Struggling back – insights of self

Struggling back - insights of self

Hi folks,

Today’s post is very introspective. Sorry.  It’s more a cathartic output for myself than a post for others.

Once upon a time I leapt of a cliff into deep water. I did so to prove to myself that I can overcome fear – in this case my fear of heights. The drop happened faster than I had imagined. In fact, it was not so bad. But then I struck the water and found myself much further down than I had planned upon. I knew which way was up, and I strived in that direction, but for a while I did not think that I would make it with the breath that I had left. For the eternal course of a few seconds I felt tired and overwhelmed and desperate. It was a terrible feeling. But then I popped up into the air and the light and relief rapidly evolved into jubilation. Later I did it again and the struggle was briefer and the joy greater.

As you read this, I am still underwater. No, not real water, just the metaphorical stuff.

I honestly did not expect redundancy to so deflate me. The storms which struck on the last day of work isolated me by taking me away from the internet for three weeks (silly, I know, but that is how I felt). In those weeks a creeping doubt surfaced. Was I any good at my key skills? Did my role deserve to be made redundant? Would I get another job? Would I lose everything?

Such thoughts can really drain your soul.

Then I discovered that I would need undertake a cornea transplant/graft. This was both a joy and a dread. A joy in that I wanted sight back in my left eye. But I so hated eye operations. This was my third.

On the Ides of March (15th) I went under the knife. I was conscious – wide awake – with only the side of my head numbed. During the last operation I had seen nothing but what appeared to be a light sabre duel in the dark and that had been acceptable. But this time, at about 3cm from my eye, a scalpel materialised in front of me. 3cm was the extent of my distance vision pre-operation.

“Am I supposed to actually see the scalpel?” I blurted.

“Yes,” the surgeon responded. I think that he gave an explanation too, but that did not stick. All that filled my mind was that I was going to have to watch him cut off a part of my eye and stitch on another part.

And indeed, that is what I did do. Talk about psychological scarring!

This said, the surgeon did a marvellous job. Almost three weeks later I am stoked to report that I can see distant objects with that eye – albeit blurry distant objects. Next week he may start trying out lenses on me, which will be good because I am sick of the fuzzy land that I have been inhabiting for quite a while now.

The only down side has been that I turned out to be one of the unlucky few who find light unbearable for some time after the operation. To begin with I stayed indoors. Unfortunately I had a cousin visit from North Carolina (in the US, I live in Australia). I had not seen her since I was 2 years old (so my memory of her was a tad vague). I showed her around for a day, despite the eye, and I swear it was like someone poking a charred stick into my eye socket. This, despite wearing dark sunnies and a cotton wad. The only other outing was a day at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show. Needed to do this as both my daughter and I had entered the photography competition there. Neither of us won anything, but that was not the goal. Rhiannon was elated seeing her photo up there with others. This aside, I remain mostly inside. It leaves me feeling depressed. Until today I was not even using the computer very much. Instead I just lay on my lounge listening to documentaries and quiz shows.

The only other piece of excitement was some frustration with the DAZ website. I used to have a gallery of my art there. But then I posted my last picture. You know, this one:


Apparently it was too rude and got taken down, a stern email coming my way.

I thereupon entered into a fairly energetic campaign to turn that decision around but I failed to sway them. I therefore have removed my gallery from their site.

So what is in my immediate future?

More healing, but the biggest challenge is going to be learning Blender properly. I have to design some art work for a medical conference in Paris. This involves creating a 3D lab with an X-Ray machine. I am a bit overwhelmed, but there it is.

OK. My eye is sore. I will stop writing now.

Apologies to you all. I have ignored you and feel much guilt. Hopefully I will come gasping out of the water soon.







  1. Ah, Greg. Sounds tough. It hadn’t occurred to me that you would have to watch the eye surgery happening! I hope you feel more comfortable soon xxx


    1. LOL. It had not occurred to me either until that scalpel materialised!!!!!!!!! *there can never be enough exclamation marks) :)

      Luckily time seems to be healing both the physical and mental scars :)

      Thanks :)



  2. Keep your chin up mate, from what you have written it seems that the worst is now behind you. I was going to write’ and the future looks bright’ but luckily I remembered what you wrote about light so changed my mind. The work you are doing for the medical conference sounds like a real challenge and will certainly keep your mind off scalpels and all the rest.

    I may have mentioned to you previously that the transition from full time employment to semi retirement or whatever is never a simple undertaking. In my case it took me a couple of years to adjust to my new life after over thirty five years of regimentation and stress. I acquired new hobbies, new friends and best of all, a new outlook on life.

    It wont be long before you are giving your mates the same advice.


    1. LOL. :) Yep, the future is looking brighter. I went to a BBQ last night and everyone was being kind and tip-toing around my problem. I ended up making a joke about everything getting “cornea” and that broke the ice. Happy to laugh about it :)

      No the transition is not easy. Strange really. I cannot accept that I am in my 50s. I really want to stay semi-retired. Or at least find a new occupation that is less stressful. I am also really enjoying my daughter’s High School studies. Each night she comes home and does her homework. Inevitably there are questions and then I get to guide her without actually giving answers. The other day I actually spent 3 hours training her for an upcoming science test, writing questions for her to answer etc. Really fun :)

      Thanks :)



  3. Please pardon my language, but what in the actual hell do they mean by “rude”??? It’s ART!!! And good art at that… Grr, I’ll never understand today’s society and their increasing fear of the human body. Well… you’re better off without that site, me thinks. I wonder how they would react to Michelangelo’s work… probably would clutch their pearls and have fainting spells? Yeah? LOL!
    I’m sorry for your eye struggles, I went through the exact same thing post-op, but it only lasted for three weeks and the final outcome is that I can read books with my left eye. I haven’t been able to read real books (not ebooks set on the highest font setting or audiobooks), for over a decade, so I’m a lot giddy about that. However, I was given the option to be under anesthesia (aka: completely knocked out!) and I didn’t hesitate to take that option. I had a panic attack on the operating table, just seeing the scalpeljustice’s resting nearby before the happy injection kicked in, so I couldn’t imagine being awake for entire thing. Hugs you, sir, you are too brave! I wish you all the luck in your recovery. :-)


    1. I meant, “just sitting” not “justice”, damn autocorrect… I’m replying to you on my Kindle, since my laptop died and I’m waiting for a replacement. Sorry about that. :-)


    2. Thanks :) I wish that I had been given the option to go completely under. LOL. Oh well, an experience :) Today was my first relatively good day. I guess that’s about 3 weeks. I have also started reading City of Bones, part of the Mortal Instruments series. It called out to me a couple of days ago in a book shop when Rhiannon (my daughter) was redeeming a book voucher for herself. She got 2 books and I got that. :)

      Yep. Apparently they have a rule about nudity. Thing is, the girl is wearing a skirt (though it’s hard to tell in the darkness) and has her arm over her breasts. Personally I love the human body. I agree with you totally.


      PS: I am not in the least way brave. Hope everything continues well with your recovery :)


      1. Ah, it’s so awesome that you’re reading books as well! Today, I read a Time magazine completely dedicated to astronaut Scott Kelly’s year long stay in space! I’m so giddy over the fact that I can read it now! So, I’m very pleased to hear that you can appreciate the same joys as well. Isn’t it wonderful? Tee-hee! :-D

        And no matter your protests, I do believe that you are VERY brave, sir! I wouldn’t have gone through with my surgery, if there was no option to be completely under… Knowing myself and my anxiety well, I would have called the whole thing off and continue to live a life of blindness. You are a “beast” …as the kids say these days! LOL! I’m happy for you! :-)


  4. Hi Greg! I should’ve replied sooner, but android apps somehow don’t work so well commenting on blogs hosted on their own servers. You’re certainly a super courageous person. I respect the determination of those who agree to any surgery that isn’t a matter of life and death. I know I never will. DAZ3D’s ideas of what constitutes free speech and acceptable levels of nudity are notorious for being iffy, to put it mildly, so hopefully you didn’t take their stubbornness to heart. Their gallery isn’t worth it either way, it’s more like an afterthought than a useful addition. DeviantArt offers a much better experience, although it does take an effort to get yourself noticed there. But I’m sure you could do well there. And as for the Blender project, it’s certainly a challenge! You could try looking for models to use as a starting point on BlendSwap – many come with the CC0 license so that you could even redistribute the results of your work. Wishing you all the success!


    1. Thanks my friend :) I will look into your suggestions :) Blender certainly is a challenge. I’ve used the model I crafted in Blender in a DZ render with DAZ models to create some great images for that Paris conference that I mention. Can’t wait to show people. Alas that will have to wait till after the conference. This said, I am getting better at blender :)


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