In January I had a bit of a shock and after noticing an eclipse in my left eye vision realised something needed looking at quickly – I feared detached retina. So, on the Friday evening at Liz and Toms for drinks we all decided I needed to do something quickly. On Saturday we went up to Carlisle A&E and after being moved nurse to doctor to doctor to department to ophthalmology and after tests and the opthatmology consultant being called in it was decided it was indeed a detached and torn retina and I needed an operation in the next few hours to save my sight. I was told to go home and await a call from the RVI in Newcastle. I had lay on my side with my head titled to the side. By the Monday morning we were at the RVI and by lunch time I had had an operation. Niece Clare was wonderful (she’s at Med School there) and met me at the car park to take me into reception. The most interesting and unpleasant experience of my life. You have to be awake during the op so you can react to instruction from the surgeon. Weird in isles when its your eye. The needles etc IN my eye were painless but the pressure pain from the instrument inserted behind my eye caused the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. The nurse was very kind and held my hand tight. To be in that much pain and have to remain perfectly still was a big effort.
After the op and back on the ward I couldn’t see anything through the affected eye except a speckled fog. Disconcerting. Hector was amazing and hadn’t left my side the whole weekend and waited on the ward. I felt very wobbly and sick but late afternoon I was allowed to leave. I was instructed to ‘posture’ – in my case having to remain with my head fully upright for two weeks or so, 24/7. It is to keep the gas bubble – used to hold the retinal repair – firm against the damaged area. Yikes. As we had to be back by 8 the next morning for a check up Hector booked us into a nearby Premier Inn where I used extra pillows to prop myself up. Hector sorted out a meal to be brought up to our room and it was very welcome. I hadn’t eaten since the afternoon before.
My eye was quite sore and swollen and extremely red. It could have been worse though. The gas bubble covered more than half my vision but overnight my vision improved and cleared a lot.
After a check up on the Tuesday morning I was allowed to go home and had the drive back with my eyes covered as light was painful. Hector drove very carefully – I was advised to avoid jolts. So, it was home for a week upright. Sleep was virtually impossible. The following Monday I was back at the RVI for the first of several checkups.
In all I was off work two weeks but when I got the ok at a checkup to not be upright as the gas bubble had dispersed I was able to work from home – still not allowed to drive. After three weeks I was able to drive to the office andante back to normal. There was still a lot of tenderness around my eye socket, especially by mid afternoons.
By late March (now) I have had the ok that the op worked and one more check up (if nothing goes wrong in the meantime) in June. It can take a year or more for the eye to settle and the final result to be known.
The RVI was excellent and I felt safe and cared for.
All in all – I could not have coped with any of it without Hector. He was wonderful. Did everything for me and ferried me to and fro to Newcastle.
You can see how my pupil is blown wide after treatment….