Corneal Transplantation (A daughter’s diary)

Mom had her cataract surgery a few years ago. I remember it was the first crappy moment in my late 20’s. She was very cranky that no body cares about her, I was in the middle of my hard years when my career was at the low point, I need a moral support and wanted to continue my study to Europe but both parents didn’t let me go, and Dad was overly paranoid. Anyway, she had her cataract surgery then, and it was OK. Later on, her sight has slightly declined. Her vision is covered by a thick mist every morning, and she sees people as shadows. She can’t go anywhere alone and needs a guidance especially when climbing stairs. She had been going to an ophthalmologist in the hospital near our house, but the doctor refused to do a surgery. Unsatisfied, she went to Jakarta Eye Center. The ophthalmologist found her cornea’s function has been declined, and suggested her a keratoplasty – a corneal transplantation. This was a bit shocking to me, as we never had any of our family members having a transplantation surgery. But I tried to relax and searched for informations about keratoplasty. I found many blogs written by people who have done it, testimonial videos on youtube, and articles about this. They look fine. But mom felt down just after she got the news. She could hardly accept the situation where she has to wait for the donor. “What should I do before the surgery? I am bored! I want to go shopping and do things but I can’t see!”. So she kept asking me to take her along to anywhere I go for my weekend – restaurant, mall, supermarket, beauty salon, etc – , asking me to bring her some Satay or Martabak on my way back from work, grumbling, complaining, etc. She becomes very pushy too. I must say, having her being cranky is much more depressing and frustrating than knowing the fact about her cornea. I don’t know, but somehow I always feel that there is a vibration between me and her. She always know whenever I feel bad, and vice versa. And this time I feel a terribly hard vibration that hits me on my whole body and mind. I couldn’t concentrate at work, I always feel headache, I could hardly sleep, I cried while driving, I felt really really tired. I almost told my boss to let me step down from my position as the team leader of our Center’s anniversary. I had so many, overlapped tasks this month. Well, at least until the end of this year. Deadlines appear like a bunch of ‘Dementors’ that sucks the oxygen around me. My mind immediately told me “what people really need whenever they have a bad time is moral support”. Then I tried to talk with my friends about my mom’s condition, tell them what I feel and what I fear of. My friend Suci also has a father with liver problem. She often worry too about him. Sharing problems with a dear friend is pretty relieving. I remember the men and women I saw in the internet. They survived from keratoplasty. There is an association for people who suffer from corneal problem. These people share their stories through blogs and testimonials in Youtube. I read the blogs to her, showed the videos to her and she said, “Wow, that’s exactly what happen to me every morning! Yes! That’s true!”. I think, Mom has to talk with other people who have the same problem, share their feelings and support each other. I immediately recalled the name of a foundation for people with visual disability. MITRA NETRA, yes, I think I met a guy from this foundation somewhere in a conference last year. I told my mom about it, and she was enthusiastic about going there. Two days ago she went there with my Dad and one of our bakers, Lela. I couldn’t go with her because I had to work. It was quiet an impressive moment for her, I think, for she phoned me and told me everything about that place. I was happy to hear her voice, full of spirit and confidence. “Those people are totally blind! I am even better than them, but they are so energetic and live as if they’re normal! The guy who welcomed us is blind. I am so impressed that he can operate the computer, talk with me, walking here and there and laughing…. I should have been more relaxed like them!” and I said “YEES OF COOURRRSEEE!!!”. Mitra Netra provides counseling and courses. The courses are Braille, talking-computer, cooking and English club, abacus/mathematics, and guidance for students who will take university entrance exam.  They also hold some seminars about health, culture, etc. Mom is going to take the Braille. She met a young blind man who came there to study mathematics. He’s a pesantren student. He said, “Before I came here, I thought I was the only human in this world who is blind.” I am happy that she got her confidence back. Well, at least, stronger than before. It’s quiet frustrating to see her down, for she used to be an independent woman, active, and she’s a doctor. I keep trying to give her attention no matter how tired I am. Taking her out for lunch, going to beauty salon, having facial treatment, reflexology, etc. Well, sometimes I must tell her that I am tired, and it’s OK. She just giggled when I told her that I couldn’t concentrate at work because she “sent” me a strong vibration from her stress. However I feel a contentment in this situation. We used to be a little bit physically detached. But since I have to hold her hand while walking in the mall, I have the chance to feel her skin in my palm, and we become emotionally attached. It makes me a bit relaxed. It’s been ages since I hold her hand when she took me for shopping when I was a little kid. And now I do the same thing, but I am the person who guides the other. That’s the beautiful thing you can get when your parent is having a health problem.


2 thoughts on “Corneal Transplantation (A daughter’s diary)

  1. amaliacelebi berkata:

    cpt sembuh buat nyokap, kondisi kta kurang lebih sama, tp problem nyokap gw pikun akut, lupaan bgt, selalu mengulang2x cerita yg sama….sedih klo ingat masa sehat nya dulu, tp disinilah yg namanya cobaan lebih tepatnya sih blessed buat kta….semoga sakit nya mereka bs mjd peluruh dosa2xnya, selain doa dan usaha, perbanyak beramal jg konon kbrnya tips ini klo dijalanin dgn ikhlas ampuhhhh loh…..tetep semangat ya jeng, hugz!

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