Eye Surgery Update #7

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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
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17 thoughts on “Eye Surgery Update #7

  1. Get some stuffed bonefish dolls and have someone hide them around your lawn, go look for them. Best eye test there is: can you see bonefish…

    Glad you hung in there, shipmate. Good news.

  2. You have really been through a lot with your eyes! I hope and pray all goes as well as it can as you go forward through the next steps.

  3. More power to you, Louis. Let’s hope everything moving forward is just as positive. Nice to have a great news story coming out of the States for a change 🙂

  4. Great news! Really happy for you. Look forward to seeing you in the Bahamas and having an amazing time there! Bonefish, great food and fellowship! A lot to look forward to!!!

  5. Wow Louis, and I thought I had issues with my detached retina. You are a fighter and you had to refrain from moving, sitting up, etc…. Plus lay on your side for a year. I am waiting for the next phase of technology to correct the 12 degree tilt, but there is no hope for the front half of my left bicep, it just snapped one day after being allowed to get up and go outside. But like you I’m hopeful because I have a little vision even though it is blurred. With my 2D (not 3D) vision I haven’t gotten up the courage to tie a fly for fear of what it will look like. But after reading your article I’m going to wipe off the dust and just do it.

  6. Louis, if you never write another word , but are able to go back to the fishing, family and friends you love, we good! Thanks for all you’ve brought to us and I think you’ve still got a lot of days on the water in you. God Bless!

  7. Louis, wishing you best success going forward. You have been through lots with your eyes and your mentioning learning a lot about yourself It’s another type of sight, Insight. I wish we all would see that way more often.

  8. I was ready for some good news! Your toughness and positive attitude helps me deal with cancelled fishing trips, efforts to avoid Covid, and 4:30 sunsets. Man, I hope you get your legs back and enjoy life a bit before that February surgery.

  9. You’ve been through so much and you still have a good attitude. Hang in there and hopefully this will be the last surgery you need. I’ve learned so much from your blog, thanks.

  10. Thank you Louis for grounding all of us, once again, in to those people and things in life that are most important.
    God Bless your continued recovery and all those involved in making it so!

  11. Louis,
    My thoughts and prayers go out to you for continued positive results and hopefully a lasting recovery from the pending 8th surgery. Your determination and positive focus are an inspiration to all of us! Please know that many people like myself are pulling for you in your journey through this. Please take care and best of luck for continued positive results.

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