Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Retina

OK, so I got an appointment on Tuesday with a retina specialist in Portland. I drove over Route 26 without chains or studded tires. There was a warning sign that traction devices were required. I drove on anyway and got to my appointment on time.

After the preliminary exam someone mentioned injecting a dye. I feared they were going to inject directly into my eye, but they put it in the back of my hand. They took all these photographs of both of my retinas in intervals that showed the blood as it pulsed through my eyes. They also did this strange thing that showed my retina in cross section. This was really cool because it showed my right retina as a line with a dip in the center, however it showed my left retina as being flat with a convex bulge in the center and a smaller bulge on the side.

As it turned out the condition I have has a long name that takes several pages to write out in full, but basically what it is, it blisters within the retina. A retina is a membrane that is paper thin and I developed two pockets of fluid inside this membrane.

One of the cool outcomes of this is that though the sight in the left eye is blurry, when I look at words on a page or at a photograph they somehow appear to become three dimensional.

The cause is stress. I always thought I handled stress well, but I guess not. We just had a major stress reliever in our lives. You may recall that back in May or June I wrote about our income being cut in half and all the belt tightening I was going to have to do. We burned through our savings to keep the mortgage paid and even got help from a family member for the past two months. However, we just got the news last week that our claims were settled with the Long Term Disability company (my wife is disabled) and she will once again qualify for full benefits and we will be paid back for the duration where they weren’t paying us. It was good news, we get to keep the farm and be able to keep the animals and even get a few extra cable channels.

I suspect it was actually the relief of the stress that caused my eye trouble. The surgeon told me that it should get better on its own, but I have to return for a re-evaluation is six weeks.

Thank you, one and all for your concern. I try not to share bad news here. You all probably have enough bad news in your lives where you don’t need me dumping my baggage on you, but I feel somewhat obligated when something of this magnitude comes about. I communicate with many of you more than I communicate with people face to face. Thanks for listening and pass me some valium.


Blogger Donna said...

I could have written that last paragraph myself, about myself.

Thanks for letting us know what's going on. I take this as good news.

4:28 AM  
Blogger loopymamain06 said...

Thanks for posting Guy.....I'm glad for all of your current good's good to hear good news too.....I still feel that we all should be allowed to blog about the bad stuff, it lets us get it out of our systems.
The Loopy Mama

5:27 AM  
Blogger Auntie said...

Things to do with losing my sight scare the crap outta me, as I know it did you, Guy.

Glad it's just that nasty recent bout of stress that is slowly dissapating now.

5:58 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Whew! That's a relief. You had us all worried to death, I hope you know. Auntie was all jittery and kept dropping her knitting. And she was all set to embroider you this cool eye patch with some fancy crewelwork around the edges. AH well, I hope you like doilies.

6:14 AM  
Blogger darev2005 said...

Jeez, when I first read "injecting a dye" I almost screamed and fainted. They'd have to put me out and tie me down to get anywhere near my eye with a needle. I'm glad it just went into a vein. Brr! Yikes!

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great news Guy. There might be a little seasonal song in there somewhere. All I want for Christmas is my eye sight back....I'll spare you the story about my friends Dad who refused to wear an eye patch after they removed his left one. Shiverrrrrr.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Zoe said...

Sorry you've got to deal with that, but glad to hear it temporary. And that imaging is super cool.

10:23 AM  
Blogger weese said...

ooo I had that test too. did everything look red after? it did for me. I got a little nauseaus - but i think that was just my nerves from the IV in my hand. But when I went to find my wife in the waiting room she was red...or kinda pink. It was fun.
Glad its all good, Guy.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Guy. I have been without internet service as I have moved (again) so I am trying to catch up on your blog. I am so sorry to hear about your eye trouble.

We have the same doctor (I was downstairs on Monday at 7:30 am and then at the lab so we could have crossed paths!) and he also had to refer me to a specialist in Portland. So I can sorta relate to the stress thing...

I know I am relatively new to your blog (and the Astoria area) but I look forward to checking in daily to find out what is going on in your life and what is happening in the area (besides rain).

So I am sending positive energy and thoughts your way. Oh, and I really believe that sex is a great stress reliever. If that doesn't work, I have a Xanax with your name on it.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Hahn at Home said...

I knew it was going to be okay. I just had a very strong gut feeling. Maybe the key to health is to never have stress relief. I'm hopin'. Glad to hear it Guy.

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your blog daily, I have learned much from your writings, I pass the info along to family, my family thinks I'm so smart.
I am a total believer stress effects your health in negative ways.
Keep writing, ( your good) you are helping relieve your stress, my stress.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Glad to hear that things are moving in a positive direction both financially and health wise.

5:02 PM  
Blogger g said...

first off, glad the canadians got you over 26. i think about way back when i was in college driving a big buick sedan and driving up to timberline, sun river and many times over a snowed in 26 (all without chains). to this day, i've never chained up. haven't even owned them. i was thinking about chains today though!

secondly, i'm glad you are doing something immediately to diagnose and hopefully (i'm prayin for ya) cure your eye. thanks for the update.

6:45 PM  
Blogger dalia said...

stress is the body's way of telling you that you're overloading. "handling stress" is a euphemism for killing yourself slowly.

i hope you get better soon. and take it easy, eh?

7:34 PM  
Blogger Lachlan said...


So glad to hear it's not serious, and that your wife is getting her benefits. Yay for some good news!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Geez, Guy. Stress? I'll be waiting for my eyeballs to start blistering any moment.

I do hope you're on the mend.

10:38 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Donna, we are cut from the same cloth in many ways.

Loopy, I still plan to take it easy on the readers.

Auntie, scared the crap out of me as well.

Darev, I was thinking of a Matisse poker chip eye piece. Read much Bradbury?

Anon, Whoa, poor embarrassed and scarred friend.

Zoe, when I go back I'm going to ask for the cross section image. BTY the photo is of a healthy retina.

Weese, how about the color of your pee for the next day?

Cyn, are you flirting with me? Hehehe. I saw no one in the hall. Thee were only people wearing scrubs by the coffee cart. Maybe our paths will cross again.

Lori, It's odd but I didn't think I was under all that much stress. Things don't normally get to me, but I guess they do.

Anon, this is a good stress reliever, if not just a way to add perspective to what I'm thinking.

Jeff, me too.

g,It's better being cautious as we age. We don't recover from wrecks as quickly as we did in our teens.

Dalia, Yeah, eh. You are right.

Thanks, Lach, hugs back at you.

Mo3, oddly it seems in my case that it happened when the stress was relieved. I relaxed and I got nailed.

5:56 AM  

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