Thursday, September 27, 2012


Nearly one year ago, in October 2011, I was at a neighborhood baby shower.  Being that I don't have children these events are always something I loathe going to.  Who doesn't want to spend their weekend playing games like Pin the Diaper on the Baby, how many sheets of toilet paper does it take to go around Amy's belly, or (my personal favorite) guess what candy bar has been melted into the diaper so it looks like baby shit?

So the torture finally ends and I think I'm going to spend the rest of my Sunday afternoon relaxing at home.  I get one step into the house, literally one step, and my husband - who has spent his whole weekend at a continuing education seminar - jumps up from the living room and says "I can't see!  I'm blind!"  Being the compassionate wife that I am - and with everything I've been through I find everyone else's "small medical issues" quite trivial - I say "ya, ok...I just had to go to a baby shower.  So beat that." 

Well he did.

He was in the last day of the seminar when a "moon-like shadow" came into his vision and within a few hours he had no sight in his left eye execpt a small sliver of top periferal (example: if he was looking straight, he could only see a tiny bit of the ceiling).  Becasue he is the calm before the storm in our relationship (yes, that makes me the storm...I tend to be dramatic) he was searching the internet on what needed to be done and what might be wrong while I frantically called my mom, hysterical that my husband is now blind.  Steve and I must have gone three rounds debating on going to the ER or waiting the night and calling his eye doctor on Monday morning for an office appointment.  In the end, I won...obviously.

We were concerned it could be a detached retina - and WebMD says that can be an emergency situation.  So off we go to the best hospital in Atlanta for eyecare, Emory.

We arrived in the Emergency Room in the late afternoon, and surprisingly was wisked back to see the nurse and begin processing immediately.  Apparently when you have something more than "pain" you get the attention of the medical staff.  I should keep this in mind...

As we sat in a cell of a room, if it can be called that, off the main hall, the admitting nurse asked generic questions for the mountain of paperwork to be completed before we could get a room in the ER.  Questions like, your full name, address, age, height, weight, blah blah blah.  Then she asked him to come into the hallway with her, and it is here, in this long dim hall that my husband got to experience the competencies of the medical community for himself...

Steve (standing at one side of the hall - me, watching from a chair)
Nurse:  "Ok, hold up the eye blocker on your right eye and read what you can off the chart."
Steve:  holds up blocker.  "I can't see anything."
Nurse:  "It's ok, jsut whatever you can read off the chart."
Steve:  "I can't see anything.  I can't see a chart."
Nurse:  getting annoyed "Just read the top letter."
Steve:  "I can tell you what the top few letters are just because I know the chart, but I don't think that's the point of this test.  For testing purposes, I can tell you that I can't see the chart and I can't read any letters."
Nurse:  large sigh... "Well tell me what you can see then."
Steve:  "I can see a small bit of the ceiling if I look straight."
Nurse:  "What if you flip down the pin holes and look through that?"  (comes over and flips the eye blocker so now the person can look through tiny pin holes)  "There, now read the chart."

I wanted to strangle her.

Eventually we passed the test  - or didn't - and got entrance to the ER room, which was quite nice and even had a flatscreen TV where we conveniently watched football while waiting for the doctors.

An energetic young female doctor first came to examine Steve's eye.  She confirmed with an ultrasound (performed over his eyelid) that he did indeed have a detached retina and the retinal specialists would need to be called in immediately as it can be a vision emergency.

We watched football.

And just like he did for me, I was there for him...taking pictures

And got his version of the now famous "look, I'm fine" picture.

Nearly 8 hours later, many football plays watched, we left the ER after scheduling emergency surgery for the following morning.

They make you put the "YES" sticker over the eye to be operated on.

And off he went into the OR for this surgery (warning: the video linked is graphic)
To answer your question: yes, we did watch it before his surgery and it did not help with the nerves!

Two hours later, he was as good as new.  Maybe even better becuase he was totally high on drugs and making my mom and I laugh hysterically as we waited for him to be discharged.

The morning after surgery the doctor saw him in her office and removed the bandages.  His eye was really swollen and had some dried blood, but was doing well.  Amazingly, he could already read the large letters on the dreaded "chart" even through all the gunk in his eye!

He had to sleep with the patch over his eye so the buckle didn't move.  He hated it and whinned about it like a little girl.  Again, becuase I'm so compassionate, I put extra gauze arond the base to make it more comfortable and lent him a hairband to help keep it on through the night.  Wife of the year right here!

He got to rock these awesome shades for the next month, too!  He even wore them inside the first few days becuase the sunlight was too bright.

Now he gets to wear really big glasses!

JK, these are a sculpture!

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