Retinal Tears

raindrops leaf Cotinus 'Grace'
Retinal Tears Sprinkling Cotinus ‘Grace’

Retinal tears

and fears of darkness,

What DO I actually see ?

Lightning strike laser;

pain visualized,

(how odd this queasy flash).

The wet drops




splashes my glasses,


the first rain and

sprinkling Cotinus Grace.

Update on Detached Retina

It has been three weeks since I posted to Mental Seeds.  Begun with such enthusiasm.  Begun with such energy to actually follow through on new images and personal work.  Begun with optimism to see beyond the tears in my retina.

How very frustrating that the retina now continues to become detached.  How sad those images sit unfinished, waiting dumbly in my big computer while I fiddle with a laptop against my chest.  I will, I must finish them.  Whatever they will be, though fading in the immediacy of that time, they are mine.  And I will do more.  Whatever that more may be, I must explore where this takes me.

For now I will use Mental Seeds as an actual web log to list a chronology of events.  The retina in my left eye has now become detached 4 times and I have had 5 surgeries.  This is my recollection.

Wednesday Oct 27.  Kaiser exam and immediate referral to UCSF Medical Center for detached retina.  First surgery, a pneumatic retinopexy as the Giants begin their first World Series game.  Surgery not successful.

Wednesday Nov. 3.  Referral for second opinion to Dr. Richard McDonald of West Coast Retina who confirms concern over coloboma of the optic nerve and concurs with UCSF that a vitrectectomy is required.  UCSF asks him to take the case.

Friday Nov. 5.  Surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital.  Dr McDonald does vitrechtomy and scleral buckle with gas bubble, requiring face down recuperation for one week.

Thursday Nov. 11.  Follow-up shows retina “A”ttached.  Head up tomorrow, resume life while gas bubble dissipates.

Saturday Nov. 13.  Need garden day, wonder what I can see and begin using Canon G11 to explore and interpret.

Thursday Nov. 18.  Follow-up encouraging, “A”ttached.  Wait two weeks for next follow-up as gas bubble dissipates.

Saturday  Nov. 20 and continuing for  2 weeks – new, wonder filled photos as new vision adjusts.  Begin to work on launching Mental Seeds blog. Until:

Thursday Dec. 16.  Supposedly routine follow-up shows gas bubble has receded enough to allow new leak and detached retina.  Immediate laser surgery in Dr. McDonald’s office.  Head back down, nose to my toes.

Monday Dec. 20.  Retina re-attached. “Home run”, keep head down until Friday, Christmas Eve.  Great few days.  Kids home Xmas day.

Monday Dec. 27.  Follow-up with Dr. Jumper shows detachment.  New gas bubble added to eye by Dr. Wender.  Head position back down, nose to toes.

Thursday Dec. 30.  Retina attached, Dr. McDonald laser surgery this time near optic nerve but only partially complete as gas bubble position prevents complete procedure; also repair around buckle.  pain visualized, how odd this queasy flash

Monday Jan. 3.  Retina partially detached again.  Need to add more to gas bubble to flatten out retina.  Continue head down position.

Wednesday Jan 5.  Retina attached, and additional laser surgery completing the procedure around optic nerve.  OK to lift head up a bit.  Wait 3-4 weeks as gas bubble dissipates to see if successful.

So now, for the first time in weeks I will have  chance to get back to using my computer and catching up on my work.  Let’s see were this goes ….


Tuesday Jan. 18.  Gas bubble receeded enough for additional laser surgery.  Previously Dr. McDonald could not quite see at the horizon line between gas and center of eye.

Thursday Feb. 3  Additional laser surgery postponed as vision loss identified now that bubble nearly gone.  Loss corresponds to laser treatment area.  OK to plan travel for Dad’s memorial service.

All along we have been trying to get the retina to become attached and would see how it affected vision.  Now we seem to know there will be a loss – dead zone in peripheral superior.  Vision still quite blurry around the dead zone but seems somewhat better every day.  Stay tuned …

March 22.  As I prepare to see Dr.McDonald again on Thursday, I went to Kaiser optometrist for vision exam.  Blurriness in my eye is mostly attributed to a cataract that has formed due to all the surgery.  Good news for the blurry left eye – once it has recovered enough to have THAT surgery.



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