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Appreciating the Senses

June 25, 2014
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Facing a viterectomy makes you that much more sensitive to the senses.

As a colleague suggested yesterday, of all the senses, vision would be the toughest to lose.  My colleague was responding to me regarding my impending Vitrectomy next Monday.  Vitrectomy surgery removes the vitreous gel from the eye in my case to repair a full macular hole, which distorts your central vision.  It still amazes me what can be done surgically today, and is considered so routine it is done as an outpatient, albeit adjacent to the hospital.

The recuperation requires a minimum of one week lying face down at all times, night and day!  This is to allow a gas bubble injected in the eye to heal the surface of the retina.  Over time, the gas dissipates and is replaced by new vitreous gel.  If all goes well, your vision will show some signs of improvement.

Therefore, it will be a few weeks before I can return to blogging.  Using special equipment designed to assist keeping one in a face-down position, I will hopefully after the first few days be able to view my laptop.  They also make a special mirror that allows one to see the TV.  I am told by the equipment professionals that this stresses the good eye (since you really can’t see anything out of the other eye for a while), and hence the advice to minimize the amount of reading or TV.  So, it looks like a week of audio books!

I suspect by the end of the first week I will have a much greater appreciation for the sense of sight.  Having a family friend who last year lost an eye to a failed glaucoma surgery, I am already somewhat sensitized to the value of sight.  He does remarkably well, and he is a prime example that it can always be worse.

Contemplating the other senses, it seems it would be easier to manage loss of taste, smell, touch, or hearing more easily than the loss of sight.  I am sure the loss of any sense is a traumatic adjustment, but it just seems it might be easier to adapt to the loss of one of the other senses if you still have your vision. 

I will miss blogging, but I look forward to sharing new insights once the ordeal is over.  Until then, enjoy your senses to the maximum!

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