Rounding Corners, or, How Janie Gets Her New Eye

BY JANE MILLER

I’m rounding the corner. Maybe it’s only a small padded corner, so when I run into it I don’t hurt myself, but at least it’s a corner. On Tuesday, February 28, I have an appointment with my ocular surgeon. Dr. Perry will tell me then if my eye has healed enough for a permanent prosthetic.

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Compartments

by Jane Miller

It’s difficult when friends tell you something you don’t want to hear, especially when it’s something to which you must pay attention.

Since my diagnosis in April, 2014, I have vowed not to let Parkinson’s disease define me. A friend acknowledged this was laudable, but reminded me that even if I do not let it define me, Parkinson’s is part of my life and will not be ignored. So I start to write.

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Fear 3.0

By Erik Dolson

Irish talks about fear. She fell, crushed half her face and lost her right eye. Of course she fears going back on the boat. No job and savings wiped out by divorce, she fears medical bills, as do many in much better shape.

She fears for our relationship. After losing her job, the day before she fell, she asked me if I “could still love an unemployed miscreant.”  Her question was not out of the blue. This isn’t the first time Irish and I had been together.

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Fear 2.0

By Jane Miller

What if I can’t do it?

Would it be better to break up now and call it a good try rather than stay, fail, and watch my relationship with Erik splinter into a million heart-broken pieces? Pictures of the boat frighten me. The cockpit seats, the coaming, the small space between the edge of the bench seat and the binnacle where I lay until Erik picked me up.

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Fear 1.0

by Jane Miller

Fear comes like the fog – “on little cat feet.” I had thought I was only afraid of dentists, but now I am faced with stomach-gripping anxiety and heart-skipping panic.

I’m afraid …

… we’re going up to the boat in less than two weeks.

… sometimes I almost remember the fall and the impact that took my right eye and crushed my face.

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3:30 am

By Erik Dolson

At 3:30 in the morning of a day in the first week of January it’s almost dark outside but for reflections of starlight off faceted sparkles of fresh snow that’s been falling since before dinner yesterday.

Another year.

The to-do list stretches for pages and hasn’t changed much in months which piles guilt upon guilt for my aimlessness, inattention, lack of focus. I’m writing but not publishing, floating but not boating, sitting and not scrubbing, driving not to any destination. But that’s so often what I do.

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One step forward

by Jane Miller

I didn’t really mean to write about all of this. Traveling over the Santiam Pass on New Year’s Eve, I wrote notes for something vastly different. But that will have to wait.

December needs to be revisited first.

I have been so afraid and so deeply sad. I lost my eye. I almost died. My face is still a mass of bruises, swelling, and pain. I will heal, I know, but there will be scars inside and out.

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