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Uh...Bad News...and More Bad News

John W. Pinkerton


You would think that the Old Art Guy would have himself together by 78…not so much.

Here's the story.

I decided to do the adult thing by going to a doctor to tell him to take care of my cataracts which my regular optometrist had told me I needed to do about three years ago.  He said he could do that…no problem, but first I had to go to a different doctor to get him to take care of my macular hole.  Of course, I was clueless.  He showed me a picture he had taken of my left eye and, yeah, it looked broken…kinda.

We scheduled the surgery---a big deal.  The bigger deal was the three week recovery time which involved a gas bubble.  I lived through  that and was ready for my cataract surgery, but no---the corona virus was blocking this activity.

We were finally able to  schedule cataract surgery for the left eye---easy breezy.  A week later we did the right eye---once again there was nothing to it. 

Two days later, the left eye developed a retinal detachment.  I say it “developed” it because a trauma had not occurred---other than the removal of tape from my eyelids the day before.  One could have heard my scream in Alaska.

That same day, a Saturday, we call the doctor who happened to be in his office supervising work on his clinic.  We did another big deal surgery including a gas bubble that afternoon.  Of course this means more recovery time.

After the bubble had disappeared, I  noticed that I had a double vision problem which I assumed would soon disappear.   I called the doc's office and received reassurance that I just needed to give it time.  That was a relief.

A few days later, Linda and I visited with the surgeon.  Holy Crap!  I wasn’t ready for what the doc told me.

I still had the double vision.  It was bad enough that it made me a little nauseous, but I assumed these problems would go away.  We met with the doctor who basically said, “You're screwed.”  Telling me that it may improve in the next five to ten years was not reassuring.  My response to this was, “Doc, I'm not sure I have five to ten more years.”  I'm always looking for humor in situations.

To say I was in a state of shock would be an accurate description.  I didn't say much beyond, “Oh, well, I've been disappointed before.”

I called him a few days later---in his best bedside manner he repeated, “You're screwed.”  He assured me that there was nothing he could do to improve the situation.

You know, I was hoping the improved vision would make my art, my writing, and my website all easier projects.  Apparently, that is not to be.  My effort to do the right thing has resulted in worse vision.

I’ve found that wearing an eye patch makes life a little easier; no nausea, but I’m not sure the pirate look suits me.

Most of my essays about my adventures in the land of  medicine have an upbeat ending.  This ain't one of them.