So I was talking with Mike Galley today. I talk with him and his wife, Jane, most days. They keep everything running in the Global Missions Office here at the Liebenzell
headquarters. So today he was asking and I was telling him about the 17 different small pieces of equipment and solutions I use everyday just to be able to wear this SynergEyes contact lens so I can see, not to mention the limitations and cautions I have to consider. He suggested I let you know that it's not just a matter of waking up every morning, sticking the lens in my eye and then going about my daily business, and then when I'm done for the day, taking it out and going to sleep. It's a little more complicated than that. Pictured below are the 17 small pieces of equipment and solutions I handle everyday. All the stuff you see lasts approximately for one month and costs about $120.
I won't bore you with ALL the details, but just for example, since I can only wear the lens for 12 hours a day, I have to plan which 12 hours that's going to be. If I'm going to have a day that begins early, say from 7AM to 7PM, that means whatever I want to do after 7PM, it's got to be inside and at home where seeing is not so important. So I'm a little bit limited that way. You get the picture.
Now, to the stuff. Did you know that before I put the lens into my eye, I use 3 different kinds of soap? One soap is to clean my hands, one soap is to clean dust from my eyelashes, and one soap is to clean off the lanolin and fragrance from the soap I just used. Crazy.
Another example, just before I take the lens out, besides repeating the "soap procedure" I just described, I have to fill one of those cylinders with a disinfecting solution, drop a little tablet in there called a neutralizer, put my lens in one of those baskets, screw the basket in the cylinder, and wait 6 hours. And once a week, I use a second little tablet, too.
One last example. Now the doctor said I CANNOT sleep with one of those lenses in my eye. So one of the first questions I asked her was, "What if I need to take a nap during the day? When I take the lens out, do I have to wait 6 hours before I can put it back in?" No, if I need a nap, I simply use a DIFFERENT solution, and a DIFFERENT cylinder, and a DIFFERENT basket!
And I can't wear it on plane rides over 1 1/2 hours, and I must use eye drops at least 4 times a day, and I must avoid at all costs getting even the tiniest speck of dust between the lens and my eye, and, and, and...THEN THERE IS THE OTHER LENS - which is totally different FROM THE SynergEyes lens and uses totally different equipment and solutions and procedures and eye drops! BUT I CAN USE THE SAME 3 SOAPS!
Well, this is what I'm learning so far. Is it worth it? You might think handling 17 different items every day multiple times might get a little tedious and frustrating, and it might become that way - someday. But for now, I praise God, and even now do so with tears in my eyes, because I can see. And if that's what it takes to see, then it's worth it! Every bit of it.
I just thought I'd let you know. And to those of you who gave me your prayers and finances, I thank you with my whole heart.
It might slow me down a little bit when I get back to the field, but I'll just have to work and plan smarter.