I have just had a visit from a man who knows a lot about technology and iPads. I was put in touch with him by the Royal National Institute for the Blind. He already told me such a lot that was helpful but he is going to come once a week for a few weeks to help me more. Of course it costs a lot, as everything does, but it will be well worth it.
This has all reminded me of what happened way back in 2016. This was when I was told that I would go blind. It was not known how long that would take, but it was coming. Already by that time, I did not have much useful sight. I want to write about a very emotional time that happened just about this time of year, not long before Christmas.
The opthalmologist wanted to attempt to operate on my eyes to try and give me my sight back. He did not know if he could do it or not as he could not see the back of my eyes and he did not know if the optic nerve had been affected by the neuropathy. It was an operation that was not approved of by his professional Body. But he was determined to do it anyway. He also wanted to operate on two eyes in the same operation, which is certainly not approved of. I was not really happy about this, but I did want my eyesight back. I was in tatters about all of this.
He proceeded to send me to a cardiologist to see if my heart could stand the anaesthetic as the chemo had affected me heart. He also had breathing tests done on me.
I was given various tests by the cardiologist, and it was pronounced that my heart was in trouble and an operation under anaesthetic was not approved. I was sent by the ophthalmologist to see the anaesthetist anyway to see if he would still give me an anaesthetic and he did his own breathing tests and said that compared with the ones the ophalmologist had done, a huge deterioration in my lungs had ocurred. He did not want to give me the anaesthetic and then when he looked at the heart results he said he definitely would not approve an anaesthetic.
I was also told, frighteningly, that I could never be given an anaesthetic again unless I was going to die and an operation would or could save my life. This was terrifying news. He said that under an anaesthetic my lungs most likely would not re inflate ok.
I went home shaken. However, the ophthalmologist was so determined and he told me that he would do the operation anyway and that he would get me an anaesthetist. He booked me two operating theatres, and he said he would do one eye in one theatre and the other eye in the other. They would all change their gowns etc om order to eliminate the possibility of carrying germs from one eye to the other. A date therefore was in place just before Christmas for the operation.
In the days leading up to it, I did not know what to do. I knew that I had a great chance of dying under the anaesthetic, and also that there was only a slim chance of him being able to do something. I had to consider whether I could spend the rest of my life blind or not. Whould I take the chance, knowing that I may die.
This was an horrendous time for me. So much was held in the balance.
In the event I contracted a bad stomach bug just before the operation and I could not have it anyway. The ophthalmologist was emigrating to New Zealand immediately and that was that. No one else would have done that operation anyway. They still would not.
So that was what happened at this time of year in that year. I always remember it.