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Friday, October 11, 2013

In The Blink Of An Eye

The ophthalmic surgeon's diagnosis at my emergency appointment on Monday, September 30, 2013: You have a detachment.

Then he phoned a retinal surgeon. My dear friend S, who had fortuitously and coincidentally arrived late Saturday to redecorate my back porch, drove me to the day's second appointment a few minutes away.

By Wednesday afternoon, I was on the operating table: vitrectomy, pneumatic retinopexy, and scleral buckle. Mr. AOW has more information at his blog, including a graphic video.

As I think back, the retina in my left eye must have detached between 3:00 P.M. and 4:30 P.M. on Saturday, September 28, because around the end of that time frame, I lost depth perception and almost rear ended a stopped vehicle on the interstate as Mr. AOW and I were returning from a car cruise-in. A few hours later, I started experiencing severe visual distortion and lost the lower left quadrant of the vision in my left eye.

That left eye has been sending out distress signals since July, but, until recently, the retina had been healthy.

Pneumatic retinopexy, which requires a face down position for at least four days, 45 minutes of every hour, 24/7:

This chair was required for those miserable days:

Actually, I used the chair infrequently. Instead, I opted for sleeping face down in the bed.

The scleral buckle is permanent:

Right now, the vision in my left eye is severely compromised. I'm looking out through the gas bubble.

Don't take your eyesight for granted.  It can deteriorate without warning.  In the blink of an eye.

[Thanks to Sam for all his help here at Always On Watch]


  1. OMGosh! You poor thing. I will keep you in my prayers...

    1. Prayers appreciated!

      Some 10 days later, the pain levels are way down. Basically, the only pain that I have now is a dull headache/dull eye ache.

      I have no practical vision in the operated eye. Forget reading the big "E" on the eye chart! However, vision gets a bit better every day, and the surgeon tells me not to expect much improvement for at least a month.

      I know that I must have gotten much better because Cameo quit hovering by my side and guarding me as I slept. She acted as if she were my nurse!

  2. I've been thinking of you and praying for you...I'm relieved you got into the doc when you did. What an ordeal! May your eye recover 110% and give you no more problems.
    So glad to see you back!

    1. Z,
      Eye fatigue prevents my being on the web as much as usual -- never mind that I'm stuck at home so much because of the retina surgeon's restrictions on my driving.

      And we got the van only two weeks before this nightmare struck! **sigh**

  3. "Don't take your eyesight for granted. It can deteriorate without warning. In the blink of an eye."


    I'm so glad you wereable to be treated so quickly. That is very important when it comes to a detached retina.

  4. When I phoned my opthalmologist on Sunday, September 29, he knew from the symptoms (wavy lines on the Amsler Grid) that it was already "too late" for laser tacking alone.

    I didn't have any of the typical signs of a retinal tear until the detachment occurred. For 29 years, I've known to watch for those signs because my father also had a detached retina -- in his case, 3 weeks after cataract surgery. I had cataract surgery on my left eye 29 years ago at the age of 31. Dad had cataract surgery a month before I did -- at the age of 73.

  5. We are happy here at my home that you came through the surgery and are recouping well, albeit a long recovery, which we are sorry for you to go through.

    God bless you and Mr. AOW and we wish you both all the best in life and especially in your health.

  6. I am so glad you are feeling better ... and are back. God Bless, AOW.

    1. Mustang,
      I'm sorta back. Next week, I'll be more out of the loop because I'm going to try to return to work. The homeschool group will have to arrange drivers because the retinal surgeon has forbade me to drive in rush hour traffic (and, of course, after dark).

  7. I have been looking for today to hear the news. I am so sorry you have been through all of this. My prayers go out. What is a blogger to do!

    1. Bunkerville,
      It was all I could do not to be on the web from October 3-October 7. With only 15 minutes of sitting with my face up every hour, I had to use that small amount of time for life's necessities. My dear friend S, my caregiver for those several days, made sure that I didn't violate the rules!

  8. Good luck and God bless, AOW! Hoping for a speedy recovery!

  9. Well, dear friend, you know what I've been thinking, because we've been in steady contact since this unfortunate event struck. I took the liberty of informing Z and several of our other net friends, but we all respected your wishes not to say anything about it "publicly" till you felt ready to reveal the information, yourself.

    Needless to say, we've been praying for you.

    You already know what I've been through -- and continue to go through -- with my eyes, so of course I have nothing but empathy for you.

    With your particular condition I'm sure you will eventually regain normal vision, though you may need a different prescription for your glasses.

    Just remain patient, and take one day at a time -- and avoid aggravating situations and depressing subjects -- difficult, I know with Ogodno in the WH.

    It helps to remember that "All things are passing."

    God bless!

    1. FT,
      The IOL placed during cataract surgery in 1984 will likely have to be replaced. Back then, cataract surgery didn't use a foldable lens. So, if I have to have IOL surgery, it will be 7-stitch surgery. Again!

      Meanwhile, the reflections caused by the bubble are maddening and cause a headache. Sometimes, I patch the eye for a bit of relief, but I don't want to wear the pirate's patch for too long because the retina probably needs stimulation to heal properly.

      Now, for what I think may be good news: with a pinhole, I'm able to read large letters on the TV screen; this is a recent development. And, up very close, I can see every line in the palm of my hand.

  10. You were in my prayers each day AOW. I thought about how scared you must have been. I also wondered about that chair, and your back.

    If I remember correctly, you had some major back problems and that chair does not look like it would be comfortable.

    I'm so glad your friend "S" was there for you to help out with Mr. AOW.

    I'm sure your students were very concerned also.

    We will continue to keep you in our thoughts and prayers as you continue to heal.

    We never know from one day to the next what the future holds. It seems whatever our fear, what ever things we are concerned that might happen, are pushed to the side when something completely different hits us.

    Take care of yourself.

    Right Truth

  11. feel good hun..mis ya!! :-) happy Weekend!!! xoxoxoxox

  12. I'm so sorry to hear this! I hope everything heals up as best as it can!

    1. Brooke,
      It's a nightmare! And just a few weeks after we got the van, too.

  13. Sorry to hear you had to go through this, AOW. I hope you have as good an outcome as is possible.

    1. Shaw,
      Thank you.

      I have several months to wait before the outcome is known. Meanwhile, I've been instructed by the surgeon no to "do something stupid." Today's big project: shampooing my hair.

  14. I'm glad you're feeling better. Well enough, in fact, to blog. That's a great sign in itself. My thoughts have been with you throughout your ordeal. They are still with you. I feel confident that you will make a full recovery. God bless!

    1. It takes me quite a while to write a post because of eye strain and eye fatigue.

      My goal right now is one post during the workweek and two posts on the weekend (Nincompoopery and Break from Politics).

  15. Here is one of my favorite quotes.

    "It is doubtful whether God can bless a man greatly until he has hurt him deeply." --A.W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous

    A mature person tries to learn from suffering and uses the experience to help others. Thanks for the instruction.

    Retinal detachment seems to be a relatively common problem. The techniques for fixing the detachment are certainly well developed.

    Hope you recover completely. God bless you and yours.

    1. Tom,
      The driving restrictions are the most difficult aspect of all this. My husband doesn't drive since his stroke on 2009.

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Glad to hear you are in the recovery phase. That's quite an ordeal. I'll check back soon.

  18. Speramus Meliora; Resurget CineribusOctober 12, 2013 at 6:50:00 AM CDT

    Hope all is well today, God Bless You..I Hope That You Have A Quick and Happy Recovery

    But Please Bring Back Nincompoopery !

    1. Nincompoopery will post this afternoon. I managed to get together some links of interest.

      So, stop back by!

  19. Did you watch the Republican's last stand? Hillarious, wasn't it?


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