Detached Retina Forces a 30 Day Hiatus From Running - What the Heck?

So a couple weeks ago I noticed there seemed to be something in my right eye. Figured it would go away. Wasn't too obnoxious, just occasionally a spot would make it look like there was a fly or something. They call these things "floaters" I later discovered.

But they didn't go away. They got gradually worse, to the point where my vision was slightly blurred last Saturday through Tuesday. Little floaty shapes and black spots, kind of like a dirty camera lense. So I called the opthomologist and they were nice enough to fit me in for an appointment the next day.

The doctor took a look, and by the tone of his voice, it didn't sound good. I'm usually cautiously optimistic at doctors' offices and have never had a major ailment. But when he asked me to stick around to meet with the corneal specialist, that was not a good sign.

It took the 2nd doctor about 2 minutes to tell me I needed to go in for surgery...TOMORROW. Somehow the retina in my right eye became detached. Had I waited another week or two, chances are I could be losing some eyesight. He was in surgery the next day, and within minutes I was scheduled at 9 a.m. for a vitrectomy and cryopexy sclural buckle. In layman's terms, remove the vitreous fluid behind the retina, attach a silicone band with a cryogenic procedure and place a gas bubble in there to allow it to heal. Or something like that.

Everybody asked me, what caused this to happen. We just don't know. Could have been knocked in the head 20 years ago, could be the fact that the eye is nearsighted, could be family history, who knows.

Crap. Here I am, Friday night, one day post-surgery. The surgery seemed to go fine. But for the next 7 to 10 days I can't even see out of my right eye until the gas bubble dissapates.

Hopefully my eye will be fine, though now no doubt I'll have cataracts at an early age as a result of the surgery. But hey, people get cataract surgeries all the time.

But as a result of my completely out of the blue problem, I can'd do anything overly physical for at least 30 days. Yep, that's right...NO RUNNING!!!  I looked back and if I do refrain from running for 30 days (and I plan to unless somehow the eye feels completely back to normal sooner and I can run very lightly), that would be the longest no-run streak since I started running 1993.

In 1993, for some reason I took 25 days off from running in the October/November time frame. I don't know why. My notes are sketchy and I can't recall. The good news is that, 4 months after that break, I ran my first marathon, the 1994 Los Angeles Marathon, in a rainy 3 hours, 3 minutes. I was a lot younger back then, but I'm encouraged to be reminded that I took a long break and came back quickly.

My 2nd longest hiatus from running since 1993 was in 2006, after I was, ahem, neutered. Yes, you don't wanna be running around after someone messes around with you down there.

So perhaps my sudden misery will result in something new, something big. In a way it is kind of a relief being forced to take off an entire month from running. I've been having a variety of physical ailments and perhaps this experience will allow me fully recover, then come back with newfound passion.

So while I sit here, typing this with one good eye, the other closed and sore (like a fork and knife are stuck in it), I have faith that this is yet just one more temporary challenge in this game called life.

And the other good news...is that they did say that I'm allowed to WALK when the eye starts feeling better. Chomping at the bit...over and out.