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Friday, November 12, 2010

The Hole in the Retina Gang (Me)


Today was the appointment with Western Carolina Retinal Associates' surgeon, Dr. Stone. Imagine, a whole gang of doctors who only treat retinas!? Another series of eyedrops, bright lights, and eye charts with a big "E" at the top. My left eye could read the very teensy tiny line at the bottom of the chart. My right eye could discern an hourglass shaped white light with a smudge in the middle...that was the huge E. I could see nothing but light and dark.

I finally got "the talk" and got to see the pictures of the innards of my eyes in day glo colors. Indeed a big hole in the macula of the right eye, and oh, woe, a small dip in an otherwise smooth retina indicating possible future trouble in the left eye. My good eye! The talk, of course, was the information on how to repair me. Surgery. I've had cataracts removed. I've had lasik corrective surgery. This didn't seem like too big a deal to me. At first.

But the talk went on...jelly is removed from the eye (it's the shimmy of the jelly that caused the floaters that got me to the doctor) and replaced with a heavy gas. That gas is the pressure that holds the repaired hole in place until healing takes place. But the gas doesn't hit the proper place UNLESS YOUR HEAD IS ALWAYS DOWN! For a full week, I must keep my chin to my chest...down, down, down. Drink through a straw, no tv, no reading, no computer, no movement of the head...just keep it down. Even in sleep. A massage table donut to put my face in. I can rent a chair that looks a little like those massage chairs you see in supermarkets...leaning forward so my head is DOWN.

I'm having the surgery on Tuesday. On Monday my beloved dogs and dear cat are all going to "Bed & Biscuit" --a high class boarding place for four-footed family. I hate hate hate doing it, but there's no way I can walk dogs. I'm not supposed to do much of anything for a solid week. Smallest distractions can make your head move.

My dear friends had the great idea of audio books. At least I can listen to books!
That will be the thing that will save me from going starkers.

I'm scared. I'm appalled. I have wonderful friends who will make it all okay. But
wow, this sure came out of the blue.

And you might wonder what causes a hole to form in one's retina? They haven't got the faintest idea. It's not genetic. It's not because of earlier eye surgeries. They haven't got a clue. We can go to the moon and back....but we can't cure the common cold. Life is wonderful and strange. I'm going to be nicer to my big browns.

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