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Old 12-11-2012, 08:48 AM   #1
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retinal detachment fears

I'm glad to find some where to talk to some people who can share experiences with eye surgery. I have had a detached retina in my right eye for several years that I could not afford to have worked on.

Now my left eye has begun the same thing. I am more than a little scared about going to the veterans hospital for help. I heard of having to lie on ones stomach for up to two week without moving... that scares the hell out of me now as I would probably be completely sightless and .... I don't know... Sorry to wine so much...

Any way I am glad this site is here.
I have no family so how does one use the toilet and do any thing like wash?

Last edited by Sativarg; 12-11-2012 at 08:50 AM.

 
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
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Re: retinal detachment fears

I got my my veterans health enrollment application form filled out. I know I am moving at a snails pace. But I am also checking with the Church where I was Baptized to make a connection there and the same denomination here where I live now. Many times people who I never knew belonged to my Church have hired me and helped me . My family changed denomination when I was very young and it was not until a few years ago I realized how many of the people who really helped me where from the church I was baptized in. perhaps my life would have been better had I gone back to that church.

I want to try and secure some help if I need to be moved from the surgery to another location... or some one who will check on me or visit me. I want my vitamins and St. john wort if they will let me have that. those kind of things. I am going slow but I am going. I want to reduce my vulnerabilities in this situation. I have to.

Thank you for reading and your support

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:56 PM   #3
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Re: retinal detachment fears

Hi, please don't think you are whining! retinal detachment can be very frightening, especially if you do not know what to expect. You are taking the first steps by seeking advice which is great.
Did your 1st retinal detachment result in loss of sight in that eye?
If I may advise the following, please be aware I am not an expert or doctor but have had retinal detachment myself and I've learnt a lot through my experience....
Retinal detachment is often considered an emergency surgery, particularly if this is your only good eye. Please seek medical attention as soon as you possibly can. The sooner you start the repair, the higher your chances of a good outcome.
The positioning you discuss is not easy, but this is needed if you have a vitrectomy with a gas bubble. The actual position you take up depends on the location of the hole or tear in your retina. Most people are face down but I had to take up 2 different positions during my 'posturing'. So your surgeon can advise the correct position for you.
Positioning is not without breaks to look after your personal care needs and eating etc ... It is usually 50 mins positioning in each hour. So 10 mins off each hour. Not everyone needs to position overnight. For example I was allowed to sleep 'not in position' but I was told not to lie on my back.
This feels hard right now, but you can do this, try to keep focused on the great work you are doing repairing your eye and the joy you will take from a successful repair. You can plan food and practical things in advance to make the journey easier.
In individuals who only have sight in one eye, this is particularly challenging as you will not be able to see through the gas bubble. You would need help for a few weeks whist the bubble did its job and slowly disapeared. Sometimes, if this is the situation, the doctor may consider injecting silicone oil instead of a gas bubble. You can see through oil (it's not great vision but better than none at all) but this will not disapear on its own, it requires a 2nd surgery to remove. There is also a higher complication rate so your surgeon would need to discuss all options with you. Oil is usually reserved for complex detachments or those indivduals with only 1 eye.
I live in the UK and I am lucky of course to have access to healthcare that I do not have to pay for, so many options are easier for me to make. I hope there is someone in the medical field who can help you with all aspects of these decisions.
Well done for taking the courage to ask for advice, this is a very helpful board to contact others.
I wish you luck with your surgery and hope for a good outcome for you.
Laura

 
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: retinal detachment fears

Dear Laura1000

Bless you so much for your very kind words and the wonderful descriptive information. I had found out some of these thins sinse my initial post but you have lifted a burden from my heart and mind so I thank you.

Yes my first detachment happened several years ago and being homeless and less than comfortable with the idea of going to the veterans after so many years of not participating... Oh who am I kidding I am a coward and paranoid of any hospitals... especial because of things I had heard back then about the VA... I was stupid and let my eye go dark.

I have never asked the VA for medical help. I haven't been to a doctor for many years. Some of my teeth came out this year. I am not taking drugs in case one might think I am a crack addict... I've let things go so long though that I actually fear for my life if I go into a hospital. Irrational as that is I can not not be afraid.

I do not have a "next of kin" to put in my application so I put my friends name but he is in no position to be my nurse... I have made my bed it seems.. now I have to lie in it and hope it is not also my coffin.

I did not know that near sighted persons have such an increased risk for detachments. Perhaps if I had tried harder to get better information when my right eye began to show symptoms I would have gotten some help then. I must have help though now.

I am sorry to dump on you like this. I began to think no one here would read this post. My username is sort of unsettling. It is Gravitas backwards and not some sort of satanic thing.

Any way thank you so much for your encouragement.

Blessings
Chuck

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 04:59 AM   #5
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Laura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB UserLaura1000 HB User
Re: retinal detachment fears

Hi Chuck,
At this point, if you can still see, which I very much hope you can, then your 'bed is not made' at all, it's still very likely fixable!
Please do whatever it takes to encounter your fear of hospitals to see the specialist you need. Explain that you need to look after yourself during treatment so that this is taken into account when deciding the right treatment.
I'm not a doctor, I unfortunately cannot comment on your specific condition but some early stage detachments can be repaired with a more simple laser treatment - doctors would much prefer to use this method before trying vitrectomy. This is a very quick procedure, no pain and you walk straight out of clinic afterwards.
Of course, I don't want to get your hopes up or give you wrong info but there are so many ways of treating a retinal detachment. All of these questions can be answered when a doctor has done an examination with a slit lamp. (Bright light/magnification apparatus, no worries needed for this examination :-) ).
Keep us posted, best wishes and good luck,
Laura

 
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Old 12-19-2012, 05:10 AM   #6
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Smile Re: retinal detachment fears

Dear Laura

Thank you so very much for your encouragement and wishes :^)

Blessings
Chuck

Last edited by Administrator; 12-19-2012 at 09:42 AM.

 
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