Monday, July 25, 2016

Roadrunner Reflections - Eye Update

Just wanted to followup with a brief note on my eye.  Over the last week or so, I've had some activity and didn't really know what was going on.  Seems like every few days things change but I had some pain and swelling which was new, so I thought it prudent to move up my two month 'check-in with a retina specialist' to as soon as I could find one.

Retina Northwest in Portland Oregon takes my insurance(Tricare Standard), and they worked with me to get me into a retina specialist.

That occurred on Friday AM the doctor did a very thorough exam and saw previous issues in addition to new problems.  I have a number of retina tears culminating in a Retina Detachment.  Yikes!  Not what we were hoping for... Up to Friday I was diagnosed with Retina Tear and Vitreous Hemorrhage.

This is a serious turn of events.  Glad we went in to see him.  I found him to be very thorough in his notetaking and assessment.  He was very professional and calm with the cold hard facts.  This has to be fixed.

He scheduled me for emergency surgery later this morning in Portland where I will be under general anesthesia where he perform:  vitrectomy with scleral buckle and intravitreal gas.

I thought this YouTube video was a pretty good (and short) explanation of my condition:

I also was going to show a short YouTube video of an actual surgery but it's a bit much...

We're going to stay in Portland for as long as it takes to get back to 'normal' and take it one day at a time.  It should take a couple of weeks in recovery here at the coach.  We'll find out in our post op appointment on Tuesday if I need to like face down or on mine side or what...

I am not planning on being able to read or sit up for those two weeks.  One friend who has had a number of retina detachment surgeryies (5) said, I am likely to become a 'carpet fiber expert'!  I guess being face down for a couple of weeks will make one very familiar with the floor.

Two things people have asked:

Will you get back to 100% vision?
- The doctor said, 'Maybe, but probably not'.  Not sure what all that means but I'm still planning and working on rehab so I get as close to what it used to be.
How do you feel about the surgery?
- I feel great!  I am so thankful we were able to get in to see the doctor and get scheduled ASAP.  Our son's Father-In-Law in a teaching optometrist and has been giving some good insight, recommendations and encouragement.  Plus, I've been able to talk with friends who have successfully been through this.
I am good with the outcome -- however it turns out. Since I am at about 5% vision in my left eye now, anything better is a bonus.  I am hoping for the best and praying that it will happen.
So, I'm in otherwise good health, good spirits and in good shape.

With that, I will close now and take a brief hiatus (probably at least two weeks or less if cleared to do so).

Thanks so much for your interest, support and prayers!  We appreciate it!

Thats all for now - thanks for joining us on the Roadrunner Chronicles!


  1. hopefully all goes well for you and the eye...

  2. Gerry had the retina surgery done many years ago and was required to lie face down for a number of weeks. She enjoys reading so we bought a number of audiobooks for her to listen to since she couldn't see that well. In addition, we used the local public library to gain access to more audiobooks. It may help you pass the time if you wind up staring at the floor.

    Hope all works out for you and on this and you are back on the road again. At least Portand is a nice place to be if you are grounded. Take care of yourself.

  3. We're praying for the best of outcomes for you Randy. Take it slowly and don't push the rehab.

  4. Randy,

    I just went through the same thing as you have. I found it was helpful to have a portable DVD player that I put at my feet and watched a bunch of shows instead of just staring at the floor. Sleeping at night I tried to keep as much face down between pillows as I could, one pillow on each side of my head with space for my nose and mouth to breathe.

    The gas bubble will slowly dissolve, eight weeks later I have just a small pea sized bubble left. The biggest issue aside from the head down attitude is the soreness of my eye muscles, resulting from having my eyelid held open for 2 1/2 hours of surgery. That will take a couple of months to get back to normal.

    The best news is I caught this early enough that my retina didn't fully detach and I didn't lose any vision, my eye is still 20-20. I hope and pray that your surgery will result in the same good outcome.

    I have to say that Tricare (standard) has been terrific for me, a wonderful benefit.

  5. Praying for the best outcome. Good to have so much support around you. Best to Pam too.

  6. Good for you for staying on top of that. Too often people wait too long.That is coming from a nurse. Get we.

  7. I had a torn retina a few years ago that required some laser surgery, doctor said that a delay in this repair could easily evolve into a detached retina...and that is very threatening to one's vision. Good that you were on the offensive and got on top of this. Good luck with your recovery...If you like Tricare Standard wait till you can try a little TFL(Tricare For Life) in conjunction with your Medicare...only bad part is having to be SIXTY FIVE....will be patiently waiting for your next post.

    1. Tricare has been great. Tricare for life is right around the corner... Thanks for the note.

  8. Thinking about you all day and have been sending positive vibes, hoping the surgery went as planned. Maybe Pam could post on this blog about how you're doing?? Looking forward to updates! Hugs and prayers flowing your way.....Carleen Terhune (TRVN, RollinSoloGal)

  9. So glad that you went in earlier than you were planning on to see the specialist, not that it was good news but at least now you what the problem is and are able to get it corrected before it got any worse. I hope everything goes well and that your recovery time will be quick.

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