Ralph S Bacon

MicroControllers, Electronics and IOT

“Put your life on hold for two weeks”

That was the advice of the ophthalmic surgeon once he had finished repairing the retinal tear in my left eye.

In case anyone reading this didn’t catch my 5-minute YouTube video on what happened to my eye, and why I won’t be making any videos for the next few weeks, I’ve linked to it here.

And a zillion thanks to everyone who commented on that video, sending me good wishes and hopes of a speedy recovery. It really cheered me up no end.

But I still want to find the three people who down-voted that video! I mean, really?

Anyway, the surgeon then explained how I was to lie on my right side, in bed, for the next 5 days. Day and night, with just 10 minutes an hour to get up (gently does it) and go to the loo, or shower (with goggles) or just feel sorry for myself a bit. 

The following five days after that I was to sit up in bed, during the day only, and sleep on my right-hand side at night. I could read and watch TV. Or Julian’s YouTube videos. Just to pass the time.

“Never sleep on your back or on the left side,” he said. Put your life on hold for two weeks, he said. No kidding.

Pirate Ralph

So I followed the instructions, pretty much to the letter, and had my eye drops every four hours, administered by my wife. I’ve promoted her to full carer status, as she waited on me hand and foot during this time as I lay motionless in my bed. 33 years of marriage and she still does it.

Do you know how uncomfortable, nay, painful it can be lying on the same side for 10 days?

But today is day 11.

I no longer have to stay in bed. I can move gently about and do stuff. I just must not bend down below waist level or lift heavy stuff to avoid putting pressure on my eye. 

Did I say do stuff? Easier said than done when my left-eye vision is that of a porthole with liquid at exactly the mid-way point, sloshing around and really, really irritating me as I try and do anything. 

Above the liquid line, I can see much more clearly, albeit a bit smeary, with lots of “floaters” – black blobs and strings floating about in my eye. This is normal but very disappointing as I had hoped that as the surgeon had sucked out all my eye-jelly (vitreous) he would have also sucked out the floaters. Not so. I’ll keep the eye-patch on for a while longer, I think.

The best I can do is sit still at my workshop bench doing some R&D for my next video (or two). I was about to start filming when I was interrupted by the whole eye incident, so that will be a good starting point.

The gas bubble in my eye should be gone in a couple more weeks, so I can return to work and life, in general.

The saga doesn’t stop there.

Just to add icing on the cake, I’ve also been told that my part-time job in a well known UK DIY store will not pay me sick-pay, as I’ve only been there 5 months. I’d only be eligible for sick pay after six months.

“Unfortunate timing”, said my manager. Really, you think?

I really need to stop being resentful and be more grateful that things are currently progressing well. Imagine if this had happened 100 years ago; I’d be blind in that eye by next summer.

Anyway, the doctor reckons I should get SSP (Statutory Sick Pay, a UK social benefit) but as I only work a couple of days a week it will not amount to much. But anything will be gratefully received! Perhaps I really do need to up my YouTube game and make it earn money!

So here I am, pretty frustrated that I can’t really do that much after all, and I’m super-wary of stressing out the eye by over-doing it anyway. I shall do lots of research on all things Arduino, ESP8266 and Raspberry Pi (including Tasmota and Node-RED) so I can hit the ground running once this episode in my life has been successfully concluded.

Keep tuned and I’ll keep you updated.

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12 replies

  1. Hi Ralph,
    I don’t leave comments often but I sympathise with you. After watching your video I could feel your pain and frustration.
    I also have problems with both eyes. I did LASIK on both eyes and during my stay in Antarctica for more than a year something went horribly wrong. Now four years later I’m still suffering from frequent corneal erosion which means I end up in the emergency department of the hospital every month or so. It is very painful when this happens and my vision disappears for three days each time. That means that I can only lay down in a couch listening to music in a dark room. I can’t watch TV, nor do any work on my PC. It is extremely annoying and frustrating.
    However, when I see videos like your most recent one then I feel like I am so much better off than what you experience at the moment.
    Mate, don’t rush trying to make new videos. Your true fans and followers will have patience to watch your content. Your health is your top priority at the moment. You should concentrate on that for a 100%.
    I’m also sorry to hear about your loss of income. Unbelievable you missed out by one month to be able to receive some financial assistance. The system is wrong in that regard. You don’t need all the financial headaches and stress on top of what you are experiencing now.
    Ralph, take care mate and I wish you all the best and a speedy recovery!
    Cheers,

    Luc
    Melbourne, Australia
    PS: I think you know who I am. We had a discussion last year in regards to a weather station.

    Like

    • Yes, Luc, I remember you well. And I’m very sorry you too have eye problems, although your situation seems a lot worse than my (hopefully) short-term situation. I can only empathise and hope it does not recur too often for you.

      I will take the time required before I do another video. As you say, it would be foolish to risk my long-term eyesight for a short-term video! It remains, however, somewhat irksome but I have taken great comfort in everyone’s positive comments.

      Thanks for posting, Luc, here’s “looking” at a brighter future!

      Like

  2. It’s perfectly acceptable to feel frustrated by circumstances, especially when they are medical in nature. They turn up uninvited and interfere with your life without so much as a by your leave. I’m now a walking medicine cabinet and have been since my early 40’s and it is extremely frustrating. My new hobby is collecting prescriptions, LOL. It is fortunate that I have a sense of humour and hobbies that help to keep me sane. When I am in too much pain or too tired to be at my own workbench I like to watch other hobbyists on Youtube because this also contributes towards maintaining my sanity.

    The best we can do is make the most of the good days when they come along. Winter is an especially difficult time for me (as I have hated being cold ever since I was a child) so I stock up on ginger biscuits and Ovaltine (self care is so important Ralph) to warm the cockles and have a few projects lined up for the long dark (brrrrrrrr, and cold) winter evenings.

    Rest and recuperation are what you need so you must take that time and you yourself will know when it is time to get back to things.

    All the very best for a speedy recovery.

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    • Frustrated by circumstance is a good way to describe it, Nick. You are very generous in your assessment.

      However, it also true that things turn out best for people that make the best out of the way things turn out! So instead of complaining and whining that life isn’t fair, I will henceforth just make the best of the current situation. It’s not going to last forever (I hope) and, by Christmas, this should just be a painful memory.

      It gives me a lot of time to do a bit of R&D. And to reflect that others (like your good self) are in a much worse position than me. So I will look after the eye and follow the doctor’s advice and get on with things!

      Thanks for posting, Nick, I really appreciate you doing so.

      Like

  3. Hi Ralph
    glad your getting better, I broke my wrist 3 weeks ago and its feeling great now, after the surgery to screw it all back together I followed the advice to the letter, as you must and all will be well….keep that brain of yours active ….us Arduinite’s need it! and of course, hi to Benny

    Liked by 1 person

    • OMG, I’m so sorry you broke your wrist, that sounds particularly painful, especially when you mention “screwing it all back together”. I hope not literally, but then again they do use surgical screws these days instead of plaster. I wish you a speedy (and pain-free) recovery.

      Yes, I too am following the advice to the letter. No point in risking a full recovery for a very short-term gain. So you and I will be back in full fettle this side of Christmas with any luck.

      My brain is still very active (hence the frustration in not being able to do much) but Benny is a good sounding board!

      Like

  4. Hello Ralph. I do wish you a speedy recovery – take it easy and follow medical advise.
    I think you deserve some financial support for your super helpful videos.. how about a PayPal “contribution” button? I’d be the first to act! Say hello to Ben (and of course to Mrs. Bacon, who I’m sure is helping and supporting you on all this!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mrs B has been an angel throughout all this. Given that she has a dodgy knee she has really helped me recover quickly.

      I like your idea of financial contribution. I tried it out on the aforementioned Mrs B and I cannot repeat the answer here 🙂

      The real way to get financial support is for me to get back to making videos (possibly with a Patreon button), so thanks for that nudge, I may well do that.

      Benny was great too – he loved snuggling up to me whilst I was bed-bound. He gave me some great ideas for future videos too. What a cat!

      Like

  5. Good that you’re “on the mend”. Take it easy.

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  6. Hi Ralph,
    I wish you all the best of luck with your eye problem.
    From experience I have found that you will quickly learn to compensate for problems in one eye and very soon you will forget that there has been a problem. I had floaters after laser surgery to repair the retina after a blister had torn it. They stopped some time later, and it was only when I read about yours that I remembered that I had them, when they stopped I don’t know.
    Looking forward to your next video.

    John Crawford

    Liked by 1 person

    • You know what, John? It’s when I read comments like yours that I feel bad about feeling so frustrated. I’m not the first nor the last to experience some road bumps in life so reading your post here has really helped me rethink my current attitude – thank you for sharing that, it’s made me feel a lot more positive.

      I, too, am looking forward to being able to make a video soon.

      Like

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