How it all started It started simply enough. Approximately 2 years ago I noticed an artifact in the vision of my right eye. I would describe it as similar to the blind spot you get after looking at a bright light except that it persisted. I ignored it for a while, then I began to notice that things were also looking warped. So I made an appointment with my optometrist.
My optometrist dilated my eyes, examined me, and was clearly very concerned. She referred me to an ophthalmologist that same day. He diagnosed me with a fuch’s spot or a lacquer crack and said that in all likelihood there was nothing that could be done. For a while he simply observed me. It got much worse.
The effects My retina hemorrhaged and made a large blood pool. It was very near the center of my vision and so I was functionally blind in my right eye for a period of months. After the blood pool mostly dissolved there was significant leakage of eyeball juice*, and a severely warped / blind place in my central vision. To illustrate how blind I was, when I went to renew my driver’s license I couldn’t pass the eye test. So I had to get a waiver from my optometrist. At that point I could only see the biggest E (20/200) on the eye chart.
How it felt
I do not mean physically, how did it feel. There was no pain. I never experienced any discomfort with my eye whatsoever during this entire process so far. Unless you count the dilation and bright light being shone in repeatedly every 2 weeks over the course the observation. There are no nerve endings in the retina, consequently there was no pain.
However, over this period of a couple of months I did have to come to terms with having no vision in one eye. It was a sort of odd grieving that is hard to explain. I wasn’t disabled in any real way. I could still read and drive, and function in every way that I could previously, but I still had to come to terms with it.
Just when I felt that I was coming to terms with this loss of vision, I remember picking up a gun, and realizing that I could never shoot again, or that I would have to learn to shoot left- handed. This realization kick-started the whole spiral of depression and dealing with loss all over again.
I am not saying this in order to earn pity. I am just reporting what I experienced. This grieving over the loss of my eyesight is at least as significant as any pain that I incurred with the injections.
Speaking of Avastin injections, you want to know what they were like don't you? I know, I know that’s why you are still reading this ridiculously long post.
That part comes tomorrow. Click here.
* I know it's not called eyeball juice but it's a funnier word than fluid and this topic needs some levity. Even though ocular fluid is called humour it is not funny at all.