By Louis Cahill
Who’s ready for some good news?
Surgery number seven was a success. My Retina is stable and, so far, no complications. I’m 17 days post-op today and the doctor gives me a thumbs up. If everything goes well just one more surgery. This is the best news we could hope for.
For now my job is just to take care of myself, be healthy, and try to get back in shape a little while I can. We will reevaluate in February and, if nothing has changed, schedule surgery number eight. The goal of the next surgery is to remove the silicon oil, put in my eye to stabilize the retina like a cast. This procedure is not without risk. Nothing is when it comes to your eyes. The doctor judges a one in twenty chance that my retina could detach again, most likely on the operating table. If that were to happen, we’d be back to square one with limited options. I feel very positive though. I have absolute confidence in my doctor and my body feels like I am healing and getting stronger. I really feel like I’ve turned a corner.
Removing the oil from my eye will have a couple of benefits. There will be some visual improvement, though it will be modest. My macula is pretty much shot so 20/200 vision is about as good as I can expect. I will however, hopefully, see two big improvements. The optical index of the oil causes double vision, especially at close distance. That should be gone once the oil is removed and my brain gets used to the new signal. The other big change relates to the condition of the oil. With time, the oil emulsifies, becoming cloudy with more and more bubbles in it. Right now it’s kind of like a snow globe. If I hold still, with my head vertical, it clears up reasonably well. If I look down or move around a lot, it looks like I have a piece of masking tape on my glasses. I try not to complain, but it is very annoying. That should disappear too.
The big benefits to the oil removal are more related to my general health. In time, the oil will drive up my eye pressure causing glaucoma. That’s a when, not an if. If that happened and my retina were not stable, I’d be between a rock and a hard place. Basically, glass eye territory. That’s my biggest motivation. There is another issue with the oil. As long as it’s in there, I can’t lie on my back, or even look up for extended periods. The oil pressing up on the inner lens causes issues. It doesn’t sound like a big deal, until you try it for a year. Because I was in bed and unable to roll over for six months, I have nerve damage in my legs. It’s painful and inhibits my walking a bit. I’m hopeful that being able to sleep on my back will help this condition. It will likely never go away, but it could get much better and that would be wonderful.
I am really ready to get back to working up to my potential. I do not sit around well, by nature. I’m ready to spend a lot more time on the water, do a lot more writing (about something other than my miserable eye) and just generally feel well and capable. I thank you all for your patience during this challenging time. If this next surgery happens in February, and is in fact my last, it will be twenty-five months from the first surgery. More like twenty-eight including recovery. What a journey. I have definitely learned some things about myself.
There are so many people who helped me out during this ordeal. The thank-yous I owe are endless. All of you readers, and all of our sponsors have been amazing. My wife Kathy has been unbelievable and deserves a medal, or at least a serious vacation! My contributors, who have kept G&G alive. Folks like, but not limited to, Justin Pickett, Jason Tucker Dan Frasier and John Byron. My dear friends who have physically been there when I needed them. Folks like Scott McKenzie, John Girardeau, Geoff Murphy, Aleks Renshaw, Peter Hajek, Bruce Chard, Gray Wilson, Tom Wilkenson, Jeff Notrica. Some of them coming from as far as California and Colorado to look after me.
And a very special thank you to Dr Ajay Alurkar of Omni Eye services. I know exactly where I’d be without this man, and it ain’t good. The only surgeon who has worked on me and made things better reader than worse. His no bull-shit manner has been perfect for me and his endless compassion for his patients is remarkable. If you have any need for a retina specialist, and I hope you never do, he’s the man. Thank you Dr Ajay, from the bottom of my heart.Louis Cahill Gink & Gasoline www.ginkandgasoline.com firstname.lastname@example.org Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter!