Butch With An Eye - A progress report
Shortly after we arrived back in Worcester I sent Butch off to the stand-in Ophthalmologist for an update and check-up. With me in tow. This was duly done with unsatisfactory results. The Dr. had nothing to add to the initial investigation, he simply shrugged his shoulders and with wringing hands told Butch that he had neither good news nor bad news. He did confirm that Butch had Central Retina Nerve Occlusion in his right eye. Patience was what was needed and time. Time for healing. Time to get our heads around the loss of his sight and time to make changes to our lifestyle.
We were not so sure and our gut feeling was that there should be something to remedy this situation. We couldn’t just sit and wait. My blog “A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL” saved the day when a friend phoned after reading it to tell us of her friend who’d had a similar experience. She suggested we see Dr Carina Slazus, a renowned ophthalmologist, her field of expertise, the retina, near Panorama clinic. Ironically Butch had attended her wedding years before as he is well acquainted with her husband. He felt comfortable immediately and trusts Dr Slazus implicidly.
An appointment was scheduled and off we went. Her examination revealed much the same as the previous Dr. had suggested. There was much bleeding and swelling in the eye between the cornea and the retina, which made it difficult to assess the damage to the optic nerve. To remedy this and to see whether Butch’s sight could be recovered would involve medications and treatments. He was to continue indefinitely with eye drops and she would inject into his retina every month, initially for 3 months and possibly for a period of 6 months.
He has been at it for two months now. The injections are painless and not at all uncomfortable. There has been a remarkable drop in eye pressure and the bleeding has reduced substantially. But, not enough to see whether his sight will be restored or what the long term effects will be.
So far Butch is cautiously optimistic, never complains and seems to be coping very well although I’m sure he does have moments where he’s terribly disappointed and sometimes frustrated.
In the meantime I’ve got my learner’s license for driving vehicles up to 10 tonnes and I’ve been on my maiden trip behind the wheel. I have a relentless instructor who doesn’t give me any slack in setting me straight. If he’d been my teacher at school I might’ve opted to go nursing at the end of my JC year. Being a pupil has never been my strong suit. I can't wait to go on future adventures knowing I can assist with the driving which, I might add, is quite stressful and tiring in a huge truck.
The flightpath for the emergency evacuation helicopters is right above me as I type and the loud rhythmic wop-wop of the tail rotor as it comes in to land at the hospital is a stark reminder of how vulnerable we are and how quickly our lives can change. At this time of the year when people have such joyful expectations of long-earned holidays at the seaside only to be dashed in a motorcar accident or sudden illness is heartbreaking.
I would like to make special mention of Dr. Stephan Van Dyk, Butch's initial Ophthalmologist, who examined Butch, made a diagnosis and was spot on. Gave him sound advice and the correct treatment. Just a few weeks ago just before Butch left the office he received a call from Dr. Stephan Van Dyk, to find out how he was doing, whether he managed with the driving up to Zimbabwe and asked how he was doing. Butch was deeply touched and really appreciated Stephan’s interest in his well-being. He agrees with the treatment regime Butch is following. It is rare that a busy professional person has the time to call a patient and we are both so grateful and impressed. Thank you Dr. Stephan Van Dyk your kindness and the interest shown is appreciated immensely.
If you want to go far, go together.