A field goal instead of a touchdown

Published 6:40 am Wednesday, November 1, 2023

By Steve Stricker

As a behaviorist, I’ve told y’all before that stress can and will kill you! “Stress that’s not dealt with can lead to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, obesity and diabetes.” – Mayo Clinic.  However, it’s one thing to know this, and another to do something about it – me speaking to God and me!  

In 2011 I had vitrectomy surgery in both eyes for detached retinas by world famous retina specialist, Dr. Steven Charles, in Memphis  My vision at the time was 20/20 and I’ve been on that downhill slippery slope of vision loss ever since.

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On Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, after these surgeries at 5:50 p.m., I suddenly had an occlusion in my right dominant eye and instantly lost vision in it. Next day, Dr. Charles in his Memphis office said it wasn’t his fault (??) and I would never see out of this eye again.

Switching to the Rayner Clinic in Oxford, ever since I’ve been fighting eye pressure issues in both eyes that can lead to Glaucoma and loss of vision of my only eye with eye drops. My friend and doctor Jonathan Zoghby and his wonderful staff have done admirably to date, but after slowly losing clear vision, he is not a retina specialist and suggested I see one. 

Meanwhile, vision had deteriorated to having to wear my prescription glasses for the first time, much to my distress.  So I made an appointment with Dr. Mohammad Rafleetary on Tuesday, Oct. 3, at the Charles Retina Institute in Oxford.  First off, eye pressure was lowest in many years L17, R19! Dr R said I had two PED’s – Pigment Epithelial Detachment and to come back on Oct. 26. Cutters like to cut and was thankful for that.

That first appointment with Dr D was also the peak of my immense stress and life change since May 2022.  With much prayer and God, I let all that go, forgave those involved just prior to seeing him, began taking suggested supplements, said my novena prayer to St. Joseph and Mary Undoer of Knots since 2020 for my eyes finally seemed to be working.

By my appointment with Dr. D on Thursday, Oct. 26, after 8:30 a.m. mass, my vision was miraculously, gradually becoming entirely clear in my left eye, with some distance and PED issues remaining.

Arriving at the clinic after 8:30 a.m. mass, eye pressure by Sherry was L11, R13 THE lowest ever!!  Waiting to see Dr R, one of my favorite songs ever surprisingly came over their music feed, “Africa” a song by American rock band Toto recorded in 1982, and I knew this would be a swell result with him.

PED’s had not changed, a good thing, no shot was required, and vision clearing was great! “As you know, the eye sees through the brain, so controlling your stress, letting go of all that stress, forgiving, is allowing your brain to see clearly again – see me again four months!!” 

Like a three-point field goal instead of a touchdown, this was a WIN!!  Thank you, God!!! 

Steve is an Oxford resident, worked on Campus, received his Ph.D. in Counseling from Ole Miss, is an LPC, NCC, and can be reached at, sstricker@olemiss.edu.