Tuesday, 23 February 2010

stickler - last extension

I finished the drops on Friday, and have felt none the worse for it, though my eye did get more bloodshot over the weekend than it had been for a while. I was pretty sure last week though that I wouldn't be ready to go back to work this week, but had decided to wait until the drops were finished before I went back to see someone - it made most sense to go back to the hospital rather than the gp, to get the double vision checked out, and I went in yesterday. The brightness hadn't been so troubling as before, but the returning vision was definitely bringing the issue of the double vision to the fore. Interestingly, however, although I'm pretty ure the double vision wasn't actually getting better last week, it was getting much easier to cope with, to the point where today, for example, I could look at the telly with both eyes, though not for long, without being particularly aware of the double vision. My theory is that the brain is compensating and choosing to suppress the information coming from the right eye and concentrate on that coming from the left eye. Tis in turn, ironically, made it difficult for me yesterday when the optometrist was testing the extent and nature of my double vision, and his attempts to correct it, as I then had to concentrate, or shut my left eye and open it again, to 'see' the double vision.

I went into the eye casualty first thing yesterday; I think I was first to register and second to be seen. When the nurse asked me why I'd waited so long to come in about the double vision - I said I'd had it for two or three weeks - I said I'd thought it was a normal side effect and that it would go as the gas disappeared, but that wasn't happening. I didn't mention this, but on Thursday I had decided to check out the post-operation information online again, and it did seem to me to be saying that double vision was a possible side effect of the surgery rather than something that came with the drops and gas, which had made me more concerned about it and more sure about going in to the hospital. The nurse sent me up to see someone to check my double vision out, which happened in the children's eye clinic (because of space issues for clinics, apparently). After testing my eye, and then testing different correctives, he put what he called a prism on my glasses lens, which corrected the double vision a little but not completely, though I think that was at least partly because I wasn't giving very clear answers to the testing. He then took me back down to the eye casualty so I could see the doctor there, and he spoke to him before I went in. He also made an appointment for me to come back and see him forhim to check the double vision again; the appointment ended up being for monday 15th March, which is the day before my appointment for the post-surgery check-up. He and the casualty doctor both indicated that double vision was a common side effect of the surgery (the doctor went along to check this out with one of the more senior doctors, I guess, and confirmed that that was indeed so). The doctor, and the nurse who popped back in, both noticed that I had a squint, which the double vision chap hadn't commented on, and I told them I hadn't had it before. The doctor, essentially, seemed very laid back about it. Indeed, I don't think the question of a sick certificate would have come up if I hadn't said I was concerned about going back to work and could I have an extension; he was happy to do that, but I had to remind him at the end of our time that I wanted one. He gave me a note for one to two weeks. But it was clear that I was more worried about going back to work with double vision than he was, and he was saying that I shouldn't worry about working with my left eye only, that that wouldn't damage anything. So on the one hand I'm still quite apprehensive about going back to work, but on the other I'm seeing that it's time to give it a go, perhaps with half my head draped in a black scarf as necessary. The doctor looked over my eye, and in other respects he was perfectly happy with how things were going; essentially he was saying, talk about the double vision when you come in for your March appointment. I forgot to mention that my eye was more bloodshot than it had been for a while, but the bloodshotness never came up.

I spoke to Carol in the afternoon and said I'd been signed off for one to two weeks, and was thinking about trying to come back in next week, but that I was concerned about two things in particular in relation to work - that I wanted to try to ease back in gradually but was worried I wouldn't be able to do that, and that I knew the next issue of the magazine was coming upon us now, that it was going to be a special one and was wanted earlier than scheduled but I was concerned I wouldn't be in a position to do that. She reassured me on both counts, and said it had come up in the exec that day and that she had said that she didn't think I'd be in a position to be full-on on the next magazine. Early this afternoon Carol rang and asked if she could give my number to Steve so he could ring me about the next issue today, and when Steve rang he said that - I'm sure after talking to Carol - they were thinking the best thing, if I was happy with it, would be for me to forget about this next issue of the magazine and just look to the one after it, and that they would do something different for the anniversary magazine, taking it as an opportunity in a way to do something different, perhaps less magaziney. I'll be happy with that, and it does take the pressure off. I think Steve would be happy in any case to move away from a heavy magazine, so this might turn out to be the start of a new emphasis or direction in promotional material.

The folk all noted that I had just finished the drops on Friday which was why my pupil was still quite dilated. It still is. I guess it's been dilated so long it will take some time to get back to normal. The brightness is definitely less of an issue than it used to be, though not sure if it's less of an issue since Friday. But I'm certainly now using both eyes when sitting or walking around without thinking about it or noticing I'm doing it. The doctor said I'm down to about twenty per cent of the gas in my eye, although to me it seems like a bigger bubble than that, and that it could be another month before it all goes. But the vision is definitely much better than when I wrote about it last, though still rather like looking through a wet, yellow-tinted window - like a sheen of water on it, rather than raindrops. Still slightly soft focus, and now with added little bits of debris hopping about, which make me feel like there are insects in my peripheral vision sometimes.