Following my sister’s determined decision to take up the challenge of the 14-mile Eye to Eye walk from Moorfields Eye Hospital to the London Eye in aid of Moorfields Eye Charity (https://rdramblings.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/marching-for-moorfields-signing-up/) because I didn’t think I’d be able to do it due to a much-dreaded surgery number 6 looming on the horizon like a giant monster with particularly huge gnashing teeth, I settled back in reluctant resignation and busied myself in nagging various friends and family members to sponsor her. It must be noted here that a fair few people duly did, and we’ve been hugely grateful for the generosity shown so far. At my appointment at Moorfields on 7 December, I was given the unexpected but very welcome news that my new consultant (you know, the one who IS going to fix my eyes) felt that it wasn’t necessary to rush into further surgery quite yet, and he was happy to give me a break from it and continue to monitor my eyes for the next few months (see: https://rdramblings.wordpress.com/2015/12/08/wheres-a-magic-carpet-when-you-need-one/). Once I’d recovered from the euphoria of this news, I suddenly realised… Eye to Eye… yes… I’d probably be able to sign up and take part after all! Wehey!
As I still get extremely tired more easily than I ever did before this ongoing eye nightmare began, plus I also had the nagging worry as to what would happen if I signed up for the walk and then needed surgery in the meantime, I emailed the helpful lady at Moorfields Eye Charity for advice. She got back to me to say that if I find myself getting tired during the walk, it can be arranged for me to be picked up and taken to the end to meet my sister, and if for any reason I find myself unable to take part after all, I should just let my sponsors know in case they would like their donations refunded. (I’m hoping that none of the people I know are capable of being quite so Scrooge-like.) The main reason I’m so keen to take part in Eye to Eye is that I’m hugely grateful to Moorfields for the treatment and care they’ve given me so far, even though unfortuately much of it hasn’t been as successful as I’d have liked due to the fact that I’m in a tiny minority of very complicated cases. I’m also very aware that we have much to be thankful for in the UK, with treatment being covered by the NHS. I read some of the stories of my American eye buddies in horror, thinking that it’s bad enough going through these eye issues anyway, without having the added stress of costs and health insurance to contend with. Eye surgery is not cheap. A family friend who had a vitrectomy operation for a macular hole in 2014 was quoted £7,000 to have the surgery done privately. I’ve now had five vitrectomies, and I’m guessing the figure my friend was quoted wouldn’t have included all the added extras I’ve had to undergo during these operations, such as laser, cryotherapy, retinectomies, and the tricky business of getting the darn retina to lie flat once more. I therefore have many reasons to be hugely grateful to Moorfields and the NHS. I’m now keeping my fingers crossed that, having now signed up for it, all will be well and I’ll be able to crack on and do the walk on 13 March. I’m also hoping that lots more people will sponsor us. It doesn’t matter how much – everything helps!
For further information about Eye to Eye, please see: http://www.moorfields.nhs.uk/content/eye-eye-2016, and if you’d like to sponsor us in our walking challenge, please do so via my sister’s JustGiving page at: https://www.justgiving.com/emseyes. The money raised will go to Moorfields Eye Charity, to support sight saving research into retinal conditions. 🙂