Good news, bad news about the ol’ peepers. Or peeper, in this case.
We know what’s causing my vision problems. I have a macular hole in one eye, and yes, that’s its actual medical name: Macular hole. It’s just one of those things that can happen as we, ahem, age, although I’d like it noted that I am still well short of the 60-year threshold when these things tend to appear. So anyway, I have this hole, and it needs to be repaired. Which means?
A DOCTOR IS GOING TO STICK A NEEDLE INTO MY EYEBALL AND SUCK ALL THE GOO OUT BEFORE REPLACING IT WITH A SALINE SOLUTION AND AN AIR BUBBLE. And yes, that is indeed what a vitrectomy is. So I guess that’s the bad news, although the ophthalmologist just shrugged; he does these all the time, mostly on people 20 years older than me, and they breeze through it.
The other bad news is, this will necessitate a break from blogging, because the worst part of all this will be the recovery — five to seven days spent in a face-down position 22 hours a day, so the air bubble stays at the back of my eyeball, providing a bandage of sorts that allows the macula to heal. They handed me this ridiculous pamphlet on the way out, showing me all the equipment I can rent for the recovery period. It’s mostly stuff that looks like a chair-massage outfit, with add-ons. “Visit with friends and family using the two-way mirror,” runs one photo caption, showing someone face down in the apparatus, conversing with someone across the room, using, yes, a two-way mirror.
I think I’ll try to get by with a doughnut pillow and my iPad.
I’m told I’ll feel fine, except for five days spent in more or less a plank position, followed by a few weeks of waiting for the bubble to be absorbed, when it’ll be “like looking through a goldfish bowl,” at least out of one eye. But I can drive, and hope to have a more or less normal summer.
As in so many things, the Burns family has come to my aid, only not J.C. this time, but brother Jim, who had retinal surgery a decade ago and did a comic about it. A dark comic, I guess. “Detached” — read it here.
But this won’t happen for a while, so we’re good. I have a feeling I may be figuring out a way to blog in facedown position before the end of it. And as always, we have to offer up two prayers. The American prayer: Thank God I have health insurance! And the karma prayer: Thank God it’s not cancer!
And I really am grateful. Because, as we so often say, it could be far, far worse. It’s just a little eye thing. Requiring a vitrectomy.
So, seeing as I was all tied up with my own personal things today, I don’t have much for you to read. We’re still waiting on news on the Boston bomber, of course. I didn’t spend much time cruising for news today, but I did see this: What is a pressure-cooker bomb and who makes them. (Gawker: They come in handy at the strangest times.)
This, however, was excellent: American daycare, American horror story. The New Republic. Good journalism.
And now I have to go read up about vitrectomies and all that can go wrong with them.