Friday, 29 April 2016

Eyes: Update

Well, it has been over a month, and I am doing fine. My eyes are brilliant :)

The right eye sees better for distance.
The left eye sees better for reading.

But, they're still learning to work with each other so sometimes, when I read for too long I feel tired and sleepy. Apparently, that is normal.

My doctor looked into my eyes (!) and says that all is well. I see him again in three months, and an optometrist will evaluate my eyes again to see if I may need glasses for reading. Both the optometrist and my doctor feel that I won't!

Yay!!! Picture me doing a happy dance :)

I am only sixty, and people feel it is young for cataract surgery. Maybe it is. But, the ideal age for this surgery is in your fifties and sixties: When you're still 'young' and fairly healthy, without the complications that can arise from old-age ailments. When you're younger, you're less afraid; you heal faster. This is the first time I've felt young at 60!!! Hahahahah.

My eyes are doing fine!

Saturday, 2 April 2016

The EYES have it!

'Piercing eyes' - a painting by Elaina Wagner, in acrylic

This is not a painting post. It is about my eyes, and my cataracts.

I thought I'd share my experience here, to help anyone out there who has cataracts, or knows someone who does.

I had a cataract in my right eye. It was growing over my pupil, so my vision was cloudy and growing steadily worse with each passing day. I went to see an eye specialist, who confirmed that it was a cataract, but refused to do anything about it - because 'it would make no difference, right now.' She told me to go home and forget about it (!) and come back and see her in six months. My eyes were fine, apparently. I put too much store on seeing clearly, huh?!

That was in June last year. A follow-up visit in January, 2016, had the same outcome. Let's be polite and just say that I did not concur with her.

So, I went to ISEC . And how my life has changed.

I saw an excellent doctor* who confirmed that the cataract in my right eye was 'bad' and that it surely was affecting the quality of my life. He also saw the beginnings of a cataract in my left eye. He suggested a cataract op for both eyes: He planned to pop new lenses in, and give me 6/6 vision. OMG, seriously?!

I scheduled my operations one week apart: the first one in the following week. The procedure itself lasts for only 10 minutes or so, and only requires drops! It is done under local anesthesia, and the only thing to fear is fear itself, I realise now. There was no pain - either before, during, or after surgery. Just a slight discomfort, during. And, a feeling like there's an eyelash stuck under your lid for a few hours afterwards.

The first operation was on my right eye. In the afternoon. This was the eye which hadn't been seeing much for almost a year, but by evening I was seeing fairly clearly out of it. The second op happened one week later. Four days ago. And, I'm seeing out of both eyes brilliantly :)

I was fitted with a lens that allowed for both distance and close vision in my right eye. But, to read, I had to hold whatever I was reading at arm's length. So, to address that, my doctor has fitted a different lens in my left eye. This lens now enables me to read like a normal person. How brilliant is that?

My brain takes over when I need to switch from seeing far into the distance clearly, and needing to focus on something near. But, it's still processing this, so if I do too much stuff online that involves a lot of reading, my eyes tire. But, I can play my word and crash-and-burn games on my tablet without a problem; and the tv is what's keeping me sane while I wait for my eyesight to come into its own.

ISEC is a specialist centre, and it is a top-notch establishment. I called to make an appointment - and from that point onwards, things flowed like a breeze. From the technicians who handled my eye-tests and scans, to the nursing staff, to my consultation with my doctor: every moment was handled with a professionalism that inspired confidence.

I wish everyone's experience could be as good as mine was.

My cataract surgeries were not inexpensive, by any stretch of the imagination. But, my medical insurance provider - Prudential Malaysia - handled it all, hassle free.

Like I said at the start, this is just a sharing of my experience of cataract surgery. There's a lot of misinformation out there, and a lot of it is confusing and scary. I'm sharing my experience because it was brilliant, and I am grateful that I can see again, without problems.

This is my sixtieth year on this earth. I think my new eyes are going to be my best-est present evah!


* Dr Ronald Das - He looks so much better than his profile pix. I promise. Good looking and young - I didn't want no shakey-handed old man cutting into my eyes!!
Time to update your profile pix, doc! ;)
You can find out about eyes and eye issues on his Facebook page, here

Friday, 18 March 2016

Sunrise mandala

My mandala for March has sunrise colours!!! In keeping with the heatwave we are now experiencing here in Malaysia? Yes, apparently, we need even more sun!!!!

It is a fairly big piece - 18 inches square, in acrylic, on board. The design is worked in acrylic dimensional paint that has a lovely pearly glow.

Friday, 11 March 2016

An old staple

Because I am struggling with watercolours, I need to feel that I've not lost it: So, I return to what I know and paint something in acrylics!!! And for peace of mind, and to have a lovely, happy experience with painting, I usually choose roses.

The roses just dripped off my brush this round, and I enjoyed painting them. I filled in the gaps with forget-me-nots, as usual.

The focus rose turned out fluff and in-your-face, but the two off focus ones are really turned out better, I thought. So, here they are, below - getting a bit of focus, even though they're off-focus!

This is a fairly large piece - by my standards, of course! - 17 x 13 inches, on board. In acrylics, of course :)

Watercolours, times two

So, the adventure continues, and I think I'm sorta improving. This first piece is of a flame of the forest tree - one of my favourite trees, here in Malaysia. So, in this one, I'm attempting a new tree; a distant house, and a bit of flowing water.

This piece is actually based on a video demo by Joanne Boon Thomas. Her demo is in charcoal, but I loved the way she explained it all, so I decided to 'colourise' it and practise my lights and darks!

Saturday, 20 February 2016

February Mandala

Remember that mandala I shared yesterday? Well, here it is, all completed!

I finished the board with paste, and then, drew on the mandala. The design is painted on with acrylic, and the finer details are piped on with dimensional paint. It has a pearly finish, so the mandala sorta glows in different light. Naise!!!

This is me, actually working on it!!! It measures 18-inches square, so it took some working on!!!

I usually do the lines and circles, and preliminary design in watercolour pencil, so that when the acrylic paints go on, they sorta dissolve into it, and there are no hard lines or pencil marks showing through. Later, I work the end-design in a marker-pen.

I stared this in December - prepping theboard with paste to give it that rustic, unfinished plaster look, which I love. Then, it sat on a shelf till I could figure out just what its design would be!

And finally, here it is in our living room :)

Friday, 19 February 2016

Free mandala for colouring

Right click on the image, and save this - and colour or doodle away!

I'm almost finsihed with this one, and will post a pix of it soon!


More watercolours . . .

. . . and the adventures and misadventures continue!

Above: Four pieces that I did over the Valentine's period. Hearts were in the air, and I thought I'd try a heart of heart, and a tree of hearts. The tree is all right - good practise for working on dilution strengths. The heart had a tragic flaw - but you can't see it, because I put the tulips right over that!!!!

The tulips were an exercise for colour and control - and I'd like the hues to be a little less strong, and more subtle.

Right at the back is a landscape that belongs in the back.

I love trees - even when they've shed all their leaves and are waiting for spring. A hint of sky, and green for where it's standing. I think my trees need to chill and relax more. Hang loose, wil' ya!

Negative painting has always fascinated me, and this is my first attempt at trees using this technique. All my watercolour-practice pieces are small: 6 x 9 inches - easy for a newbie to manage, I feel.

When I have mastered watercolours a bit more, and can get the paints to dance where I want them to, and stay where they're supposed to, I'd like to do something like this again: A bigger piece, this time.

Line and wash.
This piece is from a video lesson by Ms Bronte, on You Tube. The picture is outlined in ink (I need to get my hands on a better, waterproof pen!!!!), and then painted.

This is fun to do, and I see myself doing many more of these :)

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