Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jimmy Akin's Prayer Request

I Don’t Normally Ask for Prayers . . .
by Jimmy Akin

. . . but this time I would like to do so.
Here’s the situation: For some time, I have been developing cataracts in my eyes. I’m very young to get them, but I’m told that the men in my family tend to get them unusually early. (I’m also told that some people are even born with cataracts, though that wasn’t the case with me.)
Just recently, I have lost the central part of my vision to the cataracts. The result is that I may, at the moment, I may be legally blind.
I don’t know whether that’s the case, but I do know that at the moment my vision is so bad that I can’t:
  1. Drive a car.
  2. Walk across a multi-lane street (can’t see approaching cars or lighted “Walk” signs).
  3. Cook food (e.g., meat) that I would need to see in order to determine whether it is underdone, done, or overdone.
  4. Read anything written on paper (e.g., anything in any book or anything on an individual sheet of paper).
  5. Read anything on a normal computer screen (i.e., one that hasn’t been specially adjusted for my condition).
  6. Read anything at all without significant eye strain.
  7. See the letters on the keyboard I’m typing on (fortunately, I touch type, but it makes it hard to enter complex passwords when the characters on the specially-adjusted screen are blanked out).
  8. Use audio or video editing software (making it hard to do my podcast and YouTube videos).
  9. See faces and facial expressions, even when the person is close.
It’s also really hard to read and respond to email, so I’m slower about that, too.

You can imagine how this is forcing me to adapt to loss of vision (e.g., I’m having to use coping techniques like memorizing where I put down an object so that I know where to find it again), how it’s slowing down some of my efforts (e.g., after straining my eyes at a computer screen all day, I don’t have that much vision left to interact on the Internet at night), and generally adding strain to my efforts to lead a normal life.

Basically, I can’t see anything far away or close up. I can only see things in middle distance, and then they look blurry and cloudy, like I am looking at a world filled with fog through a blurry lens.

All this has given me a new understanding of the situation that those find themselves in who have vision far worse than the nearsightedness that I’m used to. I’ve been having to develop many of the coping techniques needed by the blind and partially blind.

I can, surprisingly, call square dances. In fact, I can even “sight call” (i.e., use visual cues to match the dancers up using the color of their clothing as clues to who they are). I just need someone to give me a ride to and from the dance which, happily, my Friday club is providing me.
The good news is that cataracts should be eminently fixable. In fact, they tell me that once I get the needed surgery in both eyes, my vision is likely to be better than it has been since I was a boy. I may not need glasses at all to drive, and I may not need anything but nonprescription, supermarket glasses to read (if that).
But we’ll have to see (no pun intended). Things could go badly with the surgery or the healing of my eyes afterward.

And the stakes are high. It’s my eyes we’re talking about.

That’s why I thought I’d break with my usual practice and let people know about the situation in case they would like to pray.

I would be very greatful.

The surgery on my first eye is scheduled for Tuesday, August 21st. The second eye will be operated upon a few weeks after that.

Whatever mention of me and my intentions that you might feel moved to make in your prayers, you have my sincere gratitude.

Please also pray for all those who have to live with vision loss on either a temporary or a permanent basis.
Thank you!

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