Sep 7 2022

A Clear Recovery: My Cataract Healing Journey

Written by: 
Myke Celis

"We can't do the Lasik procedure on your eyes. You have cataract in each."

My mouth wide open, my heart fell down the floor.

It can't be.

Yep, that was my very response when the doctor first told me that I had cataracts in my eyes.

Of course I was in extreme disbelief because 1.) I wasn't that old yet (young at 41) and 2.) that means I have to be operated on, much like how my mom and favorite aunt had theirs removed last year. And 3.) that means that I will have to put my life on hold for quite sometime in order for me to heal.

Come to think of it: that was actually my fear: to "stop living". For the longest time, I have gotten used to my work routine and it just feels weird and scary for me to just be at home, doing nothing. While I have always been an advocate of over-all wellness, self-care and self-love, I must admit though that hard stops are sometimes difficult for me because I know that a lot of people depend on me to help them in their own personal journeys in discovering their own #bestmeever .

But hey, I can choose to resist or just accept my situation whole heartedly and happily while looking for that seemingly elusive silverlining at present. I chose to go hunting for the good stuff. Haha!

So immediately after returning from my birthday trip in Singapore, I had my blood work done, got my doctor's clearance and then scheduled my operation. Mind you though: everything happened within a week's time after returning. Yep that fast. So on my end, I also had to fix my schedule, do a general cleaning of my space so that everything will be disinfected and talk to my clients and tell them that I will be gone for a whole two weeks. I also had to rush the templates for my morning postings in my coaching community on Facebook so that people can still continue reflecting daily even in my absence.

After setting everything up and making sure that I have covered all bases, I was finally ready to undergo my surgery.

"I am quite surprised that you are still able to function with your eyes, given this."

And then the doctor showed me how big my cataract was.

See that gray part blocking the entire eye? That's the culprit. I know! I got scared too upon seeing it.

A part of me felt relieved that it was detected because for more than a decade, I have been using driving glasses and contact lenses whenever I go on-air or deliver live talks. It never struck me that I had something like that until recently when my night vision deteriorated fully and I can't even drive and focus well when the sun is up. Everything was blurry and grayish...uhm, and now I know why,

The promise of being able to see clearly minus the glasses made me excitedly put on my hospital gown. I would have wanted a better fit, but who am I to complain?

This is how I would look if I get pregnant. Lol.

Upon entering the operating, I remember praying to God to at least allow me to surrender to the entire process and just trust everything. Believe me, when you're going under the knife and it involves your eyes and you are not sedated, it's not really a walk in the park experience seeing what gets to poke your eyes. Haha!

The operation was a success, albeit some of the moments the doctor had to stop because I was tensing up. Apparently, I was as calm as can be when my left eye was operated on first and then the week after, I had my right eye done. And that became a different story. Thank God for Dr. Gerard Bordador of Veterans Eye Center for being so patient, careful and understanding of his wriggly patient who gets startled whenever something is poked in his eyes. Haha!

Mind you though, it was just the beginning. The real work comes in when I have to apply eye drops hourly and take my antibiotics daily. These also coincide with the fact that: 1.) I couldn't wash my face for two weeks to avoid soap getting in my eyes 2.) I can't lift heavy objects, more so work out as intensely as I used to for a month 3.) Can't bend down, moreso do inversions so I have to say good bye temporarily to my aerial silks practice 4.) Can't drive or spend long hours straining my eyes online until it heals 5.) I have to wear my transition glasses for a month or so to ensure my eyes are protected, indoor and outdoor.

The last one was a relief because I didn't like the way the goggles looked on me. Lol.

My constant, up to now as I blog.

Anyway, the million dollar question is: does it hurt?

Answer: during the operation, it was a bit uncomfortable but didn't sting really. I mean, I doubt it if anyone enjoys getting his eyes poked while staring at a kaleidoscope of lights haha. Afterwards, that's when eye drops hurt at times (remember there's a wound in the eyes and it's still not fully healed), which led me to shed tears and hop a round a bit. Haha! I also got a head ache after my right eye got operated on but it was easily gone after I took paracetamol. The other discomforts to which I am still gradually adjusting to now is being able to read text upclose as some letters seemed garbled at times but I was told that it will eventually be ok, of which I truly believe because I myself have less typo errors now, unlike during the first few days, that's why I decided to blog only now before starting on my regular coaching sessions.

My views and my life definitely changed.

For the better.

Come to think of it, I realized I really needed this mandatory time of. Unknown to many, I recently experienced a heart break that left me feeling a bit lost, confused, and in pain. That's a different story though. I was quietly navigating through my emotions then with the help of my own coach and my loving, selected few who were my support system. The hard stop allowed me to process everything better and treat myself kinder, because apparently, for quite sometime, I wasn't really giving myself the kind of love I willingly give others. I just forgot and this pause made me remember.

The change in my daily routine really helped. While I struggled at first to contain all my unused energy, I found a blissful experience in just letting things be, journaling and reflecting about what I can do differently in my life. I took the opportunity to see things differently and clearly this time around, inspired by my cataract operation. I began assessing my space, my relationships and myself, as honestly and as vulnerable as possible. And that allowed me to grow with the flow in my current space where fear of not being in control no longer existed.

Here's a glimpse of what I was doing in the last two weeks:

I started doing short morning walks. Here's me doing one at 6am around the amenities area of my condo. Started with 10 minuter walks, gradually increasing to an hour as days go by, while being mindful of not letting my sweat get in my eyes. Or else. Running can wait.

I have recently discovered the joys in doing stretching in the morning. As I can only do light exercise and I am not allowed to bend over or invert, this routine helped me loosen my tight muscles and prevents me from having a sedentary lifestyle while stuck at home. My yoga mat has become one of my best friends.

I've said it before and will say it again: Netflix is one of the greatest inventions of the century. I can't imagine surviving the last two weeks without it. I got to watch a lot of documentaries and reality tv series this time around and learned a thing or two that would like to include in my own bucketlist. Soon.

I got myself new transition glasses, without any grades for my eyes! My first time in over 10 years to own a pair of shades! can't wait to head to the beach soon. But for now, I use it when I go online or when I have to do my grocery. And I can see 10x better or even more actually compared to before, minus the thick graded lenses! Wohoo!

Brave as I am, I started going out (to the mall) to do errands by myself and burn calories while doing so (indoor walks where there is less pollution and exposure to unwanted elements). Trivia: Gosh, I was like a kid gushing at how bright the mall lights were and how I can now read signages from afar. Never seen everything in full color until now. Simple joys but my heart overflowed after seeing so much gray before.

While it was tempting to just eat every now and then with the free time I have onhand, I chose to still be mindful of my diet. I stuck with my intermittent fasting, ate more veggies (something I learned from a previous relationship that allowed me to love myself more) and committed to my daily cardio routine. And lo and behold, I managed to shed off more pounds in the process, to date, after almost three months, 14 lbs to be exact. My target is to lose perhaps another 5 more lbs and I will have my 2018 body then where I was at my fittest. Pushing forward! Grateful that heart breaks have beautifying effects on me. Haha!

The time off allowed me to reconnect with my roots as well. After 10 years, went back to visit my province in Pampanga. Everyone there was caught by surprise and some even cried. It was a heart warming experience to see my relatives whom I haven't seen for the longest time. Time heals all wounds indeed. And this season in my life allowed me to experience just that. This one's for the books.

And of course, God wanted to cheer me up and sent me good news. So I got nominated in the 2022 Coach Awards for Best Executive Coach and Best Wellness Coach . Two categories. Alongside coaching industry leaders and game changers from all over the world. My heart jumped for joy, especially upon seeing people vote for me and campaign for me openly. Win or lose, I am grateful for this opportunity to be recognized for what I love doing best. Please do click on the highlighted links to vote please. Love you!

Lastly, I finally got to hang out with dear friends. Gosh, how much I missed human interaction with people who truly get me and vise versa! This lunch was fun and life changing in its own way as always. They said I was rocking my glasses. And that my new body was banging. Thank you for the vote of confidence my friends. I gratefully receive your compliments.

Went to my check up the other day and this is how my eye looks like. All clear now. Healing beautifully.

Exactly how I feel within.

Healing happily. Completely.

My cataract operation allowed me to see things clearly and feel deeply.

It was a journey towards my own #bestmeever .

And today, I start my next chapter, #unicorning all over .

Thank you for joining me.

Begin Your #bestmeever Journey.