DCML Digest, Vol 65, Issue 3

Don Rosa donrosa at iglou.com
Mon Jul 21 20:45:25 CEST 2008

From: "JOHN CHADWICK" <wolfsong at mpinet.net>
Subject: Rosa's on the guest list!
I see that Don Rosa has been added to the guest list for Dragon*Con.  Should
we take that as meaning that recovery is going well?

I remain silent until asked a direct question, and I guess this qualifies...

Recovery stopped. That gas bubble in my eye went away and the vision in that
eye was cloudy and blurry (even through my glasses), but I was told this was
somewhat to be expected and I would need an examination to determine a new
eyeglass lens prescription for that eye and determine when I might have
cataract-removal and (eyeball) lens replacement surgery to clear up my
vision. (These are out-patient surgeries... not uncommon, not as serious as
the retinal-detachment surgery.) I did not do this immediately because I had
agreed to attend a comics festival in Copenhagen at the end of May and the
gas bubble (which would prevent me from flying) only disappeared barely a
week before that, which was very fortunate. So I did not want to risk
another surgery which would wreck the plans of the nice festival folks when
I could just wait until I got back home. (European comics festivals are
usually just hope-to-break-even affairs, like American shows of 35-40 years
ago, so I felt a certain responsibility.)

Anyway, that trip went fine... I could see well enough to sign my name and
draw big scribble Duckheads for fans. But by the time I went back in for the
next post-op eye exam, I had already begun to notice a problem which the doc
confirmed. My retina reattached at a skewed angle. About 10 degrees off
horizontal as well as somewhat warped on the right half (of the left eye)
where the retina detached. Therefore, I can no longer line up the images
from both eyes together. I have essentially one-eye vision, though the
blurry & crooked image in the left eye at least gives me a bit of depth
perception on closer objects.

I finally did some art a few weeks ago, the first careful to-be-published
art since before my retinal-detachment, this piece being the cover for the
next ROSA HALL OF FAME #7. Covers usually took me 2 days (pencil one day,
ink the next) which is already two or three times longer than it takes
others (because I was already slow and getting slower due to old eye
trouble). But this job took a full work week. It required removing my
glasses, covering the bad eye, and drawing with my nose virtually touching
the paper. That's actually not so unusual for me... during the last year
that I was drawing stories, I would draw without my glasses and with my nose
nearly on the paper... so it's just doing it now with one eye that is the
only new difficulty, but it was plenty.

I don't think a cockeyed retina can be repaired. And if I have cataract
surgery to clear up my left vision, that might only make my inability to
line up both eye-images much more annoying (or impossible?) since both
images would then be sharp, perhaps to the point where I'll need to make
that left vision blurry again by having plain glass or a weak prescription
put in my left eyeglass. Right now it's just annoying, like watching TV with
a bad ghost-image. But in another month or two I'll go back and consult with
the surgeon again.
"Cockeyed" retina? We've always heard that word as a joke-adjective, like I
was just using it. But my left eye is actually cocked 10 degrees.  Now I
guess I really am cockeyed, eh?

Anyway, yes, my good friends at Dragon*Con invited me again, and I'll be
there on that Friday through Sunday (Aug. 29-31, not Monday). As in
Copenhagen, I can still easily see well enough to sign and scribble, so I'll
be there. Dragon*Con is always great fun!

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