I received a note from WordPress yesterday congratulating me on three years of blogging. A day late since it was 6th Feb. 2010 that I began, with a fun post about a visit to the opticians.
Today I spent the morning in the opthalmic department of one of our local hospitals: I was there for four hours. Drops, scans, photos. consultations etc. Not a fun post this time.
The upshot is not too good. My right eye, the one with the macular hole, has got worse in the last five weeks and they would like to operate quite soon. If left untreated they say I will have a black hole in the centre of my vision and not be able to see peoples’ faces. Unfortunately the waiting list is four to six months: the Surgeon said he would like to operate earlier but there we are. So on to the bottom of the list I have gone.
But what floored me was that he said the same is happening to my good eye, the left one:( This is the exact opposite of what my optician said to me a few weeks ago and it happened so fast to my right eye that I am worried that my left eye may become as bad as my right one before the right one is even operated on. Apparently I will not regain decent vision after the operation for up to 12/18 months. So I could be looking at a period with no vision in either eye. But no point looking too far ahead, as up to now, nothing has been what I expected.
All my life I have looked after my eyes, had regular checks and no problems at all. And I have very healthy eyes. The Surgeon said one in 10,000 people get this in one eye, and only 10% of those go on to get it in their other eye too. I cannot work out these odds, but I am not happy.
After both ops. neither eye will have the vision I am used to having and no glasses will be able to correct it. And fairly frequent cataract ops. will be necessary for both eyes as, once their integrity is breached, they will be liable to these. So I am embarked on a path with no turnings off, no forks in the road, no alternatives.
A difficult day today: but as my mother once said, “what cannot be cured must be endured” and I count myself lucky to live in a city and an age where they can do something. Ten years ago I would just have gone blind in both eyes. And, despite the wait, I am lucky to live in a country with free health care because to go privately would cost £5,000 just for the op. alone in one eye.
In a few weeks I will ring the hospital to see what the waiting list looks like and then make up my mind what I think I am able to do.
I know that with increasing age parts of the body begin to function less efficiently: but my eyes were one part of me that I was confident of. It never occurred to me to think of sight problems until I reached my late seventies or eighties. I am assured that no changes in life style could have prevented this: but they just do not know why some people suffer this and why others do not, so perhaps there are things I have done, or drugs I have taken, that have caused this. Personally, I am convinced that this is down to the drugs I have taken so often and for so long for my migraines: but I have no proof.
And what is done is done.
So there we are: no birthday cake this year and not much inclination to celebrate. But thank you to the lovely friends I have made through the blogging world and the support and sympathy they have, and do, offer.
An early night tonight to lick the wounds, and face tomorrow with more cheer.