Rod Emmons

Rod Emmons
Cape Coral, Florida, United States
June 01
MY OPEN SALON BIO (‘Cause someone said I needed one) BLOG: Oh how I hate that word. The idea is great, but the word, itself, sounds so ... so icky. It's a name for something caught in your throat or something stuck to the bottom of your shoes ... something someone did that smells ... not a name for a journal or diary or random editorializing. Whose word is that, anyway? Smells awfully yuppie to me. Yet here I am, stuck in computor-ese, once more dancing to someone else’s drum … Blogging. Oh well, maybe I can get past that. 'Cause while I’m here, I’d occasionally like to do a little soul searching, sometimes think out loud, let others hear, and see what kind of s--t that stirs up. My life’s path has wandered into sales, management, banking, appraising, real estate, construction, design … yes, even politics … and a host of other activities that together, I think have opened my eyes, and hopefully, my mind. So you’ll get a dose of me from several perspectives, some a little tame, others fairly jaded, all a little philosophical. I can’t help it; it’s an itch that needs to be scratched, and now the pus is about to spill onto this site. Anyway, I tend to be irreverent, sarcastic and glib, and there's a good chance I’ll say something that will piss you off. In that event, just click the red "X" in the upper right corner, I’ll disappear and you'll be safe after that. But if you’re willing to take a risk, and aren’t afraid of skinning your knees, come on in. You might have some fun and there’s a first-aid kit close by. Just remember: proceed with caution, avoid the puddles, and always … ALWAYS! … wear rubbers (on your shoes).


Rod Emmons's Links
JANUARY 3, 2011 4:02PM

A Different View

Rate: 29 Flag

As many of you know, I lost the sight in my right eye on November 28th, the result of a stroke to that eye.  Blood flow was restored the next morning, and as a result, some sight has returned … about 3%.   More may return over time, but I am told that the full extent of the injury won’t be known for weeks, maybe even months.  In the interim, I am blind in that eye. 

Many of you know, too, that prior to this newest problem, I had been dealing with a detached retina in the left eye.   That journey began in February, 2010, Surgery in March, new surgery on May  20th, followed by corrective surgery May 27th to repair a problem with the surgery of the 20th.  That surgery included incorporation of a silicone substance to hold the retina inn place.   It was understood that the silicone needed to remain there for four to six months.  In October it was removed.  I also understood that some silicone might be adhered to my cataract lens (installed inn Dec 2007), and might therefore require the replacement of that lens to fully restore sight in that eye; sounded good!   But even after the removal of the silicone, my vision was substantially wavy … just as it had been before the surgery.  In fact, removal of the silicone provided no appreciable improvement to my left eye sight at all.  So changing lens seemed to be my only  solution. 

But not so fast, my friend! 

Fact:  An exam by a surgeon specializing in cataracts suggested that the amount of silicone remaining on the lens was minimal. 

Fact:  The greater probability was that scar tissue on the retina was the culprit. 

Fact:  Exchanging lens my not help at all. 

Prior to the stroke I my right eye, the end result of a lens exchange, while important, was not a major factor in my life.  My right eye vision was 20/25 to 20/30.  I was able to function visually in all arenas … work, driving, travel … you name it.   But after the stroke … and virtual blindness in that eye … the future of my left eye became the future of me. 

So on December 14th, I had surgery to replace the lens. 

Prior to coming to Florida and joining his current practice, my surgeon had specialized in retina surgery up north. Though his current specialty is cataracts, he understood my visual situation.   He also understood my personal one; that I lived alone; that my ability to continue to work was essential; that I wasn’t working for fun; I needed the money.  I needed mobility.  I needed my sight! 

He was enormously empathetic.  But he also explained the hardcore facts; that this procedure was not like the original one; that it was considerably more delicate and that he would not recommend it if there wasn’t ample evidence to suggest that my sight would be improved.   Further testing was required.  It suggested that a) my current sight was roughly 20/150, and b) it appeared that with the surgery and corrective glasses, we might obtain 20/60.  He and I agreed: the risk was worth the effort. 

The surgery occurred on December 14th.  Tests on the 15th and again on the 21st indicated that the earlier predictions were correct.   A prescription was written that day.   The end result:  On 12/23 I picked up glasses … two pair … which help my vision ... if only by degree.   

I am wearing one now.  One is for general wear, the other … this pair … for the computer which require me to be roughly 14 inches from the screen.   Unfortunately, they do not correct the waviness.   Thus reading and writing continue to be laborious.   I am typing this in 14 pt so as to better see my work and correct my mistakes (I hope).Even then it is tough/ 

When I next see the surgeon (Jan 7th), I will discuss what options there are to correct the wave.  I still have silicone in there as well.  I can actually see it… them.  They appear like clear dishes with a black ring around them.  The main one looks to be about the size of a dime although I am sure it is substantially smaller.  The only appear when I look down, and are not worth addition surgery to remove.  But the waviness might be.  In the weeks to come I will be investigating. 

Which brings me to the future:  Regardless of my present condition … or any potential means to improve it … life goes on, and I need to go on with it.   So I am making plans … with the full realization that sometimes life plans things for you (or despite you.   See the part about the stroke.).  So here they are as of today: 

Work:  I intend to return to it this week, full time.  Over the period since Nov 28, I have gone in a few times … three; four).  I have also worked by phone, using my assistant as my eyes, giving her direction based on my new sight … my mind’s eye.   Much of what I do is analytical.  We gather and post data, mostly n EXCELL, and from that, we draw conclusions.  All the forms we use, I created.  I imbedded the formulas.  And I’ve worked with them long enough to be able to visualize what we are listing; what it all means.  So I can still do things that are productive.  Although my new glasses are not as beneficial as I had hoped, they are better that that which proceeded them.   So over time I will make them work.   End result:  I can continue to make a living 

Transportation:  Maybe one of the worst aspects of this whole ordeal is not being able to drive.   And the surgeon has said that the odds of me ever driving again are slim.  Since the stroke, I have had to rely on others to get me to and from the necessities … groceries, the doctors.  My son and his wife had been fantastic.  My buddies, Sol and Tom, have pinched in.  My assistant, Donna, has picked me up for work a few times.  And to top all of that, even my ex-wife … the mother of my son … has done her part, virtually filling in when none of the others can.  (It pays to end on good terms.  Of course, under the topic, “Time heals all wounds,” we been divorced for over 35 years.) 

But the missing link is having a social life.   My son and I have had dinner a couple of times.  I’ve had lunch with my buddy, Sol, twice, and with Tom once.  But all of these people have lives of their own; families, and little time to spare on me.  Plus, I’ve was a social loner.  I loved going out alone, letting the night bring its own surprises, going home that way too … but not always.  It is who I was; who I am.  That has to change.  Suddenly I want it to.  I am hopeful it will. 

In the interim, soon I will be driven to work by one of a handful of employees who live within striking distance of me.  Of course, I will pay them, buy their gas, and they will be able to park in my slot … which is closer in than the employee lot.  Accordingly my hours will change, adjusted to theirs.  But frankly, I consider that small stuff compared to the alternative, not working at all. 

Writing:  Somehow I will continue to write.  In fact I am mentally planning writing about this whole experience … what it has been like, learning how to live with it, maintaining a positive outlook.  But that can never occur, writing as I am now.   Just this little piece … something I might do in an hour or so … has taken several hours over two days.  So I have already investigating equipment for dictation and transcription.  I have an acquaintance who studied medical transcription at our local Community College, so I know transcribers are close by.  Therefore, this week I hope to learn from her what equipment they mostly use, so I can buy something the locals will be used to.  And once done, my next effort will begin.   I may call it, “How Do You Make The Journey When You Can’t See The Path?” 

My son says I should call it, “They Told Me I’d Go Blind If I Didn’t Quit that.” 

He’s proof that the acorn falls close to the tree. 

See you soon!



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“They Told Me I’d Go Blind If I Didn’t Quit that.”


Pretty damn close to my life title!!!

Okay, not just damn close, but IS my life title!! ;D
Damn Rod. You are inspiring. Your positive spin on everything I am sure impacts on your well being. Love and I never say Hugs but this time I am including a huge one. (and if you can't see I might sneak in a small peck on the cheek)xo
If you have any more surgery, you should demand that they give you your MD in Ophthalmology. Lord knows you deserve it.

As always, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Hang in there.
Rod, I don't know if you're aware of the remarkable improvements in speech recognition software but it sounds like you should.
I'm typing this using the software that came with my Dell studio laptop running Windows 7 ultimate.
The key seems to be a better than consumer crap microphone and some setup time.
Once it knows you/me, it makes fewer typos than I do anyway. Let me know if I can be helpful with more information.
And good luck!
Rod, I don't know if you're aware of the remarkable improvements in speech recognition software but it sounds like you should.
I'm typing this using the software that came with my Dell studio laptop running Windows 7 ultimate.
The key seems to be a better than consumer crap microphone and some setup time.
Once it knows you/me, it makes fewer typos than I do anyway. Let me know if I can be helpful with more information.
And good luck!
oh, man, am i so so glad to hear from you and get the details of all that's gone on lately. you are a marvel, rod. how you can be that positive in the face of all this -- well, it's an example to all of us. i couldn't be more pleased that there have been some good results and there is a chance for more. oh, and what tink is laughing about -- that's pretty funny, too.

i use a mac and have MacSpeechDictate's latest version -- first try was 99% correct with less than five minutes of 'training.' i was a skeptic but no more. the same company makes s/w for windows pcs. it should work well for you. you *don't* need proprietary software to do voice recognition these days. good luck, old friend. and keep us in the loop.
I've been away for a while, Rod. Forgive me for not being up to date on all that has transpired in your life. You have always been the voice of reason and wisdom around here -- the voice of humor as well -- and I can see from your post that nothing has changed. I hope the New Year is filled with love, laughter, good fortune and lots of new (alone and together) memories in the making. Be well.
Rod, Thanks for keeping us updated. It has been quite a journey. No self-pity included I might add. Your humour and positive outlook are always refreshing. Btw, both titles are good. (({{{{Rod}}})))
Rod - your indefatigable approach to this situation is inspiring and is one that I feel certain will lead you to the answers to every roadblock you now face or may face in the future. Thank you for sharing this update with us. I know it took great effort and determination to do this and you are incredibly thoughtful to keep us all in the loop.

You remain in my thoughts and prayers, always, Rod.

Rod, so glad to get an update, and my thoughts and prayers are with you. Are you aware that Adobe has a Read Out Loud function. It is terrific. You can just save a word document as a PDF and it will read it to you. I use it all the time for proofreading.

Peace, and may 2011 bring better times.

i guess you never met this gnome.
you are one brave person.
Here's hoping your eyesight returns. In the meantime, keep writing. If I were you, I would have to actually learn "touch" typing. I still peak at the keys.
Rod, let me save you a trip to the dictionary. If one looks up INSPIRATION, one finds your picture.

Here's apples not falling far from the tree.

Onward! Roger
Well, now. I didn't know any of this before this minute and I'm kind of speechless. I was all set to tell you about the speech recognition features on the newer computers, but others have filled you in. You have an impressive outlook on everything. I have no doubt you will find a way to keep doing whatever it is you want to do. Good luck, Rod.

This post is a sight for sore eyes, and then some!
You are one amazing guy. Where do you find the strength to keep so upbeat? I am always blown away by your fighting spirit.
my god man fate has us in it's hold. u prove it.
I´m so glad to see you back and coping with what happened during the holidays... How was your Christmas night and your New Year´s eve?.... I didn´t know you lived alone... that worries me... I wish I could be there to .. I don´t know... maybe buy your groseries from time to time... you are good friend... welcome back
Keep us posted on what you going on ....
hugs and love from Colombia
You are surely having to deal with a big bunch of crappity crap. Your funny bone sounds fine though and your smart brain is figuring things out and you have good people. Bet you look cute in glasses.
Rod, it is good to finally get an update on you and I am rooting for you a hundred percent, my friend. There are a number of voice recognition programs out there that should serve your purpose. I tried one once but because of my thick Texas accent, it was unable to translate my words....stupid program!
Geez Rod, what an ordeal, and hats off for soldiering through it. Who was the idiot that said these were supposed to be our Golden Years?
Hang in there, my friend.
Glad to hear that you are on the mend Rod, and that your sense of humour hasn't been affected. As an independent spirit (something I relate to well) there will be challenges ahead, but I think you will be up to them. Thanks for keeping us updated.
Rod, you're an inspiration, and you have a wonderful attitude about this setback. May all go well for you, with wishes for a good year and better sight.
Thank you for your update. I hope that the situation continues to unfold in a way that you can manage it and perhaps greatly improve. I wish you a healing and happy new year. I will look forward to reading whenever you have the opportunity to write and I be thinking of you. If I was closer I would lend you a hand.
Came back again, wishing you double good things. Hoping for a better 2011
for you Rod, you deserve it.
Even in the face of adversity Rod, you always manage to see things from a different perspective. I may have to drive up there and take you out to dinner so I can see things from your point of view. Be well, my friend.
To all of you ... each and every one: Thank you for all of your good wishes. Whatever inspiration you may have gotten from me; multiply that 10-fold in what your words bring to my plate. I cna not thank you enough!

To all of you who offered ideas on voice recognition: Great ideas! I will b eon it tomorrrow ... and since I'm peddling on a Dell, I will probably start there ... unless one of you insists that the Cadullac is another brand. I will not be scimping.
But i have to share this:As i read all the good wishes ... and all the recommendations ... I had to wondwer, is there a voice recognizeer that when it hears "humor" will type "humour?" God knows I wnat it if one exists!!!!

And Tink ... I've since learned that if I had closed my eyes once in awhile, I'd probsbly have been OK.

And finally, to Cartouche: I'd love to have dinnerwith you. But don't start driving until you consult with me. The thing is, I am not "up;" I am "over." Fort Myers - Cap Coral is almost straight across from Palm Beach, 28 miles north of Naples, which is directly across the "alley" from Ft. Lauderdale. Maybe you should let me drive! ;o)

Again, thank you all. You are great friends.
YIKES! Why can't people have real lives where they don't have to work when it's time to retire? Is this a great country, or what?

Your spirit in the face of the shit of the economy and doctors is invincible. And just to let you know, there are a lot of people who care about you on OS.
Oh, such good luck in your journey. Losing my sight is my largest fear. I hope you can keep your spirits up.
Thank you so much for this , Rod. I'm remembering when my daughter had to were an eye patch after being hit in the eye by a stray ball. In order to share her experience, I too wore a patch. Even with the full use of one eye, it was one of the most difficult things I've ever done. I can't say how much I admire your determination to continue to share your experience. I appreciate you more than I can say.