Saturday 23rd September I awoke with vision in my left eye partly clouded-over. Thinking it was a result of not enough sleep, I applied eye-drops in the hope it would clear the problem.
The following day the condition had deteriorated, leaving me with about 10% vision. My wife & I have the day off together and decide to take a drive into the country, find a nice cafe for lunch, and take a stroll through the village. I commenced the driving and, within a short time, found it very difficult and dangerous. So I handed the wheel over to my wife.
Monday 25th, and no improvement. It's decided I should make an appointment to see an Ophthalmologist and, as luck would have it, there is one close to where we live and that it has English speaking staff. I get an appointment for 5pm and my wife composes an accompanying letter, detailing the problem and including her phone-number. After a few tests are completed - eye-wash, eye chart test, and vision test - I am then called-into the specialists room. She does an X-ray and posts the results to check. She immediately asks me if I suffer from Hypertension. I answer no, my B.P. and Pulse have always been good. She then goes on to tell me the problem and, taking one look at the X-rays, one doesn't have to be shortsighted to see the problem. A blood vessel in my left eye had hemorrhaged and I needed to go to hospital for further tests a.s.a.p. I ask her if I could postpone the tests until the Friday as I had work commitments on the Wednesday & Thursday. She reluctantly says yes. I then go outside to phone the agency to confirm the days and bring her up-to-date with my situation. While I am doing this, the Doctor is on the phone to my wife giving her a more serious description of my problem. And, after my chat with my wife, I am forced to phone-back the agency with the news I might not be available. Understandably she hangs-up on me. The Doctor, in the mean time, phones the hospital and makes an appointment for me for the following day. I re-phone the agency and instruct her to hold-off informing the client. I may be available.
Tuesday we arrive at the Kansai Medical University Hospital in plenty of time for my 09:30am appointment. Hoping, as anyone does when visiting an outpatients clinic, this will be short-and-sweet and we can be out of there in time to go somewhere for lunch. Oh how wrong we were. It was the best part of 9-hours and lunch was crammed in between tests. Apart from the two Ophthalmologists, there was the Neurologist, an MRI Scan and a Blood Test, before returning to the second specialist for a final diagnosis. But there was a problem. He couldn't make a firm decision as to what the problem was. There were three possibilities, one was discarded, the other two being M.S. related - Neuromyelitis Optica and Giant-Cell Arteritis but, with the results of one of the blood tests to come in, he wanted to wait before making the call. We left the hospital hungry and knackered, but our day wasn't over. We still had grocery shopping to do, I needed to get a haircut, then pick-up the prescribed medication. An appointment was made for me to return on the Friday for an injection in my eye. During the course of the afternoon I managed to phone the agency to confirm my availability for Wed' & Thur'.
Wednesday 27th & Thursday 28th. Modelling can be a rewarding profession, not just financially, but it can be enjoyable and fun. It can also be very boring and tiring. I always take something to read when experiencing down-time. They can also be very long days. To get to-and-from the site, took me the best part of 90-minutes and required 1-bus and 2-train rides so, by 7pm that night, when I finally arrived home, my fuse was almost gone and, to add to my woes, I couldn't enjoy a glass of Shochu, thanks to the medication. The guys I worked with that day were great. They had been briefed as to my condition and were very sympathetic and appreciative for me making the effort to fulfil my obligations.
Friday 29th, and my 12:30pm appointment at the hospital. Ever since the previous Tuesday, when the Doctor told me he was going to insert a needle into my eye, and inject something into it, I would shiver whenever I thought about it. My wife arrived just as I was going into the surgery. As the Doctor was preparing the area, I was totally relaxed, so relaxed I had no idea of any pain (although an anaesthetic had been applied) but, when he said it was over and I could sit-up, that's when it struck me and I felt nauseous and had to stay where I was. Before we left, the Doctor made an appointment for me on the 17th October for, hopefully, a final diagnosis. From the hospital we crossed the road to a very nice restaurant for a lovely lunch, before returning home for a relaxing afternoon.
In my next post I want to tell you about my Wife. So, until then -