Tag Archives: Peripheral vision

Blind fear

Since my eye issues began back in April 2014, my greatest fear has been that I may one day go blind.  I’m sure that some people will dismiss this as hysterical melodrama; however, the hard facts are as follows:

  1. I’ve lost a considerable amount of vision in my right eye, which cannot now be restored.
  2. After suffering a retinal detachment in one eye, the risk of it happening in the other eye increases by approximately 12%.
  3. I have lattice degeneration in my left retina and have already had two large tears repaired.
  4. I have a cataract in my left eye.

So basically, I have good reasons for my fear and, being a realist, I’m all too aware that it would be foolish to gaze into my future through rose-tinted glasses.  This fear of blindness, coupled with the fact that I’m a bit of a worrier [understatement alert!] isn’t the best recipe for a relaxed and peaceful life.  It’s sometimes easy to get drawn into things like compiling a mental list of all the things I wouldn’t be able to do if my left eye were to end up as bad as my right.   (I won’t even get into that one right now…)   I’ve had nightmares about going blind – proper, terrifying dreams which seem so real that when I finally jolt awake I have to switch my bedside light on and check that I can still see as my heart rate gradually returns to normal.  “What could I do to lessen this fear of blindness?”, I’ve often wailed to myself.

I decided that it might help if I could actually meet someone who’s severely visually impaired and just chat to them about how they deal with certain things.  Perhaps facing the fear in this way would dilute it somewhat, I mused.  However, in order to do this, I first needed to find someone who would be happy to talk to me, and secondly I had to face my lesser worry of meeting a Scary New Person.  (Yikes!)

An opportunity presented itself out of the blue last week when I spotted a post on a VI group on Facebook.  It was someone asking if any members were in the Canterbury area as she’d like to get to know other people who were dealing with sight loss.  I bit the bullet and sent her a message, thinking it would probably disappear into that weird ‘other inbox’ Facebook has, and I’d never hear from her.  A reply pinged back within minutes, and after messaging back and forth for a while, we arranged to meet up for a cuppa in Canterbury that Sunday.  Fortunately, that didn’t give me much time to stress about it, but all the same I worried about potentially saying the wrong thing or coming across as being nosy.  (Is genuine curiosity and the desire to educate myself the same as nosiness?)  At least there was one thing I didn’t need to worry about: she’d told me that she’d be in dark glasses with a long cane, so  I told myself that at least I should be able to spot her easily!  This didn’t stop me from honing in anxiously on every person walking with a stick (why, oh why, do they make those metal walking sticks so bright?  Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned wooden ones which don’t stand out?!)  But I digress…

We met up and immediately I felt more at ease during our debate about which coffee shop to go to, as she observed despairingly, “They’re all really dark, aren’t they?!”  I was chuckling about the irony of this, because I have problems in places which are too bright.  However, it transpired that so does she!  Once we were safely seated in appropriately-lit area and sipping our drinks, we got down to the serious business of exchanging eye stories…

I learnt that she’s registered severely sight impaired and has had sight problems since birth.  When I asked what her eye condition is, she burst out laughing, before explaining that it’s so complicated that she often doesn’t know where to start!  The main issue seems to be that she has bilateral corectopia, which basically means that both her pupils are in the wrong place.  When she removed her dark glasses to show me, and I peered into her eyes, I actually gasped in surprise.  Her pupils are tiny, situated high up in her irises instead of in the centre, and their shape is slightly distorted.  She explained that they don’t dilate properly (the same as my right pupil since my last surgery), which explains why certain lighting conditions are so tricky.  She told me that because of the position of her pupils, she has tunnel vision – i.e. she doesn’t have any peripheral vision.  I realised just how bad this must be when I asked what her visual acuity is in each eye and discovered that they’re better than mine in my bad eye.  So basically, as she’s registered severely sight impaired, this means that her peripheral vision must be MASSIVELY reduced.

She also explained that her natural lenses are displaced.   She keeps getting flashes of light as a result and she’s been warned that she has a high risk of retinal detachment.  One of the reasons she was keen to meet up was to learn more about RD, which hopefully I was able to help her out with.  It quickly became very apparent that just as I’m terrified of losing any more sight; so is she.  I won’t ramble on any further here as this post is already rather long, but I learnt a great deal from our meet-up.  It was also a lot of fun – it’s always therapeutic to chat to someone who has a good sense of humour and understands certain perils of eye issues!


Visual fields

Living with peripheral vision loss can be a tad embarrassing at times.  It’s caused me to let out a loud girly squeal whilst using the photocopier at work, when the Dean (no less) suddenly appeared on my bad side, seemingly out of nowhere, and boomed “Good morning!” at me.  It’s resulted in me leaping a foot in the air and bashing my knuckles on the hand-dryer in the loo at work, when a student materialised out of thin air at the hand-dryer alongside me.  It’s caused me to berate my good friend when she spotted me in the distance one day and ran to catch up with me, grabbing my right arm as she did so and thereby scaring the living daylights out of me.  I frequently jump violently and then swear with equal violence under my breath when a cyclist whizzes past me as I walk along the paths on campus.  After stumbling over students’ bags in the entrance to my workplace on several occasions, I now walk round and use a different door if I need to enter or exit at the time a lecture is due to start or finish.  Last but not least, I’ve acquired some interesting bruises on my right shoulder due to various minor mishaps.

The loss of peripheral vision in my right eye is due to the 360 degree laser surgery which was done in an attempt to stop the retina from re-detaching and to try and save my central vision.  I suspect the three retinectomies (where part of the retina which won’t lie flat is physically cut away) probably haven’t helped matters, either.  Of course, unless people have actually experienced loss of peripheral vision themselves, it’s difficult to expect them to fully understand.  I thought perhaps a visual interpretation might help, and therefore sought the assistance of my personal patient photographer, who happily doubled up as a person with properly working peepers.  (It’s such a shame that the ‘h’ in ‘photographer’ messes up the alliteration there; however, I digress…)  Our highly scientific peripheral vision experiments when looking at the fields just down the road from my house, followed by extensive jiggery pokery with photo-editing software, led to the following results…

The picture below shows the complete field of vision of a person with properly working peepers, with both eyes open:


The visual field of someone with ‘normal’ vision.

The following picture shows the field of vision of both a person with properly working peepers and myself, when our right eyes are closed (so looking only through the left eye):


Visual field of left eye.

The next picture shows the field of vision of a person with properly working peepers, whose left eye is closed (so looking through the right eye only):


Visual field of right eye of someone with ‘normal’ vision.

The final picture (below) shows the field of vision in my right eye, with my left eye closed:


Visual field of my right (RD) eye.

If you compare the last two pictures, you can get some idea of how much peripheral vision I’ve lost in my right eye.  If you look at these pictures in conjunction with the images in my earlier blog post, Do you see what I see?, this gives the most accurate representation possible of my waffy vision as it is at the current time.  So with that in mind, if you could kindly avoid sneaking up on me on my right-hand side, that’d be just grand…

Note: Grateful thanks to the patient photographer for producing these images for me and putting up with extensive peripheral vision analysis in the process.





Happy birthday, dear silicone oil…

My silicone oil is a year old today.  I wondered whether I should sing ‘happy birthday’ to it, or perhaps bake a cake to mark the occasion.  Naturally, I decided against giving it the bumps (The advice, “Don’t get a head trauma” still rings in my ears.).  This is my third lot of oil.  The first lot was in for seven months and the second was in for three and a half months.  So that’s almost two years of peering at the world through a silicone oil filled eyeball.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining here.  The oil is holding my retina in place, for which I’m exceedingly grateful.  But, as one of my eye buddies once said, “I have a love-hate relationship with the silicone oil.  I love it because it’s holding my retina but I hate it because of the crappy vision it gives me.”

As someone who’s pretty rubbish with numbers (it’s a source of some bemusement to me that I can remember huge chunks of ‘Hamlet’ with ease, and yet can’t recall my mum’s ‘phone number), I find it rather odd that I can remember all my surgery dates.  This is also somewhat unfortunate, as in the past couple of weeks I’ve found myself almost re-living the emotions of a year ago.  I had surgery to remove my second lot of silicone oil on 14 May 2015.  Before that surgery, I was terrified yet also incredibly hopeful and excited at the prospect of regaining some decent vision.  I knew that once the oil was removed there was a possibility that my retina would re-detach, but of course I didn’t think this would really happen.  I mean, surely three detachments were more than enough for one person, right?  I knew that I’d be living in fear of a re-detachment for a while, but I hoped that everything would go smoothly and the fear would lessen over time.

During the surgery to remove the oil, detachment number four was discovered.  I cursed my sodding retina soundly, but remained hopeful.  The detachment was fixed in surgery, a gas bubble was inserted, and posturing was prescribed.  This was all familiar territory; I knew the drill, and I was determined that this time the retina WAS GOING TO STICK!  I only had the short-acting gas on this occasion and when it began to disperse after only about a week, I was beside myself with excitement upon making the startling discovery that I was able to read again using my right eye.  “Wehey!”, I thought to myself, in awe and wonder.

After four more days, my excitement was cruelly smothered by a heavy blanket of doom, as I made an emergency visit to Moorfields after experiencing some odd visual effects, and was given the grim news that my retina had detached yet again.  Spectacularly detached.  In two places.  Within hours, the weird translucent areas I could see became darker as they gradually spread and transformed themselves into the dreaded ‘curtain’, which I could no longer see through.

Surgery number five took place on 28 May 2015, when quite a lot was done (a brief run-down can be found by reading ‘Where I’m at now‘) and silicone oil was put back in.  So within the space of two weeks I went from having blurry vision with my oil-filled eye but still reasonable peripheral vision; to only being able to see light with the gas bubble; to pretty good vision returning once the gas started to disperse; to all kinds of bizarre visual effects once the retina started to re-detach; to blackness once the detachment progressed; and then back to very blurry vision through the oil with considerably reduced peripheral vision due to the 360 degree laser treatment.  Exhausting and relentless emotional rollercoaster are the words which come to mind in describing my RD journey.

Anyway… I’m feeling in need of being cheered up now, so I’m off to put the kettle on and cut myself a large slice of silicone oil birthday cake.



Q: What’s more stressful than an impending eye appointment? …

… A: An impending eye appointment being cancelled at the last minute.

Okay, so it wasn’t cancelled quite at the last minute; I got the ‘phone call from Moorfields just before 5pm on Friday rather than on Monday morning.  The appointment should have been 10:15 on Monday morning, so things could have been worse.  In fact, as some people are fond of telling me, things could always be worse.  Obviously, I’m also well aware of the fact that there are many things far more stressful than having an appointment cancelled at the last minute.  Surgery cancelled at the last minute, for example.  Or just surgery, full-stop.  But I digress…

It was the big weekend of celebrations for the occasion of my mum reaching the ripe old age of threescore years and ten.  We’d not long returned from a very enjoyable family meal out when my mobile started ringing and the suspicious announcement of ‘private number’ flashed up on the screen.  “Oh, I don’t know who it is, I’ll just ignore it”, I said casually.  “No, no, answer it!”, ordered my aunt, sounding slightly scandalised that I was prepared to ignore a call.  I reluctantly obeyed.  Upon being asked for confirmation of my name, I requested to know who was calling, in that slightly irritated tone of voice reserved for cold callers.  “Moorfields Eye Hospital, it’s about your appointment on Monday”, I was told, at which point my irritated tone swiftly changed to one of concern.  When I was told that my appointment had to be cancelled but that I could be offered another one in May, the concerned tone escalated to one of panic as I exclaimed, “But I was supposed to be seeing someone in April!”  Further conversation established that the appointment was being cancelled because there weren’t enough doctors, there was nobody else who could see me on that day, and there was no cancellation policy which may have enabled me to take the place of another patient.  The lady, whom I’m assuming had the unfortunate job of bearing similar bad news to large numbers of patients, was very calm and apologetic, and after checking a few more dates managed to find me an earlier appointment at the end of April.  Unfortunately, this didn’t prevent me from quite literally putting rather more than a dampener on my mum’s birthday celebrations by bursting noisily into tears as soon as I put the ‘phone down.

I should explain here that it wasn’t simply a case of having a routine appointment pushed back a few weeks which caused what some people will no doubt view as an extreme reaction.  For the couple of weeks leading up to an appointment, this is what it’s like: https://rdramblings.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/pre-appointment-paranoia/.  That’s on top of all the usual day-to-day RD paranoia and stress.  Last Monday night, I thought I saw a flash in my ‘good’ eye.  This caused me to lie awake for most of the night, periodically checking one eye then the other – staring into the darkness and moving my eyes around to see if I could see any flashes.  I realised that at certain times, I could see some of the effects of the weird flashes and lava lamp balls of light in my ‘good’ eye, even though I was pretty sure the effects were originating in my bad eye.

When morning came, I obsessively checked my visual field to ensure I hadn’t lost any more sight.  I spent that day in an exhausted fog of paranoia as I somehow managed to stumble through my working day, feeling dangerously on the verge of either bursting into tears or screaming until my lungs shattered.  Each time I went outside, I stared at the bright sky, following the floaters around in my ‘good’ eye and wondering whether there were more than usual.  There are so many, I can’t even count them and have no idea how I would know for certain if there were more.  I kept telling myself that it was okay, because I had my appointment at Moorfields the following Monday and they would check everything.  Although I’m always terrified about what the consultant may say at the check-ups, I also crave the reassurance of a positive appointment.  The news that things are stable in both eyes and surgery isn’t required at the moment has me skipping out of the hospital as if I’m on a high and equips me with the confidence to get through the next few weeks.  Having an appointment cancelled is akin to someone snatching my life-jacket off my back as I’m about to set off  in a small boat across rough sea.

I should emphasise here that I’m not blaming Moorfields for the cancellation.  Anyone in the UK who’s had the misfortune to spend any amount of time in an eye clinic will know how insanely busy it always is.  I don’t know whether the cancellation due to ‘not enough doctors’ is because of the junior doctors’ strike next week… I did ask this question but wasn’t given an answer.  If that is the reason, I can’t blame the junior doctors either.  I could make all sorts of political comments at this point, but I don’t think this is really the place.  So instead, when I attempt sleep tonight, rather than staring at my flashes and floaters and listening to my thumping heart, I’ll visualise throwing box after box of rotten eggs at a certain door in Downing Street.


RD Tics

Since dealing with retinal detachment, I appear to have picked up a number of behavioural quirks and odd habits.  I’m able to laugh at some of them at times, but at other times I feel as if I’m going everso slightly mad.  Here are just a few of them, together with explanations in the hopes that people will understand that there is a reason behind my sometimes strange behaviour…

  • The checking visual field tic
    This is when I sit in a certain place and shut one eye then look up, down, left and right with the other eye, to ensure that I haven’t lost any more peripheral vision before proceeding to do the same thing with the other eye.  My office buddy at work has now got used to this, and simply asks in a matter-of-fact manner whenever she catches me doing it, ‘Is everything okay?’
  • The “Oh my God, I’ve just seen a new floater” tic
    This takes the form of jumping in extreme alarm at any black object which happens to suddenly catch my eye.  It can be anything from a fly, a spider, a swooping blackbird, or, as happened recently, my black umbrella cover floating gently to the floor.  The jump, gasp, and sometimes shriek is generally followed by a couple of seconds of intense staring as i realise that the said fly / spider / blackbird / umbrella cover REALLY isn’t a new floater after all, and gradually my heart rate returns to normal.
  • The staring in the mirror tic
    Probably mistaken for deluded vanity when in public toilets, this is actually a compulsion to check my eye for redness, swelling, gunk, possible signs that the oil may have leaked through to the front of my eye, or just generally checking how dilated the pupil of my surgery eye is that day.
  • The sudden staring off into the distance mid-conversation tic
    I’m told that this can be quite off-putting.  Well, trust me, it’s even more off-putting for me as I do this when I think I’ve ‘seen’ something which causes my heart to pound and teeth to clench in fear.  Whatever it is that I think I’ve seen, it usually causes me to stand and stare in terrified concentration for a few minutes until I’m able to figure out a logical explanation for it.
  • The “Does my eye look alright?” tic
    This usually occurs in places where there’s no access to a mirror, and simply demonstrates the need for reassurance that yes, my eye does look relatively normal and there’s nothing immediate to worry about from the outside of it, at least.

So, for anyone reading this who is fortunate enough to have healthy peepers, please bear with us RD people and try to understand that, much as we would love to, we can’t escape from our waffy vision.  I’m afraid I don’t know what the answer is in dealing with it all, but if anyone has any useful suggestions then please let me know…

Panic and paranoia

It’s been a bad couple of weeks on the eye paranoia front.  On a scale of one to ten (one = I don’t even think about my eye issues, and ten = ringing Moorfields and looking up train times whilst trying to breathe evenly in order to calm my pounding heart), I’ve probably been about a seven or eight this week.  The fact that it was my first week back at work doing full-time hours probably hasn’t helped matters.  Even on a good day, my eye aches and feels uncomfortable.  After a full day at work on a computer (even with breaks and leaving on time), I’ve been coming home with my eyes feeling scratchy and sore, and so tired that I just want to close them and sleep.  Just to add another dig in the ribs, my companion Insomnia has been rearing her ugly head again, too.  I can’t bring myself to do what a friend was once advised for his insomnia – go downstairs and read the ‘phone book until he felt tired and then go back to bed and try and sleep.  So instead I just shift from one side to the other (still not allowed to sleep on my back), and try to think of happy things… like the day when there will be a miraculous cure for retinal detachments without having to go through multiple surgeries and deal with sometimes crippling anxiety about repeat detachments.

The paranoia of the past couple of weeks started when i parked my car one sunny saturday morning and looked up at the blue sky, blinked, and saw a grey circle hovering threateningly in the sky.  I blinked again and it was gone.  Closed my eyes, opened them, and there it was again.  Blinked, and it was gone.  I must have sat there in the car for a good twenty minutes doing this like some kind of lunatic, before I noticed that there was a circular sign just in front of the car with a white border.  I now *think* that what I was seeing was a kind of after image of this.  I spent the rest of the day at various points stopping dead, staring up at blue sky and blinking, but I didn’t see it again.

I’d just about pacified myself over that, when the headaches started.  Every few days.  Not bad, but enough to feel pants and irritable.  I started to think it must be my eye pressure going up, so I went off to the opticians to get the pressures checked.  18 in both eyes.  Pheeeeew!  That was okay then!  So what was causing the headaches?  Increased hours at work?  Insomnia?  Stress?  All three most probably…

The headaches have improved over the past few days (I hope I don’t jinx it now), but my current paranoia involves looking right then left again, convinced I can see something pulling at the edge of my vision.  I have had this before many times and asked about it at many of my appointments and am always told it’s okay.  I even went and got my little eye book out the other day to check what’s been said about it in the past in the hopes that it would make me feel a bit better.  I’ve never received a satisfactory answer about what exactly it is, but have been told ‘it could be the oil’.  It seems I’m often told ‘it could be the oil’ when they’re not sure what it is.  A bit like going to the GP and being told that you have ‘a virus’.  But until I can ask about it again, it’s worrying me.  Plus I seem to be getting some more flickering in a different area of my eye.  I’m hoping this isn’t more of the retina starting to detach, as is the case with the almost psychadelic flickering which I often get at the bottom of my eye.  I keep obsessively checking my visual field against the various markers in my house, and at the moment, thankfully, it seems to be unchanged.  But I still worry, because I don’t know why it’s flickering.  My next appointment isn’t until 28 September, which seems an age away at the moment.  I fear I may be carted off in a straitjacket before that time.

A Grand Day Out (…at Moorfields Eye Hospital?)

I decided I was going to bite the bullet and actually drive (BY MYSELF!) to Surrey in preparation for my appointment at Moorfields on Monday, so I was delighted when the day dawned grey and rainy.  Perfect conditions for RD patients.  Well, maybe the rain wasn’t so good, but at least the raindrops detracted from all the floaters in my good eye.  I set off in high spirits, enjoying the feeling of freedom from actually being able to make the journey on my own and not having to rely on anyone else or on public transport.  Being very sensible, I stopped off at the service station about half way there, and was mildly intrigued to hear a steel drum band playing as I drove in.   After a stretching my legs and resting my eyes for a few minutes, I set off again and was happily heading out of the service station and back onto the motorway when I realised that the steel band appeared to be following me.  In fact, either the band members had climbed into the boot of my car with their drums whilst I wasn’t looking or… it wasn’t a steel band at all.  It was at this point that the realisation dawned that my exhaust was rattling.  Great.  My first long journey after my last lot of surgery, and my ruddy exhaust decides to fall off on a very wet Sunday afternoon in the middle of the M25.  Well that’s just perfect timing.  After ranting away to myself for a few minutes, I decided that the only option was to adopt the same philosophy as I do with my eyes: keep going and hope for the best.  By the time I reached my destination, it sounded as if I was dragging a long string of tin cans underneath the car.  However, I cheerfully reminded myself that exhausts, unlike retinas, are easily replaceable.  The next morning, I drove it as cautiously as I could to the garage (bearing in mind that my sister was leading the way in her somewhat toned down Formula One driving style), and after this detour we set off to Moorfields, clutching my little eye book and taking bets on how many of my pre-prepared nineteen questions I’d manage to obtain answers to.

It was manic in the clinic – I’ve never seen it so busy.  The scarily grumpy receptionist said that it had been like that ever since my consultant had gone on maternity leave (I knew she shouldn’t have done that), and even the usually chilled-out friendly Irish nurse seemed a bit stressed, telling us after she’d administered the dilation drops that we may as well go back up to the cafe and get a cup of tea as she showed us the huge stack of files for patients in the queue before me. If we hadn’t already found the Moorfields geocache beforehand, we could have killed a few minutes by searching for that, although the dilated eyes would have made it a bit tricky.  Instead, we drank copious amounts of tea before heading back down to the clinic and waiting.  We debated passing some more time by playing a game of ‘I Spy’, but decided it wasn’t really appropriate.

Eventually, I was summoned through by a doctor I’d never seen before, but fortunately the surgeon who did my emergency operation at the end of May was there and so she called him over to have a look as well.  If I were to write a script of the eye examination, it would go something like this:

Ophthalmologist: “Pop your chin on there [indicating contraption] and rest your forehead against the bar.  Eyes wide open.”
My internal voice: “Please let it be okay, please let it be okay, please let it be okay…”
Ophthalmologist: “Now look straight ahead.”
My internal voice: “Please let it be okay, please let it be okay, please let it be okay…”
Ophthalmologist: “Look up.”  [pause]  “Look up and right.”  [pause]  “Look up and left.”  [pause]  “Look to the left.”  [pause]  “Look down and left.”  [longer pause]
My internal voice: “Please let it be okay, please let it be okay, please let it be okay…”
Ophthalmologist: “Look down.”  [pause]  “Look down and left.”  [pause]  “Look down.”  [longer pause]  “Look down and right.”  [longer pause]
My internal voice: “Oh ***** [insert expletive], what’s he seen?!”
Ophthalmologist: “Look down.”  [pause]  “Look to the right.”  [pause]
My internal voice: “Keep calm, keep calm, please let it be okay, please let it be okay, please let it be okay.”
Ophthalmologist: “And rest yourself back.”
My internal voice, wailing loudly: “What’s he seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen?!”

I have an unwritten rule not to ask questions whilst my eye is being examined as I think it’s best to let them concentrate and save the questions until afterwards once they’ve scribbled the notes down.  However, I’ve somewhat unfortunately got to know the signs which indicate when they’ve spotted something which isn’t quite right.  Sure enough, he went on to tell me that my retina was ‘misbehaving’ at the top and starting to detach again.  I stared at him in dismay and launched into inquisition mode, doing my best to ignore my internal voice which by this time was screaming loudly, “NOOOOOOOOOO!”, along with various other exclamations which are best left to the imagination.  Luckily, he was as patient as he had been before my surgery, and calmly fetched a piece of paper and proceeded to draw a diagram to explain what was going on in my eye.  He seemed a bit embarrassed when my sister asked him if we could take the drawing away with us, protesting that he’d have done a neater job if he’d realised we were going to keep it, but he handed it over nevertheless.  He probably realised that if he hadn’t parted with it, I’d have insisted on copying it down, and this would have taken a considerable amount of time due to the inconvenience of the dilation drops.  (See below for my version of his diagram, attempted with the very limited resources available on my decidedly dodgy laptop.)

He explained that the retina was starting to detach a little at the edge, outside the line of the 360 degree laser.  This was what he had suspected may happen at the time of the surgery, which was why he had proceeded with 360 laser.  If the detachment remains outside the laser line, I should be okay, but if it encroaches beyond that then he told me ominously, ‘we have a problem’.  It’s never good when a surgeon says that we may have a problem.  He then went on to discuss potential complications of silicone oil in the eye, most of which I already knew, but there was one issue which was new to me.  Part of me feels the need to ask Dr Google all about it, but for now I’m exercising my will power (or possibly metaphorically sticking my fingers in my ears and singing, ‘la la la la’) and hoping that I won’t need to find out.  He ended by telling me that it’s basically a waiting game now, as we have to see how the retina behaves.  All this talk of waiting to see how it behaves, as if it’s a particularly naughty child, makes me want to whack it into place with a rolling pin but somehow I don’t think that would help matters.  [Note: I should add here that I’m not in the habit of whacking naughty children with rolling pins, although sometimes it is rather tempting.]

retina misbehaving

Note: 360 degree laser is when a line is lasered all the way around the retina, a little way in from the edge.  The laser causes a scar reaction which seals the retina down.  The surgeon described it to me as being like a thin line of superglue.  This explains why peripheral vision is lost as a result of 360 laser.  A retinectomy is when a small part of the retina is cut away and removed because it won’t lie flat.  This also explains the loss of some of peripheral vision.