OK, Class, let’s review. In Chapter 1, I mentioned that in late 2007 I had cataract surgery on both eyes. One year later, at the annual exam, I was told that a film was developing on both eyes, that this was not unusual, that at some point in the future, the film would affect my vision. Disconcerting, right? However, not to worry, they told me; it was easily removed, never to occur again.
In Chapter 2, I told you that removal was done in December, 2009. I wrote about it here. I wrote about how the film built up quickly, particularly in my left eye … my dominant eye. I wrote about what it was like to be nearly blind in that eye; to see everything blurry, and the problems associated with having some blur in the other eye as well. I wrote about the impact of all this on my work, my writing, my ability to get around. I wrote of carrying a large magnifying glass with me, of having to use it to read menus, and the weird looks I’d get when I did it … at least as best as I could make those weird looks out. Do you remember?
OK, that completes the review. Now, welcome to Chapter 3.
As of Sunday, February 21, I am blind in my left eye. It is probably temporary and may correct itself. If not, there is surgery to do it. But, folks, when I say blind, I mean blind. Like if I put my hand over my right eye, I cannot see Shit! It is worse than blurry. I can only differ light from dark, occasionally seeing some colors. What little I can see is like looking through thick ice.
There is no absolute explanation. But I have engaged in some events that, in combination, could be the cause. They are these:
1. Because I am a-fib, I take a blood thinner … daily. So I usually avoid medications like aspirin.
2. I decided to play golf Saturday. Because of lower back problems, along with a type of carpel tunnel in my wrists, I had only played golf once in the last 18 months, twice in the last two years. I’d grown lethargic and needed to do something. Before the layoff, golf had been my passion. It seemed the logical thing to do.
3. In golf, one’s head moves forward with the swing; the harder the swing, the more violent the movement.
4. To minimize the pain in my wrists, I wore supports. I also took Advil prior to teeing off.
5. Later … after lunch … I took more Advil. My wrists felt fine; my back, OK.
6. Then came Sunday morning: Around 8:00 a.m., I began to see what I thought were “floaters” in my left eye … residual from removing the film … which usually go away on their own. Instead, I went from one floater to three to several to what seems like thin gauze covering my entire vision … all between 8:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. By 5:00, I was totally blind in that eye.
I called my eye doc around 2:30, by then scared witless. After several calls between his PA. and the doc and me, it was determined it could wait until morning, but that I should be at their office on Monday at 8:00. I was there.
After seeing his assistant, then him, then going to a retina specialist, seeing his assistant, his echogram specialist and finally the retina specialist himself, I learned that the vessels in the eye had hemorrhaged.
According to the specialist, the eye might drain of its own volition. If so, no harm, no foul. If not, they have to remove the blood by somehow poking tiny holes, not a pleasant idea. But I will be sedated … needless to say … or he will have my hand on his balls, telling him, “We will not hurt each other, will we?” (A technique I use in ALL my surgeries).
But in the interim, I am semi-helpless. Since Sunday, I have had to drive … including to the doc’s on Monday … and I had to white knuckle it. Any movement on the road gave me shivers. I was scared. Anyone on the road near me should have been, too. If only they knew. But I’ve minimized driving to two trips, both short, and will only drive in an emergency … like for beer. As to other stuff, it is hard to cook, impossible to clean, and damn difficult doing what I am doing now … writing this post (gradually written over nearly three hours; something I basically burp out in minutes … as should be evident in my other writings). I’m only do it because I receive frequent (and much appreciated) PMs announcing new work by my faves. A couple of them have wondered why I haven’t recently commented. Now you know.
However, I will try to read each day, and I will comment when I can. But from this post, on, I will not be writing anything more than comments until my eyes are back to “normal.” It is for all of our best interests (wink, wink)! But one day, I will be back to haunt you all with my own brand of bullshit. Be forewarned. xxoxox