Dark days and the Wizard

This week, I’m going to take a break from my usual tourism concerns to pay tribute to a skilled “angel,” a modern-day wizard, who saved me from several months of helplessness, despair, and unimaginable agony, a predicament that I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy!

But now that it’s over, I can happily talk about it. In fact, one day last week, I heard myself singing, as I was driving across the metropolis, borrowing the lines from a favorite childhood movie, “I’m off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of EYES…he is a whiz of a wiz because of the wonderful things he does…” But starting my narrative here would be putting the cart before the horse, so I‘ll start where I should.

Last year, my vision was starting to get blurry, the reason why I decided to beg off from my part-time teaching job in a popular university. I could no longer correct test papers nor see clearly the faces of my students. The first eye doctor I consulted told me that a severe case of cataract had built up on my left eye. She could easily remove it but needed a clearance from my cardiologist.

I immediately tried to obtain one but, upon failing the Stress Test, the latter told me I had to have an angiogram. I never had any invasive medical procedure done on me since I was a child, so the sound of it scared the wits out of me. My right eye could still see very well, so I decided to forget about the angiogram and went on enjoying life as I should.

Early this year, I noticed that my vision was getting worse. I could no longer drive nor watch TV. I went to see another eye doctor, hoping that, this time, there wouldn’t be any clearance required from my cardiologist. This second doctor confirmed that the severe cataract had completely covered my left eye and that my right eye’s vision was also starting to fail because of another rapidly advancing cataract.

This was when I decided to submit myself to an angiogram. As suspected by my cardiologist, there were three points in my cardiac arteries that were blocked, one in a very crucial part, the left coronary artery which takes care of 70 percent of the heart. Stents were placed and the angiogram was successful. My achy, breaky heart was functioning 100 percent once again.

“I guess our Divine Healer made me go through such emotional upheaval for me to realize that I actually need only very little to enjoy life.”

I was ready for my cataract surgery, or so I thought.

I went back to the first eye doctor I had consulted but she told me she could remove my cataracts only if I stopped taking, for a week, the two blood thinners required after my angioplasty. The second one I previously went to had the same requirement. My cardiologist and my stent doctor said I have to wait a year before I could temporarily stop my blood thinners, otherwise, there’s a very high risk of thrombosis which could lead to a heart attack.

I went around town, consulting four more eye doctors in as many big hospitals here in the metro. Nobody would touch me with a ten-foot pole if I didn’t stop my blood thinners. Meantime, my right eye’s vision was getting worse, until such time when I became completely blind in both eyes, detecting only faint lights and a lot of dark shadows.

I had to be totally dependent on my sons to act as my guide and assistant—for a shoulder I could hold on to every time I walk—feeding me when I eat, choosing clothes to wear, reading and typing my messages, etc. My pathetic condition robbed me of my self-esteem, my confidence, and my will to live.

Dr. Richard Kho, an ophthalmologist at the American Eye Center.
Ever since I graduated from college, I have always been in complete control of my life, successfully charting my future the way I wanted it. Then, here I was, reduced to a useless, powerless creature who couldn’t even feed himself because he couldn’t see what he was eating. I was having anxiety attacks every day, as I felt buried and trapped underground, not being able to see anything. I laid awake all night, scared, emotionally drained, and in total anguish.

Meantime, I never stopped looking for an eye doctor who could help me, calling many friends every day, just to check if they had referrals. Finally, a former colleague in school told me about her mother’s quick cataract operation in a clinic in an upscale mall and gave me a doctor’s name who she heard does cataracts even without discontinuing blood thinners. I immediately asked my son to bring me to this doctor.

Dr. Richard Kho of the American Eye Center immediately took pity on me and scheduled my surgery right away. He also assured my cardiologist that he will remove my cataracts even with my blood thinners. Although he made clear to me the risk involved, because both cataracts were of the hardened type, I was impressed by the confidence he exuded and his having handled similar cases many times before, including those of big-name personalities.  

Dr. Kho magically removed each of the pesky cataracts in a matter of 20 minutes, a week apart.

Now, I’m back to my usual happy self, being able to do things on my own, and praising Somebody Up There for my continuing gift of life. I guess our Divine Healer made me go through such emotional upheaval for me to realize that I actually need only very little to enjoy life. And HE also gave me the best gift ever—this skilled eye doctor, a real angel, the wizard who gave me back my 20-20 vision in time for my birthday!


Who was complaining at the start of the year that this year 2020 didn’t have enough holidays? Now what?

For feedback, I’m at [email protected]

Topics: Richard Kho , Cataracts , Eye sight , Eyes

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