Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Not quite what we'd planned

We'd planned to take a walk into the village this morning and then spend the day doing IT housekeeping stuff, probably after buying a day's use of the marina WiFi so that we could download software updates and the like. Unfortunately, in the middle of yesterday evening I started getting odd flashes of light in my left visual field, not something I've ever had before.

I didn't take a lot of notice at the time, but they carried on during the night and were still there this morning. So I checked out the NHS Direct symptom checker and got the scary red banner "Go at once to your nearest A&E".


I had the usual male internal conversation along the lines of "this can't be right, doesn't apply to me" but also had the sense to mention it to Sheila, whose reaction was "Who can we get a lift from, let's try Martin". Martin, may his shadow never grow less, promptly abandoned his plans for a morning in the laundry and before I'd had time to finish my breakfast coffee we were on our way up the A38 to the Royal Derby.

I must say, if the Willington surgery isn't quite as impressive as the Alrewas one, the Derby hospital is streets ahead of Queen's Burton. Easy to find, obviously very modern and a very efficient A&E reception and triage.

We were through triage in less than 45 minutes and the decision taken to send me straight over to the eye clinic in view of my medical history. We had a much longer wait there until we could be fitted in to the outpatient clinic but not long after half eleven I was being checked out by one of the registrars.

All was well; it seems I have had something called a PVD (posterior vitreous detachment), not unusual in later age. The vitreous humour in the back of the eye starts to collapse inwards a bit (I know just how it feels) and unsticks from the retina, causing floaters to appear and flashes of light as it tugs at the retina. In 15% of these cases the retina gets torn, risking a retinal detachment and needing immediate laser surgery. So going in to have it checked was exactly the thing to do, even if we'd basically spent two and a half hours hanging about a hospital to be told in effect (but very politely) "Nothing wrong with you, go home."

Naturally, by the time we'd caught the every 10 minutes bus into Derby city centre and got some lunch we'd just missed the V3 at one o'clock. So we pottered about, did a bit of shopping and got the two o'clock back.

Tomorrow, we'll go into Burton, as planned.


Ann Street said...

Glad it was nothing serious, Bruce. I have been warned by my optician that if I ever see flashing lights to go straight to hospital. Apparently, the eyesight problems I have make this more likely to happen than normal.

Anonymous said...

What a drama - glad it resolved without any surgery. I am very impressed that you overcame your "man" instincts and actually went to hospital :-)

Sue, nb Indigo Dream

Bruce in Sanity said...

Thanks both! I still felt a bit of a fraud afterwards, but as I'm still getting the odd flash, it's very reassuring to know what's going on.

All the best


heledd said...

I ve had those before too, as I 'm a high myope (very very short sighted!) PVD is common and its main risk is retinal detachment as you say so glad you had it checked. Off on the narrowboat tomorrow! Looking forward...best wishes Heledd