This journey of ours around the world is a really long one. We left in 2009 and now, more than 3 years later, we are just a bit past the half-way point. We have had an experience of a lifetime. We have seen amazing places, met wonderful people, had amazing coincidences, swam with whales, shared experiences with other boaters and their families, won sailboat races, and even stood on the edge of an erupting volcano crater.
In late-June last year, an innocent rubbing of an irritated eye resulted in a very serious infection in my right eye. This was due to bacteria from an extended wear contact lens ready to dive into a tiny scratch caused by sand when I rubbed it. Within 24 hours my eye was an agony of pain and looked horrible. If I hadn’t reached a hospital soon enough, my eye would have been lost. Instead, after a barrage of treatments, and 9 weeks of confinement to our boat in Cairns, Australia, my eye was saved. Karen was amazing at providing me with patient support while I went a bit stir crazy during treatments. The eye is fully functional – no damage to the retina or its operation.
But, the trauma to the eye caused scarring in the cornea. My vision in that eye looks about the same as if I put on fogged glasses. I was told this can only be fixed by surgery. The cornea will not heal itself and, so I need to replace a portion or all of it. Before that could happen the eye needed to fully heal and the process is a slow one, so six months of waiting were required. We were finally able to move the boat again after the 9 weeks of treatments.
Based on many recommendations, Singapore was chosen to do the operation. They have some of the best facilities and doctors in the world. In about 24 hours from now, I will have the surgery. This is not without some trepidation. The eye will experience a new trauma, and again will require 6 months, or even more, to recover. Eye drops will again have to be administered on a frequent basis for weeks. And I will have to avoid strenuous activity while the healing occurs.
This isn’t going to be easy, but the prognosis is good that I will have useful vision from the eye again. It may be a few days before I am able to make a post updating on how it went. Again I will be relying on my wonderful wife to help me with the process. Wish us luck!