If anyone has been following this blog so far, I decided to play with the theme this morning. I'm sorry. The content is unchanged.
The first sign of health problems was trouble with my eyes - retinopathy - a couple of years ago. The first line of treatment was laser surgery - I knew no better at the time so didn't object. This zapped the leaky cells at the back of my eyes. But the laser also zapped some good cells too. The upshot was that, as a combination of these two things, my eyesight is now less than perfect. I've never really been able to find the words to describe it accurately, but it is a bit like seeing everything as if you're in a smoky room.
The upshot is that a bit of contrast seems to help. I did like the old pastel theme but, to be honest, stronger colours help when I preview the blog. And, since at the moment I'm probably the only person who looks at it, I started playing. It might not be over, although I do like the general "orangey" themes that I've used to date.
The irony of the laser surgery was that it didn't stop the leaky blood vessels, so I lost a part of my sight for no gain. The follow-on treatment was to have some injections into my eye. Sounds like torture, doesn't it? All I can say is that whilst the thought of the treatment is terrible, the injections themselves aren't so bad. They anaesthetise your eyes beforehand (drops), so it feels quite removed from a "regular" injection. As far as I know, these injections are not-at-all destructive (although I suppose there is always the chance that they don't help, either), so you'd think that they would be the preferred treatment. But again it all boils down to cost, and this really annoys me. Laser surgery is cheaper than these injections, so they try to laser your eye first.
As an aside, it is now a good 6 months since I had this treatment (last summer), I still have regular scans (in fact, I'm due one next week), and not only has the decrease in my eyesight been halted, it has been reversed slightly. To give an idea of the scale of this, it is often difficult to recognise detail immediately - it takes that little bit longer. The consultant says that I am still above the threshold at which I'm able to drive, although obviously the effects of the stroke make this problematic. I'll talk about driving at some point.
BEFORE YOU START: Please note that although I currently volunteer for both the Stroke Association and Age UK, the views expressed in this blog are strictly my own. I am not a spokesperson for either (or, indeed, for any) organisation, and I accept complete responsibility for the views expressed herein. As indicated by the domain name, I am based in the UK and the blog therefore has a UK bias - I've tried to use the Glossary to explain any ambiguous terms, but if you think there is anything I've missed, please message me.