Monday, May 26, 2014

Eye Update


So the appointment was great! I CAN LOOK UP!!!! Not like, UP up, but the bubble is small enough that I'm allowed to look forward, and SLEEP NORMALLY!!! HOORAH!!! 

Elder Lee and me with Dr 신. She's the surgeon who's been working with me through all of this. 
She's so awesome! We love her.

I'm still not allowed to run, or do any other kind of exercise, but I am allowed to walk around. So Elder Lee and I are going to go back to our area and hang out there. We won't do much; we're only going to do lessons with investigators, or maybe member dinners and lessons. We're not going to be out on the streets proselyting for hours and hours.

Also, I found out what kind of gas is inside my eye. SF6. Sulfur hexafluoride. There's like sulfur and fluorine in my eye! Whaaaaaaat?

Hahaha anyways, that's the update! I'm so happy right now! My neck is even happier!

Love you lots!

Elder Shaver

Sunday, May 25, 2014

A week of NOTHING

It's seriously been a week of NOTHING.


I've been in the mission home ALL WEEK. The only time we left was a little adventure to the corner store to get some snacks. I've literally been in here for a WHOLE WEEK.

I guess I also went to the hospital once for a check up, but it was so soon after the surgery that nothing of note happened.

At this point, the gas bubble that's in my eye is small enough for me to see the outside edge of it. This morning it decided to split into three different bubbles of different sizes, which means that they swirl around inside my eye as I move my head or my eye... It gets distracting sometimes. I've been trying to figure out how I can get them to turn full circles, but I haven't had tons of luck so far.

I think that one of the bonuses of being not allowed to do any missionary work is that I have more time and energy (and, let's face it, equipment) to cook with, I've been eating well. :P

Honestly, though. Not much is happening right now. I read Mosiah almost through to the end of Helaman so far, I've been keeping myself warmed up on the guitar... I even took up piano. Turns out I'm not that bad at it. I've almost got the first of Erik Satie's Trois Gymnopedies down. Not bad for someone who hasn't really played since he was 7 or something.

Anyways. I'm going back to the hospital for another check up. I hope that they'll be able to give me some good news. Like, if I could look up a little more, it'd be really nice. It'd be even better if I didn't have to sleep on my stomach all the time. I figured out a way to make it comfortable, but my nose is going to get flat one of these days.

I think that that's all there is to report. It's an adventure!

Love you all,

Elder Shaver

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Surgery #2

Hello everybody!

Alright.... SO. Things just get more and more interesting around here.

Surgery number 2! I'm back in the mission home, and this time I'm really not allowed to do ANYTHING for 2 weeks. They want me to be extra careful this time around.

I'll try to explain what happened. I'm one of the unlucky 6-7 percent of people who have the complication where the retina detaches itself even further (in other words: the blind spot got bigger) after the implant surgery. So, a second emergency operation was deemed necessary.

This time, they had to actually go inside my eye. So what they did, was they stuck a needle inside my eye (after putting me under, of course), and sucked the fluid from between the retina and the rest of my eye wall. Then they inserted some kind of gas into my eye to keep the retina from floating back away from the eye wall (I don't know if 'eye wall' is the right term, but you get the idea), and they closed another hole that was in the retina. They  said that that third hole ('third', because they already closed two in the first surgery) was too small to normally be a worry, but they closed it anyways, just to be extra safe.

So that's what they all did. It didn't make my eye that uncomfortable or painful when I woke up, because there weren't any stitches or eye-squeezing implants this time around. However, I need to be always looking down... So my neck is getting really sore. I need to do it because the gas bubble in my eye needs to be at the back of my eye to do it's job right, so I need to look down so that it stays there. It'll get absorbed by my blood vessels over time.
And, of course, there's a plethora of drugs and eyedrops for me to take everyday, just like last time. Hooray! xP

Ummm, yeah. I don't blame anybody for anything. The doctors are doing everything that they can, everybody is being super-helpful, and the missionary who kicked the ball didn't see me coming, nor could he possibly have aimed for something as specific as my eye. As far as I'm concerned, this has all been one great big freak accident. I'm content, and even happy, that there's still optimism for a full recovery. Even the doctors, who are being very firm about what I can and can't do, are confident that I'm going to be okay. There's just a small possibility that I might need cataract surgery at some point. No big.

Anyways! thank you all SO MUCH for all of the love and support. It's really helping me to stay positive and to keep pushing forward. I love you ALL! You're the best!

Yours truly, without wax.

Elder Shaver

PS: Looking through an eye with a gas bubble in it is like looking down through a glass with some water in it: Kind of blurry, and it wobbles every time you move it (the glass in the simile, the eye in real life).

Elder Shaver finished the "L" on the mission chart on Friday!

Sunday, May 4, 2014


So, this has easily been the craziest week of my life, never mind my mission.

Transfers happened. I'm in 금천 with an Elder named Elder Lee (who is a pretty sweet guy).
The place is nice, if anything because it's GREENER. There are TREES. WOOHOO!!! I'm pretty excited to work here. The Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader are kind of the more intense type of people, but I don't think that that will be too big of a problem.

 The view from my new apartment.

Anyways, I only really got to spend maybe two days there... Because of the thing that made the week actually crazy.

갑자기 수술! Surprise Surgery!

That was not fun. I'm fine, and the doctors are expecting a full recovery and that my vision will go back to normal eventually (except for maybe some astigmatism in the eye operated on). But the time spent in the hospital itself was not fun. I don't think any time spent in a hospital is ever really fun, but I've never had to be a patient in one until the past few days. Now I can really say that they're not fun.
All things considered, though, I really can't complain. The hospital that I went to (which is called Severance... it's got a nice ring to it, eh? SEVER-ance?) was SUPER high-class. That place was ENORMOUS, and I'm convinced that they have a centre for every part of every part of a human body. Seriously. Then there's the massive patient capacity. I got a room to myself. Think about this: In a city where the population density is really high, and this hospital is in the very heart of that city, and I still got a room to myself. I didn't see any multi-person rooms there. That's how big and high-quality this place was. The people in Japan (for heaven's sake) that heard about my case were going like, "Severance? Whoa, he's getting the best care!"

I also can't complain because I had a couple of hundred missionaries praying for me. If that doesn't save you, I don't know what would. On top of of them were, of course, family and friends. Thank you all so much, and know that I'm going to be just fine. And you can all chuckle at the image of  my possibly needing glasses for one eye... or a monocle. :P I don't know if I'll need glasses, but I don't know how much 2 diopters (did I spell that right?) makes a difference in one's vision. They said that my vision could change up to that much, because, y'know, that's what happens when you have a band around your eye. It gets squeezed into a slightly different shape.
No big.

If anything it's the stitches that drove me crazy for the first little while.
ANYWAYS, I'm in the mission home right now with President and Sister Morrise, two of the nicest people on the face of the planet. Elder Lee's here, too. This place is like a nice hotel. I'm just waiting to feel normal enough to go back out to work (which might be a while considering how woozy the medication makes me), but so far, I think I'm doing fine. My eye isn't oozing nearly as much yellow liquid as it did yesterday (and far less than it did the day before), and the eyeball is bound to go back to being white one of these days. I have a checkup appointment for the 12th so that the doctors can make sure that my retina is reattaching itself properly, but I know that it must be because the blind-spot is definitely not there anymore. At least, I don't see it anymore. I can't read with that eye yet, but I don't know if that's because I need to recover a little more, or if I need a monocle.

 Our room at the Mission home "hotel".

I'm doing great! I'm having fun with it, and definitely taking really good care of it. I'm following the doctor's instructions to the letter.

In other news, there was a surprise baptism too! I didn't go to it, but Elder Lee went with one of the Office Elders so that he could be there for it. It's a surprise baptism because the investigator suddenly had to go back to China and for some reason he might not be able to come back. Not because we surprised a guy by baptizing him suddenly.

Anyways, so this man got his interview, baptism and confirmation done in less than 24 hours. Not bad. He leaves for China today, so it was literally his last chance to get it all done. And I still don't know his name.

That's been my week. It hasn't even been a whole week since I started this transfer, but Elder Lee and I are already best buds just because of the ridiculous amount of crazy we just went through together. It's pretty great.

I feel like this transfer is going to be a great one. It's already off to a GREAT start :P

I love you all! Thank you again!

Elder Shaver