Jean Croker Petke

What’s a Person To Do?

What’s a Person To Do?

The doc said,

  • you didn’t cause this problem
  • there’s nothing you could have done to improve it
  • there’s no cure, nothing we can do
  • we’ll run one more test

Just having a plan makes me feel better. We have a name for the problem and know what we’re going to do next.

The brutal truth is that the right optic nerve is damaged which has created permanent vision loss in that eye.

This is a loss worth noting and mourning. Who’d have thought I have to deal with this in the last quarter of my life? Unexpected and irreversible — never words we want to hear regarding a physical condition/deterioration we are experiencing.

The doc didn’t offer false hope. This last test will answer a couple of questions he has.

The big question is: what do I do now?

  • I can kick and scream and carry on about the unfairness, the cruelty, the absence of treatment and cure
  • I can shut down: quit reading books, quit playing piano, quit driving
  • I can pull the covers over my head and cry, “Woe is me.”
  • I can be grateful I have two eyes, one of which is working very well
  • I can begin making adjustments where needed
  • I can ask for help, especially for night driving.
  • I can adopt a positive attitude — about what I have, not about what I’ve lost.

My last boss often said, “Attitude is everything. And sometimes it’s the only thing you have control of.” He was absolutely right. Life dishes out a lot of stuff sometimes. Stuff we didn’t want. Stuff we didn’t see coming. Stuff that complicates our situation.

All I can really do, since this life stuff is beyond my control, is to choose how I’m going to deal with it. How can I make the best of a difficult situation?

  • I’ll learn as much as I can about my condition
  • I’ll be a compliant patient and do what the doc says
  • I’ll ask lots of questions of the doc
  • I’ll focus on continuing activities and ventures that are important to me without moaning and groaning about things I may have to give up, not now perhaps, but maybe later.
  • Monitor my attitude
  • I’ll control what I can in my life: my practicing, removing clutter, eliminating things that hassle me

While you may not have lost vision, I suspect you’ve lost other things in your life that have required adjustment. As I’ve said often, the process of dealing with it is the same, whether the loss is major or minor or an accumulation of things.

Check your attitude.

It will make all the difference.


Until next Tuesday . . .



4 Comments - Leave a Comment
  • Joan Wilson -

    Jean, I am so sorry about your news. You definitely have the right attitude. It took me a long time to get to that point. Keep on keeping on .

  • Pam Baker-Redman -

    Jean, I’m in your corner. You can’t hear me, but I am cheering for you from the sidelines. It is absolutely normal to feel some sadness over the loss of function. Planning and making life adjustments is just another part of the journey. I recently took a hearing conservation course to become certified to do hearing exams. The doctor who taught me asked the class the question regarding which a person would miss most: hearing versus eyesight….and why. This was a tough question. I replied hearing. My reasoning was that you can still hear the beauty of music, the voices of those you love and the words “I love you.” You are not surrounded my silence. I used the example of Ray Charles & Stevie Wonder….nobody considered either of THEM handicapped…..and if anything, their other senses were enhanced to compensate for the loss of vision.
    So “rock on” Jean Petke…..keep doing what you love AND keeping it positive. Hear the cheering? Of course you do! A whole bunch of your friends, family and readers are doing just that…..cheering you on.

  • Vicky Hatfield -

    Jean, I’m so sorry to hear this news. My 83-year-old uncle just lost his sight in his left eye due to retinal detachment and two failed surgeries. He’s struggling to adjust, but he is viciously determined to adjust. I believe you to be just as determined. I haven’t experienced loss of sight, so I can’t say “I understand” because I can’t completely unless I walk in your shoes, but I know that this is a difficult time in your life. Stay determined, pray, and do your best to take each day one step at a time. Don’t give up on any of your endeavors because you have much to contribute to many. And stay determined. I will be praying for you and cheering you on!

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