** Warning: Graphic content.
Catchy title am I right? I’ve been asked so many questions over the last few days on how my retina detached so I wanted to share in case anyone else was going to run across this issue.
What is Retina Detachment?
Retinal detachment is an emergency situation where a thin layer of tissue ( aka the retina ) at the back of your eye pulls away from its position. Retinal detachment separates the retinal cells from the layer of blood vessels that provide nourishment and oxygen for your eye. The longer your retinal detachment goes untreated, the greater your risk of permanent vision loss. Aka it’s VERY serious.
Let’s back up to the beginning of August. My vision was slowly starting to be a bit spottier than normal. I’m blessed to be given NO eyesight and have been a contact and glasses wearer since the 4th grade. Right now, in both eyes, my vision is at a -4.75. Not the best. Over the last few weeks, I began noticing a few more black dots, and suddenly creeping down was a black veil. I was a bit nervous but knew that I had an eye appointment soon and I’d bring up this concern with them.
My Eye Appointment
While at my appointment I began explaining the sudden loss of vision and this veil that had come out of nowhere. My eye doctor had me look across the room at various letters and suddenly I couldn’t see any of them. I also had a hard time seeing light. I have to be honest, I started getting pretty nervous when my eye doctor said she was going to call a retina specialist and have me see them as quickly as I could. She thought my retina was torn.
Within a few minutes, I was racing to drop Lily off at home and getting to this specialist across town. The specialist looked at my eye and said: “I wish I had better news but it seems that your retina isn’t just torn but it’s detaching and we need to do emergency surgery tomorrow morning”. That was in about 12 hours.
I cried the entire car ride home talking to Zach to think of a game plan on how we could get someone to either drop me off for surgery in a few short hours or to help our daughter sign on to her virtual learning class. It was a mess but thankfully my parents were able to stay with our kids while Zach drove me.
I honestly had no idea what to expect for surgery until I walked in. I was one of the youngest ones at the eye clinic and I also had the most compassionate and understanding nurses who kept me calm the entire prep time. I was given a small cocktail of medicine to keep me calm and slightly sleepy while being wheeled into the operating room. The surgeon asked what type of music I liked to listen too and I said I love country so Brad Paisley it is! My surgery lasted about 30 minutes and while I was awake the entire time, I was under a sheet that a hole where my eye was getting operated on. My surgeon performed a buckle which involves a silicone band that goes around my eye muscle to bring in the wall of my eye. It also elongates it and makes me more nearsighted ( which I already was, to begin with ).
I was given an eye shield to protect my eye for the first 24 hours after surgery. Basically, I went home around mid-morning and slept the entire day away because my eye was irritated due to the stitches they had to put behind my eye as well. I had an appointment the next day to remove my shield and my surgeon checked my eye to make sure everything was looking good. It’s been draining for the last few days which is normal, sensitive to light so I have a cute black eye patch and listening to some really great audiobooks.
What To Look For
There are some instances that occur such as a head injury or blunt force trauma that can cause your retina to detach. However, in my case, I think it slowly was starting to happen over time and it is more common for those who are nearsighted like myself. One of the biggest things you want to look for when it comes to your eyesight is any new black dots in your vision, flashes of light, the veil that I talked about earlier. If any of these occur, I urge you to not wait but make an appointment sooner rather then later so nothing else goes wrong.
I’m on the mend for the next few weeks and while we won’t know for sure how my vision will be, I’m doing everything I can to rest and take it easy while I heal. I have another appointment in a few days for my one week post surgery and then it’ll be another month to see how things are progressing.
For now, prayers and well wishes are encouraged. Thanks friends.