In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Doctor My Eyes
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
It was a humbling
Lately, I have been
spending a good deal of time at the ophthalmologist’s office having tests done
on my eyes. This is something I find to be less than comfortable: Someone poking
around so close to my face, touching my eyes, putting in various colored drops,
anesthetics, washes and such.
After several months
of these tests and return visits, I became only the slightest bit accustomed to
these machines touching my cornea, measuring my optic nerve, puffing for
pressure, and brilliant lights to see into my eyeball.
One doctor said it
perfectly: “I know this is torture, but you are a good patient. And at least it
only needs to be done a couple of times a year.”
Oh thank you Doctor.
At least someone understands and recognized my efforts…
It seems that when we
go through medical procedures there can be a self-absorption with our
“presenting condition” and how the results of these tests might affect our
future lives. It’s sort of an underlying mantra that never stops: “My life, my
life, my life, how will my life change…? What will I need to do differently? Can
I handle the changes?” and so on.
My point to all of
this is – amidst all of the self-indulgence of my emotional state - I was
privileged to witness people with actual serious problems which made mine appear
so miniscule in comparison. It’s an odd way to find gratitude if I do say so
hospitals can be a jarring experience. There are those with gauze patches over
their eyes or those who stare out from orbs which no longer function.
One afternoon with
hugely dilated eyes, I was waiting for my taxi to arrive
and take me back to Chapala from Guadalajara. A woman,
perhaps 35 years old with her husband carrying her bag
and her daughter holding on to her arm, all passed by me
going out the office doors. Her right eye, that particular side
of her face and down her neck was scarred, it seemed
from a grease fire. Locals here make carnitas –
delicious pieces of pork deep fried in vats of oil - and although I was
guessing, it seemed that there had been a bubble in the
oil and she had been caught in the explosion of that
Her eye had been the
victim of that event. She and her family were gracious and warmly human as they
walked out the door and onto the street.
I said a silent
On my most current
visit to the eye clinic as I was waiting in the office to discuss the results of
tests I just had, a woman was helped into her seat beside me. The assistant
checked with her to be sure she was settled in and that all was ok before he
left her there to wait.
And wait we did.
However, this woman
began a conversation with me and again I was struck with how big my ego had been
all through this process. I can still see, I can read, I can operate on my own,
I reminded myself.
Georgia had had a
stroke behind her eyes 2 months ago, and while the rest of her body worked
well and she felt no pain, she woke up to almost full blindness. Her right eye
was lost and she had a quarter of her vision gone from her left.
“At 81 years of age
you learn to take things in stride,” she assured me. “As things are going, I’ll
probably be fully blind soon.”
Georgia has a house
keeper and a private driver to take her places and she still bakes – something
she loves to do “recreationally” she says.
I was absolutely
taken with her equanimity. Subdued, actually.
She was feeling warm
in the airless office we found ourselves in, and I fanned the both of us with a
cardboard folder where the results of my tests were stored.
We chatted, but I
found another place in me that felt utterly speechless.
my finger accident, I am reminded at how our lives can change in an instant.
Once more, it’s an
odd way to discover gratitude in the midst of seemingly horrific events. But I
am so very grateful that my hand is still useful and that I have eyes which continue
to offer me vision of the world on our travels.
Perhaps there are
challenging situations in your life where you can find the gift of gratitude as
well. Why not use your eyes and take a look?
Costs incurred for
Field of vision
tests, Ocular response analyzer, Retina tomograph report, Optic nerve photos,
measuring of optic disc cup, measuring of eye pressure, measuring of cornea
thickness, various reports, eye
drops, antibiotics, washes and consultations with ophthalmologists: $889.44
Transportation to and
from Guadalajara via bus and taxi, transport to Ajijic: $82.96
Total spent: $972.40
About the Authors
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are
recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on
topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of
information they share on their award winning website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com,
they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since
1991. They wrote the popular books, The
Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your
Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.