If, by chance, my high school English teacher reads this particular blog entry, I feel inclined to start with a sincere note of appreciation to her outstanding tutelage in the area of classic literature. It was in her class that I first discovered (for as smart as I claimed fame to be), I was clueless when it came to Shakespeare; appalled at the darkness of Edgar Alan Poe’s works; wanted justice after reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm; and thought there was no greater written soap opera than that of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. We encountered The Grapes of Wrath, sections of The Canterbury Tales, and most of all, works of the highly esteemed, Charles Dickens.
I like to give any read I pick up a decent try. There are the books that are enjoyable (say 3 of 5 stars); books that are worth discussing and sharing the title along to your friends (say 4 of 5 stars); and books that are all of the previous, plus the fact that you instantly want to reread the book, it is always in thought someway during the day and you take part of the action of plot while dreaming at night. Yes, a true 5 of 5 read can affect one in this manner (true story!) Sad to report, a devastating read can trigger the opposite of all joyous 5 of 5 characteristics single-handedly. For me, that took place my freshman year of high school. The novel: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Maybe it is because Dickens already happened to be a favorite author of mine at the time, that I expected to enjoy the novel as I had A Tale of Two Cities. (Of course, growing up, nothing was considered more classic and traditional in our house at Christmas than A Christmas Carol, especially if Jim Henson Muppets were involved. 🙂 ) Although my English teacher lectured and presented the novel with great enthusiasm, Great Expectations is placed on my “Abandoned: never-to-read-again” shelf in my mental library.
The more I think of expectations, the more funny it seems. We cling to expectations…they are the wins and losses. We run back and forth between the two–expectations must be balanced between the positive and the negative, much like a teeter-totter. When you have no expectations, you can find yourself thrust into a situation where you are inclined to making expectations on a whim. And for me, I did just that very thing yesterday after my cataract correction surgery on my left eye.
Eye surgery is strange; it is vastly different than other surgeries I have encountered. At one point in time, though highly on my anesthesia about ready to be wheeled in the surgery room, I remember thinking, “How am I going to blog about this?” 🙂 The preparation meant loads of different eye drops, getting my IV in place and vitals completed. Towards the last few minutes, the nurse squirted in the final eye drops and I was told to close my eyes. When she left the room, she shut off the lights. I fell asleep.
It was a great sleep…like the deep slumber you enjoy between smacking the snooze button vicariously on your alarm clock in the morning. I had no snooze button, but was quickly awakened when the nurses came back in the room and turned on the lights. Momentarily blinded by brightness, I read Mom’s “I love you” signed hand and they start wheeling me out in the hall. Now, I get confused easily, especially when it comes to reading lips dealing with medical things through eyes such as mine (that is my excuse…truth is I just miss a lot and find out about it later.) A few examples: I thought the surgery would take long (my expectation), but it really was only about twenty minutes. I also knew in my head that I was not going to be put to sleep, but got confused when they put the tubes up my nose (Mom told me later that it was oxygen.)
This all started to make better sense when she told me this, because on the drive home I started talking about the fact that I was “asleep” yet saw the light and things moving around my eye. The light was so bright that up until I left the hospital everything in that eye was orange. 🙂 We were given the instructions for the continuing eye drops at home and they covered my left glasses lens so my eye would not be strained for the day.
I had greater expectations for recovery in terms of time. I expected fast; indeed, the initial results are fast! Immediately after surgery, though temporarily orange, I could see clearly. No more cataract, no more haze! 🙂 But I also learned full recovery takes time. July has just begun. Among everything else in schedule, I have the entire month filled with eye drops three times a day and letting my eye adjust before I can go to a regular eye doctor for a new prescription of a glasses lens for the left eye. My expectations–frustrated!!!, but I can bring it back to balance–as always–by offering praise and thanksgiving, for the ability to see and the blessings from those around me who are the helping hands in my recovery.