Introducing the slightly freaky world of retinal detachment

Midday Friday I experienced blurring and flashing in my left eye. Not really thinking much of it, I dismissed it until dinner. Briefly mentioning the issue to my wife set off a flurry of Google searches.

The doctor visits begin

Thanks to the consultations of Dr. Google with my wife, we first attempted to contact an optometrist only to find all closed. So off to the ER, I drove at 8 PM.

Heading to the ER

It turns out that blurred vision occupies that list of wonderful conditions that get you back quickly. Chest x-ray, six vials of blood, cat scan, and MRI followed in quick order. Incidentally, MRIs and CAT scans freak me out.

Of course, by quick order, I mean my stay at the ER lasted until 12:30 AM. Cleared of every head and body issue except for psychological, the doctor sent me home with instructions to find an eye doctor.

Off to the optometrist

Saturday, the blurred vision got slightly worse as I waited for my 4 PM optometrist appointment. With only a few pictures and a quick look into my eye, the optometrist quickly diagnosed me with a retinal detachment. My eye needed fixing ASAP.

With a pile of contact numbers, I headed home hoping to get to a clinic on Monday. Thanks to a persistent and enthusiastic wife, I got into a doctor today.

In Carmel with a retinal specialist

The retinal specialist spent quite some time flushing my eyes with drops to dilate and numb. Then, after prodding and poking my eye, he finally affirmed the diagnosis of a superior nasal retinal detachment. The interior of my retina, the back of my eye/inside part of my eye had started to come away from the wall of my eye. Actually, he found two slight tears in the wall of my eye.

The solution we landed on will be to inject a gas bubble into my eye. (Yes, I know this sounds crazy). The gas bubble will effectively apply pressure to the side of my retina, pushing it back into place. I assume the retina will heal and stay in place. The doctor tells me the gas bubble will dissolve on its own in about six weeks.

The loss

Currently, I have lost about 75% of clear vision in my left eye. Since the tears occupy the upper right-hand part of my left eye, I am laying down on my right side to allow liquid pressure to push against that wall. I will remain to lay down most of the time before surgery. After the surgery, I will spend several days lying down on my left side to allow the pressure of the gas bubble to do its work.

My blessings amaze me right now

First of all, I sincerely appreciate my persistent wife. Perhaps she missed a calling in medicine. Her work leads to saving my eye in time and determining that Christina had diabetes.

Secondly, I love that technology and people exist to fix this. People with the ability to work inside my eye like it’s just another day at the office. 50 or 75 years back, this vision loss lacked a solution.

Third, I think God for allowing this to happen after I came back from a recent vacation.

Conclusion

I plan to get my eye injected with a gas bubble tomorrow. Tentatively, 6 PM is surgery time. Once I sleep the anesthesia off, I’ll try to send an update out so you too can know what it feels like to have an eyeball with a gas bubble in it.

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