Eyesight Update - China Cancelled

Well, I just got back from the optometrist and she informs me my eye is getting worse, not better. What happened is the same thing that happened in Miami this year, but a lot worse. On Monday morning during Miami SES, I woke up blind - I could see light, but it was basically a bright white sheet of pain, rather than images.

The hotel doctor had me rushed by ambulance to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, which fortunately is one of the best in the world. (Good thing I have travel insurance and credit cards. This insistence on American doctors for payment up front even when you are moaning in pain in front of them is annoying to us Canadians. But I digress...)

The Intercontinental hotel kindly lent me on of their staff to take me by the arm and walk me where I needed to go, and I was able to speak the next day, though giving presentations while unable to see was interesting. I had to wear what I called my Ray Charles glasses to keep out the light. It took about 3 weeks for me to get back to normal.

This time, apparently it's a lot worse. I guess I have dry eyes, coupled with tighter than normal eyelids, which is why I wear glasses instead of contacts (well, that and I'm probably the worlds worst eye patient. I can't handle anything getting near my eyes.) What happened is that sometime during the night the inside of my eyelid dried and stuck to the surface of my eyeball. In the morning, I woke up and ripped off a strip of the skin of my eyeball. If that sounds painful, you are right. Ouch!

But this type of thing should heal in a few days - the skin of your eye heals and grows back just like the skin on your arm. What's causing a problem with me right now is that I ripped the underlying layer of skin, too. So now every time I blink, the growing skin cells have nothing to stick to and get pulled off. More Ouch!

But wait, it gets better. Apparently the answer to this is to rub salt in my eyes. Really. I'm putting in salt water every 4 hours to deliberately irritate the eye for give the skin cells something to stick to. Yes, it hurts as much as it sounds like pouring salt into your injured eye sounds like it would hurt. This is why I sound like such a whiner right now, I'm getting practice whimpering every 4 hours...

Anyway. I found out today that apparently the oh-so-pleasant salt treatment isn't working, and I now have an emergency appointment with a specialist tomorrow morning.

I was also told at the same time that there was no way that I was going to be able to go to China next week to speak and moderate at SES Beijing. This was a blow because I really, really wanted to go (sorry Inway!). I just cancelled my hotel and airfare. I'm not having a good day. But when I cancel a trip to do my favorite thing in my favorite country, it's serious. If you know anyone who might be able to fill in for me on such short notice, please let me know.

Anyway, the long and short of all this is that I can see with one eye, but not for very long. This post has taken a couple of hours, off and on. I'll be AFK for the most part for at least a couple of weeks, I expect.

See you later...


1 comment:

qwerty said...

Sorry to see it's not going well. The last update I read was much more upbeat. I'll be hoping for the best.

I can relate to your fear of having anything near your eyes. At my last eye exam the doctor put a medical student in charge of me for a while, so this tiny woman had to put those horrible drops in my eyes while I'm writhing around trying to avoid it.

I probably didn't convince her to change her specialty, but I bet she'll remember me.