I Can See Clearly Now

[Vitrectomy
Link] Not that it matters, but my extended blogging break has been mostly for medical reasons. A couple weeks back I noticed that something funny was going on with the vision in my right eye. It appeared a black blob was creeping up from the bottom of my vision field. I could still see OK out of the top two-thirds, but as the Apple guys say: "That's not recommended."

I had a previously-scheduled optometrist appointment. The nice lady took one look and told me what I kind of expected: I had a detached retina.

Instead of getting one of those stylish glass eyes, like Peter Falk, I was encouraged to get a vitrectomy, the removal of the eye's vitreous humor. (Schematic at right. Follow the link for even more disturbing pictures of the procedure.) Some fancy laser work pasted the retina back in place, and—this is kind of the cool part—my eye was inflated slightly with a gas bubble to hold the retina in place while things healed up, hopefully for the long term.

(I am wearing a green wristband to inform people that I can't fly, or be given nitrous oxide, lest my eye explode. That voids the warranty.)

The problem is: you can't see anything with a gas bubble in your eye. It does not have the same refractory index, so the lens can't do its usual fine focusing job. Worse, you're supposed to keep the bubble at the back of your eye, out of contact with the lens. It can cause cataracts. So I've also needed to spend waking and sleeping hours in a position with my eye pointing down.

This is even less interesting than it sounds. And sleeping is no picnic when you can't assume your normal range of comfortable positions.

Fortunately, I've been able to borrow the Audible versions of Sue Grafton novels for iPad playback. She's much more sleep-inducing in this format! Unlike reading a real book, the novel just keeps going while I doze off. So I wake up, realize that I've missed an unknown number of minutes/hours, and try to backtrack to the last thing I remember hearing.

But things are getting better, and I hope to be getting back to normal soon.


Last Modified 2012-12-14 5:29 AM EST