Culture History. His talks with the famous, the singers of old who had more history than the future, the hopes who believed that the best was yet to come will live long after all their voices have subsided.

But there is one story that says a lot about who Sir Charles was and why he said goodbye to partisan politics despite never losing his love for the PLP. He told it to me in front of a sitting member of his party in an unrelated business office when I asked him if he was so passionate about the PLP, why had he given up on frontline politics.

“Politics,” he said, “takes your brains out. Makes you stupid. What do you mean, I asked? “Do you see this painting here?” Yes, I replied. “It’s brown, isn’t it?” Again, yes of course he’s brown. “Well you walk into the cabinet and the chief says it’s orange and you look at it and you know it’s brown, but you have to say it’s orange because that’s how our Politics. Everything the chef says is what it is. Politics takes your brains out.

He didn’t steal yours, Sir Charles. Thank you for your inheritance.


About Marion Alexander

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