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Saturday, December 22, 2018

Bet you can't guess what this pretty thing is.

Any idea? Actually, it is a macular hole, beautiful in this view but a real pain in the eye... my eye.
 
"A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the center of the eye's light sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision we need for reading, driving and seeing fine detail. A macular hole can cause blurred and distorted central vision.'" says the National Eye Institute.

Hey, it happens, thankfully not often, and usually the older you are, the greater the possibility. Okay, so my teen-age years were a little while ago. (Hint: if the computer form needs to know year of birth, you have time to get a cup of coffee before the scroll down actually reaches my birth date.)

A few months back I noticed that reading, especially in marginal light, was getting a little difficult... hardly noticeable, but over time, tiring and perplexing. Then, while reading an eye chart, I could 'ace' the first letters and last letters in the line, but the middle was impossible.

So I was"IT!"

My macular hole wasn't even noticeable in bright outdoor light but a person NEEDS to read, right? 

Side note:My daughter actually transcribed the written word to braille as a volunteer for a library for the blind. She gave me a braille copy of Playboy once that was, to say the least, for its reader content only. 

The good news is that it can be surgically fixed. My highly qualified Duke eye doctor made a very small incision into the covering of my retina and inserteds a small gas bubble that, in a few weeks (time varies per proceedure) lays against the hole and gently forces the outer break back into position.

And yes, there is a 'catch.' During the time the gas bubble is 'doing it's stuff,' the patient (me) has to maintain a 'face-down' position for the most part of waking and sleeping with a few breaks to stay sane and salve neck muscles. Yep, t is as difficult as it sounds. But the gas bubble, which exerts pressure against the retina, rises, requiring the patient (me again) to make sure the retina is above the bubble for about a week.

For example, this is me, enjoying a thermos of coffee through a straw while watching televsion in a device that rests the neck but allows for a small 'designed for the job' mirror to project forward. See how comfortable it seems to be? And when walking, you tend to notice your feet rather well but havve no iea what is happening aroung you. I am composing this blog post with my computer screen on my lap and the keyboard across my stomach so cut me some slack if you notice any kneomacklei, okay?

Long walks on the beach, which is what every lover's want ad says is what he/she enjoys, takes on a new tone when he/she asks, "why are you walking in the water"" or "Why did you step in that dog poop." Now that's a test of true love.

The upside: I also recceivied, in the same proceedure, a cataract replacement lense because the gas used causes any existing cataract to grow abnormaly fast, so double bonus!

The downside: There is none if you need the surgery, but until the bubble clears, your target eye has about the same vision as looking at the world through a glass of water and your neck hurts and the eye drops seem endless. Sleeping face-down is easy for me bcause I do that ok. No sleeping on your back though. Odds of success are highly favorable so 'fingers crossed!'

Hope this is never your need, but thank God for good doctors and advancs in medicine that are astounding... and in anesthesia too! That "biting a bullet" thing never sounded great to me.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all. May your New year be rich with quality of life and love for your fellow persons.


 




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