This is a picture of me in the hospital on a Sunday afternoon more than four weeks ago, after I ran the Georgia Half Marathon. I learned just a few hours earlier that I tore my retina — an injury that I previously had when I was in my early 20’s that left me with 20/30 vision in one eye. Seeing that I’m in my early 40’s and that the first injury was deemed a complete fluke, I thought that I was set for life but apparently I was not. I now had to undergo emergency eye surgery on my other eye — the one that I considered to be “good” — to repair the retina and save my vision again.
With my wife by my side, I sat in the bed frantically typing on my iPhone canceling appointments and delaying others. When I finished, I handed my phone back to her and was about to relax when it buzzed with a text message from one of the partners at my firm. My wife said that he wished me good luck and asked what he could do to help. I asked her to let him know that he should temporarily take over everything that I wasn’t able to push out (and thankfully he did without missing a beat). Shortly after sending that message, I realized just how quickly everything in life can change!
That evening, the doctor spent an hour (or so) repairing my retina. He essentially reattached a wet tissue paper inside of an elongated golf ball. To say that was impressive procedure is a complete understatement but he did it! The next day I was sent home to start of my recovery, which included no strenuous activity — nothing that could raise my blood pressure. Next to the pain, that was the toughest change that I had to make!
Fast forward to my last visit, the only visible marks of the procedure is redness in the outer corner of my eye. It kind of resembles pink eye, except I’m not infectious! At that appointment, I discovered that my vision drastically improved from 20/200 to 20/30 — basically going from blindness to near normal vision. The profound change happened because the gas bubble, which was used to push down on my repaired retina, finally began dissapating. It still isn’t gone but it will in a few more weeks. The speedy recovery is truly exceptional — I am incredibly lucky considering the size of the tear! And I am learning to adjust to not running hard at my normal pace.
I am incredibly thankful for my family, friends and colleagues and the overall outcome of this situation. And my wife has been my rock through it all — something that I am grateful for! While I am not out of the woods yet, I am hopeful I’ll regain my vision and resume full, normal activity by the middle to end of May. It is great to see the light at the end of the tunnel — literally!