Overshadowed

Nearly two weeks ago, Carol Langner sent out a press release announcing the appointment of Mark Wong as the next organist of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. She sent me a courtesy copy which included Mark’s biographical details, but also mentioned that Mark was the successor to my 35-year tenure. Well, this is how reporter Pat Gee’s story in the Star-Advertiser came out this morning:

Star Advertiser, May 11, 2013

Star Advertiser, May 11, 2013. Click anywhere on the picture to enlarge the text.

Mark’s story was completely overshadowed by my retirement!

During the course of my interview, she asked me why, if I am “retired,” am I still trying to make music? That’s when I let the cat out of the bag and told her about my age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  She then asked if she should keep this out of the story, but I decided I wanted to bring more awareness to this affliction that is affecting baby boomers like myself.

My macular degeneration came on very suddenly and I only wish I had been more articulate about the nightmare I had a year ago last November. In my dream, I was playing the previous continuo organ (the one which has a pedalboard and is now at Holy Innocents Episcopal in Lahaina, Maui) which had been placed on a slanted platform. The entire organ was at a 45-degree slant including the pedalboard! And that’s when I started screaming that I couldn’t play the organ, especially the pedals with my body and the music at a 45-degree angle! Not only was my music sliding off the rack, I was also sliding off the bench! When I woke up, I opened my eyes and saw the room at a 45-degree angle.

Within the next week I saw three eye specialists, and got the diagnosis. There is presently no cure for macular degeneration, but there is treatment which slows and hopefully stabilizes the vision loss. It means that I have monthly injections, directly in my eye — think Oedipus! As I have told people, though, the actual injection is not painful because of all the anesthetizing eye drops which precede it — all I feel is a little pressure.

Sorry for all these gory details, but now you know. And I did tell the paper that the photo credit should go to former student, Joey Fala, but they unfortunately did not include it.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
This entry was posted in Carl Crosier, J. S. Bach, Katherine Crosier and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Overshadowed

  1. Aloha Kathy — Needless to say, I (like so many others) am so very sorry to learn of your macular degeneration. I am so glad there are treatments that can slow onset vision loss. I’m sure you remember Ron is completely blind. If you need any information or inspiration, please don’t hesitate to contact us. There is a great deal of assistive technology that can make your life easier. Aloha, Sandra

    • Thanks, Sandra! Right now I rely on other people to read small print for me, and have enlarged the text on my computer and phone. I will have to look into some other technologies.

  2. Pingback: The unpublicized story | Another Year of Insanity

  3. Anna Derby Blackwell says:

    You know, because you’ve seen me in the dr’s office, that I know what I’m talking about: I, like you, “inherited” AMD from my mother BUT they hadn’t discovered the “cure” yet and she had haemmorhages on both retinas and wound up pretty much blind. The shots don’t reverse it, but they do stop it in its tracks. I’ve been having them for over three years (they’re spaced farther apart now, which seems to be working) and I can still drive (important, because I live partway up a hill that has bus service 5 times a day for 5 days a week), write, sing, and – most important – read. Hang in there, sister – we’re lucky to have that good doctor (and his wonderful nurses) taking care of us. Things could be a whole lot worse!

  4. Kelle Liebel says:

    Macular degeneration can make it difficult or impossible to read or recognize faces, although enough peripheral vision remains to allow other activities of daily life..,’..

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