Sunday, 19 April 2015

No more extreme hoovering for me!

Crocheted lacy tablecloth

I've recently had cause to pause and think about how precious eyesight is. Here's a tablecloth that I crocheted with mercerised cotton when I was in my twenties (a long time ago now!) I've always been shortsighted but with glasses, my corrected vision (before I had to start wearing vari-focals), was excellent.

I made this tablecloth with teeny steel crochet hooks, either the 0.75 or 1.00mm photographed below, the stitches are so tiny on it, I doubt it was the 1.25mm.

Since I started becoming long-sighted in my forties, I've needed different glasses for reading and distance, the solution to constantly changing glasses is a pair of vari-focals. What I've gained in convenience, has been lost to a some extent as to how well I can see very small typeprint (or very small stitches!) These days, I find the smallest hook I can comfortably use is 1.75mm so I doubt I could make something as intricate as this any more. These days I just marvel at what I used to take for granted.

When I took that week off to do gardening, I was doing some quite strenuous work, digging over, levelling and raking a part of the garden that had become weed infested when it had all those logs on it from the tree felling we had done. This in preparation to reseeding it with grass seed. One lunchtime, I came in from doing that and suddenly there appeared in front of my right eye what I thought was a small spider dangling down from my hair that had hitched a ride from the gardening.

I'm not frightened of spiders at all really but that doesn't mean I want them cavorting about at will in my hair and face. I ran my fingers through my hair trying to remove it but it was still there; looking more closely, it seemed to be actually on my glasses so I took them off ...still there, rubbed my eyes .... still there. Now it looked more like a little circle with irregular edges and it moved about quite a bit like it was floating on the surface of my eye, if I tried to look directly at it, it darted off. I looked and looked in the mirror but couldn't see anything at all in my eye, neither could MTM, it didn't feel like there was anything in there but I could definitely see something and it was blimmin' distracting.

When I went to bed that night, when I turned the light off, I noticed streaks of light flashing down on the periphery of my vision on the right hand side like tiny shooting stars one at a time.

I made an appointment to see the optician again, fortunately he had only just taken pictures of the back of my eye and pressure testing etc so had something to compare with before this thing appeared. He warned me on the phone not to drive as he was going to take a really close look at my eye by giving me eyedrops to dilate my pupil. MTM took me into town and I was there for ages while he examined the eye very closely. He confirmed there was nothing in my eye but diagnosed partial posterior vitreous detachment. Apparently it's quite common amongst people in their early 50s and is VERY common amongst those over 80. It isn't impairing my vision as the thing I'm seeing is only the outside of the detachment which looks like a very thin hairline in an oval.

Over time, it could well lessen or become two smaller "floaters".

The optician has warned me that an individual who gets a PVD is more prone - in the next few weeks - to a more serious condition which is a retinal tear. He's given me a list of symptoms to look out for: increased floaters appearing in my eyes as suddenly as this one, instead of intermittent flashing, the flashing becomes constant or a greyish "curtain" appears over one of my eyes. If I get any of those symptoms, it must be attended to immediately, if it's left untreated you can lose vision or become blind.

Hence my pondering my eyesight, never will I take it for granted again.

Strenuous activity can make a tear more likely and he's warned me to avoid extreme exercise for the next few weeks. We discussed my normal day to day activities in order to minimise my risk, he's advised me not to cut the grass any more (our lawn slopes quite steeply so it is quite hard work. MTM is going to take over responsibility for that (I just KNOW he won't do it properly, sigh!)

Apparently activities where I'm likely to fall over like ski-ing are out (that's the rest of the weekend ruined then!!!!) The thing to avoid is jolting to the head so no headbanging either (I have no concerts booked for next few weeks so we're safe there), he also said dancing, weightlifting and bungy jumping should be avoided (so that's NEXT weekend ruined as well!!!!!)

I tried to claim I found hoovering, dusting, making the bed, ironing and loading the dishwasher all very strenuous and please could he tell my husband that he was to do that for me for the next few weeks but for some reason, I wasn't believed ....


  1. I really sympathise with you, it's so scary when it's your vision that fails as you age. I was told a couple of years ago that I have a cataract forming in one eye and that I'm very young for that to be happening (early fifties). Gee, thanks a bunch! When you rely on your sight for arts and crafts, it kind of makes you feel like you are on borrowed time. Hope you manage to keep it contained even though it means giving up the bungy jumping! Varifocals aren't that bad by the way, I've had them for a few years now and still do the fiddly work.

  2. I know how intricate your work is, I'm so happy you can still manage small stitches so well with varifocals. I'm dismayed to hear about your cataract, hope that stays under control also. You understand how scary it is. xx


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