Recovery 16 October 2016

 Posted by on October 16, 2016  Add comments
Oct 162016
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First of all I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who posted on my last post. All so very much appreciated as I undertake this involuntary journey of regaining the sight in my right eye. You are an inspiring group of people and I feel very supported.

It has now been just over 2 weeks since my operation and I have been through a wide range of emotions. Some days I feel incredibly vulnerable as I try to navigate my way around town with no peripheral vision on the right. People arrive from nowhere and I think they think I am stupid or rude not seeing them, I get a huge fright as I had no idea they were there. The supermarket is a nightmare – stuff everywhere, people pushing and having no ideal what it is like not to see very well. I just want to push the slow down button, the pause button. Why don’t we live in the Matrix? Then I give myself that hard kick and tell myself to toughen up – no victim in this head! I look right at the person next to me and smile, they see the patch on my eye and apologise, offer to help. I want to cry because of their kindness. Emotions! Love them or hate them they are life and boy have I connected with them these few weeks. Am I stubborn and independent? hell yeah! What does that mean for my family who want to help? Well, let’s just say I can get grumpy when I am trying to just do it alone. Have I learned that there is no weakness in accepting help? hell yeah! What happens if you just relax and let the world work its magic around you? Well, magic happens, teamwork, love, kindness and all those wonderful things come flooding in. Perhaps this is the lesson a detached retina must teach me. Slow down, be kinder, be more gentle, accept well meaning help, don’t let vulnerability turn me into a victim … be aware that others have bigger challenges, have more empathy.

So, there is an insight into the emotional journey. What about the physical one? I had the vitreous humour removed from my eye and it was filled with gas (C2F6 to be precise). As my eye makes more fluid (not vitreous) it gradually fills up. Each day I watch the fluid level creep up a little. Today it is like having my eye half above and half under water – what is above is blurred and what is below is clearer. Another way of thinking about it is wearing some goggles that are half filled with water. As you walk it sloshes – try it out, makes for an interesting day. If I am really still I can see my heart beat as it sends ripples across the surface of my “pool”. I love that.

Depth of field is interesting – deeper when looking through fluid and lower then f1.2 when looking through gas!

Today’s post tries to document what I can see today. It is weird how the angle I look makes such a big difference. The first image is about what I saw when I woke up this morning – mornings are blurriest. You an see that I have tried to show you the level of the fluid in my eye. From a lying down position everything is blurred. Fiona brings me a cup of tea or coffee. When I sit up and look down as I take a sip, this is about what I see. I look through the fluid so it is clearer but the depth of field is ridiculously short. Each day I bring my hand up to my eye to see how things have progressed. This is the view (more or less) I had this morning. My finger is about 1cm away from my eyeball! The last image is the long view, once I am up and things have settled down a bit.

And the journey continues …. I am taking so much from it. Thank you so much for all your kind messages, which come from here, Facebook, text messages, emails and phone calls. I am one incredibly lucky individual.

To my family, words cannot express how much I appreciate your love and caring.

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  9 Responses to “Recovery 16 October 2016”

  1. This is a journey that we are all watching Bruce, I’m so sad that you are the poor lad taking it but know that we are all totally behind you. Not sure though being behind you is a good thing mind, as your the one with the limited eyesight, maybe you should follow us for a while.
    This comment seems irrelevant as you can’t read it anyway, just know our thoughts and love go out to you every day.

    Just a minor correction to your words, “I am one incredibly lucky individual” should read that “We are all incredibly lucky individuals to call you a friend”.

    Get well soon.

  2. Thanks Bruce for the details about your experience. It gives me a better appreciation of what you are going through. All the best on your road to recovery.
    In no way do I want to minimise what you are going though but I have found a book called “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday a very helpful message. I have the audio version.

  3. Thank you for sharing, take care.

  4. Good morning Bruce. What a hell of a journey you are going through. Ferg’s words say it all. Thinking of you. Meg

  5. I know the feeling well….

    Its quite all right to just want the old you back. And that is exactly what will happen, even if the new “old you” is a bit different.

    Your explanation of the feelings and visions from your journey is extraordinary. Thank you for bringing us along for the ride

  6. What you’re doing, and sharing, is amazing Bruce. I love that you can use your skills and heart in photography to help us share, and understand what you are going through. This is very, very special. Thank you. My Dad went through this a few years ago, and I didn’t really appreciate what he was dealing with until now. We are holding you, and your complete recovery in our thoughts.

  7. What a great description of the emotional and physical journey you are on. It is great that you are looking for the learning in the experience. Sounds like you have a built in spirit level. You could go and work for Jen and Mark. :-). Great images too.

  8. Eloquent and informative as always Bruce. Can’t imagine what it would be like – pretty frustrating to say the least – you’re coping brilliantly (as might be expected). Hang in there Chum.

  9. Thanks for sharing this Bruce, great visuals on your not so great visuals. All the best .

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