As I continue with this blog, it’s focus is changing course a bit. What I would like to do is add a section that describes my life in quilting. I have always had an interest in quilts, quilting, and the history of quilting. In the course of learning the craft of quilting I have had some interesting, encouraging, blessed and frustrating experiences.
So on this page (assuming I can figure this blog thing out–the set up part to do this…) I would like to begin sharing my adventures in quilt.
I would like to begin with telling you about my “Blind Quilt.”
I have a genetic eye disease called Fuchs’ Dystrophy. The Mayo Clinic website describes it this way: “Fuchs’ (fooks) dystrophy affects the cornea — the clear front window of your eye. This disorder causes swelling in the cornea that can lead to glare, cloudy vision and eye discomfort.”
When you have Fuchs’ dystrophy the cells in an inner layer of the cornea called the “endothelium” start dying off. Since these cells pump the water out of the eye, the cornea fills up with water and swells. The cornea is the “window” of the eye, and assimilates the light, so the more advanced the Fuchs’ dystrophy is the blurrier and more indistinct your vision will be.
For a number of years the only thing that could be done for this condition was to use things like hair dryers to try and pull water from your eyes, to use Muro drops that will also pull water from your eyes and hopefully prevent water “blisters” from forming. Then at some point in the process you could have a full cornea transplant which would give you some relief and sight but your visual acuity would not be good. Then an ophthalmologist discovered that better results could be achieved by doing what is called a partial corneal transplant or DSEK. The results from this surgery can be life changing for the patient. I was one such patient. Thank you, Lord for appointing me to the community where this surgery was pioneered.
The year before the surgery was done, my eyesight was so bad that it had become more and more difficult for me to read even large overhead traffic signs from any distance. I almost needed to be under them to read them. The day after my surgery was miraculous! On the way home–after having bandages removed– I just kept drinking in the clarity of what I was seeing! As an artist and quilter, my world began to come together once more.
A couple of years later in a different appointment, my ophthalmologist recommended that the other eye should be now be done. After the success of the other surgery I didn’t even hesitate so that I never reckoned on the difficult days I was about to face.
For three months after that surgery I lived with a detached cornea with no guarantee that I would ever see properly from my left eye again. What added to the difficulty is that my right eye was deteriorating from the added strain of the load it carried. During this time God provided me with a Christian ophthalmologist who was determined to get my eye corrected and healed. (I’ve been told that he wrote a couple of “papers” on my care.)
It was during this time that God comforted me and helped me to realize that I could accept whatever my future held and helped me realize that He would always give me a ministry and purpose along with the needed gifts and desires to accomplish them.
About a month or so into what I call my “blind time” I worked on and completed the above quilt. While making that quilt I spent quite a few moments listening to the Lord through audible books, pod casts (thank you Stan Key for the Bible studies), music, and prayer. Scripture says, “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11-13)
My blind quilt is getting pretty worn these days but then so am I. This quilt is still is a vivid reminder to me of all that I have walked through with the Lord and tends to bring to my heart a sense of peace.