Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Friday, February 24, 2012

Speak Not, Want Not, But Chronicle It For Prosperity

I stop talking to people. I mean, really I stopped calling and having people call me on the telephone. It just got to a point where I just didn't want to have conversations with people anymore. I don't know what got into me and I kind of feel the same way right now, but let me tell you when you're going through something people can only empathize, sometimes talk isn't enough. It's not that I'm looking for sympathy or even an understanding for that matter, what I'm really looking for someone I could just shoot the shit with. When I started going through the deeper portions of the sight loss before the hemorrhages happened, I just made a decision to stop talking.

I haven't talked to many people since mid to late December. I just don't have the urge to get on the phone and chat anymore. When I drove down to North Carolina from Chicago, everything changed. I'm still here in North Carolina because my vision got so bad I just couldn't see well enough to drive back. And I still haven't talked to many people. Other than logistics, there's really nothing to discuss with folks. Now I'm not some cantankerous old man who is upset and angry about losing his eyesight, I'm just an average dude who really doesn't need to hear about or discuss anything right now. People seem to have forgotten how to have regular conversation with me, like I'm a pariah or something. Fuck your sympathy! If you're not a surgeon or a specialist, then we really have nothing to discuss.

So I stopped talking on the phone. Stop messaging people. I don't send nor do I receive many text messages. I speak to my god sister in Nashville, my sponsor from Chicago who is driving me up next week, my mother maybe once a week or so, my dad maybe once or twice a month and that's about it.

Now I have shared a text with a couple of my blogger friends and someone special out of Atlanta recently, but to be honest with you it's not a whole lot of chatter going on. I don't plan on poking my head out of my ostrich hole and don't plan to go out to do stuff when I get back to Chicago. I think I'll just keep to myself. Like I said, I'm not angry or anything, I'm just maintaining. I'm just trying to stay with myself by myself and for myself. I think this'll help me recover and from what I hear, it may take up to eight months to a year for me to recover from all of the surgeries that I need to have on my eyes. So I look at things a little bit differently, and I just plan on going at this recovery thing alone, stay in the house and maintain until things get better. I really don't feel the need to be social.

Now I do plan to shoot some video, blog and take pictures to put as much information about the retinal surgery proceedure here on the blog. I think I have to let folks know what people have to go through that have retinal problems. I will do the best I can to try to chronicle as much as I can to my tolerance. It's a little difficult for me right now because I have to make a visual review of what I speak into either my tablet on my desktop computer and sometimes I just don't have the wherewithal to see the small letters and text, so I'll do the best I can.

I'll be at a retinal specialist's office here in North Carolina Monday morning very early. I don't plan on making any videos or anything for that particular visit, but I will take some pictures and I will let you guys know what happened. Until that time, you just try to have a good weekend and I will toughen up and get my ass to the office and see what happens from there.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Lisa Lopes

Just as quickly as I set out to make a blog post the other day, I feel like at this particular point, I've already run out of things to say. I mean, I'm doing well… Well, well enough to be doing this, I feel like I could be doing more. As a matter of fact I want to do more but I just can't to be honest. It feels like its been a long process even though I had a hemorrhage in my left eye on December 28. It feels like it's been a year for that matter, but I maintain.

Yeah, on the last week of last year I had what's considered an 'eye stroke'. I  had a massive hemorrhage - A blood vessel burst in my left eye. Now I have tiny hemorrhages in my right eye and I can halfway see out of my right but most of the vision is gone out of my left. It actually happened when I was sleep. I was preparing to make a drive to North Carolina to spend the new year with special people and special friends. When I woke up, I felt like I had some sort of epiphany or some real deep, meaningful dream that I just couldn't remember. I brushed it off, and got myself to get ready to go.

I drove all the way to North Carolina with a white film type substance over my left eye. I just couldn't shake that filminess. I was able to safely navigate the road, but it bothered me that I couldn't shake this film. Now I do have a pair of Blue Blocker type glasses that I bought a truck stop some years ago that wrap around my current prescription lenses and when I put that on during the daytime,  everything turned out fine. It really didn't hit me that something was wrong to a point where particular points of damage was done until I just couldn't see anything right around the second week of January.

So of course I ended up at an ophthalmologist's office. They did digital imaging, scanned my eyes and went deep inside and took a lot of pictures. What we saw was very very discouraging to me. There is about 75% of my left eye basically soaking in blood. The hemorrhage broke and over the period of a couple weeks the eye pretty much filled up with blood. As far as the right is concerned, basically there are tiny hemorrhages and a little blood there, so they do have to go in to remove blood from the right eye as well. It looks like I'm going to need laser surgery to close up the hemorrhaging bleeding points. I'm not happy about this, but it needs to be done.

It looks like it's going to take a series of surgeries to correct all of my problems in both eyes. The part that really messes me up isn't the fact that it'll take eight months to a year to recover fully from all of these surgeries. It looks like I have to get over the fact that they're going to take instruments and put them into the eyeball itself to vacuum out the bad blood and then insert another smaller instrument with the laser beam thingee to close up the hemorrhage points. That's a lot for man to take to know that they're going to stick instruments his eyeballs. And did I mention that people don't know what to do with themselves around me? I am NOT an invalid. I don't need 'help', but I digress...

I got to do what I got to do.

Oh and I'm headed back to Chicago this weekend to set up shop, get a new place and to be centrally located close to my surgeons, support system and the VA hospital so that should be fun. Another road trip but this time I'm not driving.

ROAD TRIP!!!

I will be filming this... Hell, I can't see much, but I can aim and shoot. Gotta chronicle all of this stuff for future review. Plus, my life is a mess right now, might as well share it with the world.

Monday, February 20, 2012

I Still Am...

Breathing.

Alive with focus.

Motivated to, for and by change.

Open to love.

Here in the flesh.

Affected by degenerative disease.

Fighting said disease.

Winning.

In trouble.

I wish I could state something different, but my fight took a hard left turn and now I fight blindness. There was a physical incident late December that could affect how I live the rest of my life. Yes, I'm in physical trouble, but I'm not worried. I let go way before these problems got worse.

Or maybe this is my 'blessing'?

Eh, who knows. Just know that I'm fine and now that I finally gave in, purchased and learned to use voice recognition software (Flex T9 for Android, Mac Speech Dictate and Dragon Naturally Speaking for PC), I should be here more often. I want to blog about this process, diabetes and retinopathy. I believe it's important.

I refuse to suffer in silence, and if I can provide insight for some and information for others with my condition, or scare the hell out of some folk that just can't seem to do right, then... Let the chronicle begin.

More later. It's damn near 5am and I could be getting some sleep and not disturbing the downstairs neighbor. Speech recognition, remember?