Further Delays to Posting!

23 08 2022

Just in case my dear readers are wondering, yet again, where I’ve got to this time and why I haven’t posted for ages – the reason is… COVID! 😦

I’ve done absolutely everything I can to not get Covid and have only taken my mask off if I’m not with other people at all.  I haven’t socialised for 2.5 years and have kept as big a distance as possible from all people at all times (bar Richard who wasn’t the one who gave me it).

Obviously I’ve had as many jabs as they will give me – of course as I’m not totally housebound and in my 90s, I haven’t had the latest one as they refuse to give me it!

Still, someone managed to give me the dreaded disease – no idea how but shows how determined the infected population at large are!

I knew from the start that, if I got Covid it would be serious and I was right.  I got it on the Sunday evening and by the Tuesday very early morning, I was in hospital for 2 days.  Why? because I’d basically gone blind!  Well, probably more accurate to say I’d lost my sight – either eye could see independently but my main eye, which I use for most things including reading etc. was almost on the floor and looking completely the wrong way.

The first signs of all this trouble, after the obvious severe fever, shivering etc. on the Sunday night was that, on the Monday night, I noticed as I staggered off to bed that my eyelid was drooping badly.  By the time I got up in the middle of the night to have a pee, I couldn’t walk as I had severe double vision.  If I struggled and strained with my left eye’s focus, I could eventually get the two eyes to agree – this was around 0300.  At around 0600, I got up again and couldn’t see to walk at all – just crashed into everything.

I wasn’t sure I could ring 999 for the emergency services so rang 111 instead.  They were concerned that, with the dropping of the eye and the drooping eyelid and the fact that I had a completely dead hand, I was having a stroke.  I have to say that idea had crossed my mind too… So an emergency ambulance was called…

By 0830 I was in the hospital locked in my own private room as I was infectious and periodically removed to go for various tests.  First was a CT scan – this proved I hadn’t had a stroke which was a slight relief but loss of eyesight is in itself exceedingly stressful and frightening.  They took lots of blood tests but these all came back clear.

On the CT scan, they’d seen my ‘snowfield’ in my head – this is permanent and is due to the fact that almost the whole of my sinus areas are completely filled with polyps but these can’t be removed as there is too much danger of brain damage.  ENT were next to come to see me to express concern about the snowfield – I assured them it was a known problem with me and incurable but that it wasn’t causing me problems.

I have to say that I was very impressed with the ENT team.  They did loads of visual acuity tests trying to see if they could get my left eye to either move or focus.  It did move a bit in certain directions but steadfastly refused to focus in the same direction as the other one – although the eye had dropped down to the left, the vision in it had gone very far right indeed.

When they finally had to give up to hand over to the eye team, the very nice ENT consultant popped back into my room and asked if there was anything I’d like them to do about my snowfield – I said there wasn’t anything which could be done, explained I treated flare-ups with oral steroids a couple of times a year (standard procedure in other countries apart from the UK anyway), then thanked him for his care and concern.

The eye team said they wanted an MRI but there wasn’t a slot available on the scanner until the next day so that was it for the day… Luckily, they fed me as I hadn’t eaten at all the day before and, although not hungry at all, I felt that two days without food probably wouldn’t help me much!

0930 the next day I started a one-hour MRI scan – it felt a very long time indeed, especially seeing as I’d been told not to move at all!  The last section, with contrast dye injected into my veins was supposed to be another ten minutes – I told them when they pulled me out it had been twelve and a half – I’d had nothing else to do but count the minutes!

There was then a very lot of waiting around until I was taken to see the opthalmologist.  She said the results from the MRI were absolutely fine so I could go home and make the best of it.  I pointed out that I couldn’t see so she just gave me a pair of glasses with one lens screened off (but vision all around the edge to confuse my brain further) and sent me off home on the bus and on foot.

Seeing things which appeared to be by my feet on my left hand side caused me to nearly fall off the bus when I was on the platform getting on and off the bus and things kept appearing which made me jump all the time.  After getting off the bus I had a mile to walk home, weaving all over the narrow lane which fortunately had very few cars along it.

I could see to use the internet a little with one eye so set about researching my plight.  I’d insisted all along that Covid was the cause of the problem with my eyes and my dead hand but the NHS wouldn’t believe it at all!  A very short Google of “Covid and double vision” brought me all the results I needed to prove my case – some from neurologists trying to make the rest of the profession aware of the link and some in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) – apparently it’s a common problem with Covid.  Same for the dead hand but that’s even more common than the severe vision problems!

Luckily, I’d had a few ideas of my own on what I could do.  I spent the next couple of days madly exercising my dropped eye and trying to get more movement and better focusing from it.  I also dosed fairly heavily with B vitamins (especially Riboflavin/B2 as that’s an ‘eye vitamin’), Lutein, Vitamins C & D and herbal anti-virals.  After another day and a half, luckily I succeeded (with the eye at least, I still have the virus) and my eyesight slowly returned to normal.  Apparently the patients in the BMJ and the neurologists’ article took four weeks to get better!  Similar treatments from the medics though…

Of course, until I managed to get my eyelid to stop drooping, my eye back to where it should be and my focus to react quickly to my efforts, I was pretty sure I was going to be without my sight for the next few weeks at least and possibly for good.  This was a biggie in my head as, not only would it have put an end to most of my hillwalking (which is my life) as I wouldn’t be able to drive to the hills, I also wouldn’t be able to get to work – and I’m due to start a new job in 3 weeks!  With the cost of living crisis about to bite hard this winter, you can imagine what that thought was doing to my state of mind!

You’re reading a post by Mountain Coward. If you’ve enjoyed this post, be sure to follow The Mountain Coward from my homepage

Advertisement

Actions

Information

29 responses

4 09 2022
surfnslide

An awful and scary experience. This COVID thing seems to have such a massive range of effects across the spectrum. Hope you are back to normal now and back out on the hills, if not already, then soon. All the best. Andy

Like

4 09 2022
mountaincoward

I am back in the hills and back at work. I was feeling okay at the end of last week but am feeling very tired again this week – could be work and people harassing me online though – I’m getting a lot of flak about my caring arrangements for my elderly mother – everyone else could and would do it better apparently!

Liked by 1 person

1 09 2022
tessapark1969

Sorry to hear about this Carol, that must have been very scary. I hope you are feeling better soon.

There is a lot of it about, I had it myself about 6 weeks ago. Nowhere near as badly but felt dire for a few days and took me quite a bit longer to get my energy back. Like you no idea where I got it but was probably work.

Like

1 09 2022
mountaincoward

Actually, I do know where I got it – there was never any doubt – I got it in the shop! There wasn’t anywhere else I could have got it!

Like

28 08 2022
underswansea

Damn Carol, really sorry to hear about your bout of Covid. I hope you are feeling better. I know how careful you have been. Just goes to show how contagious it is, and also, how potentially debilitating. Where I work we have dealt with many outbreaks, including one now. How I haven’t got it is a mystery to me. There has also been people who got it that thought it was a hoax. That changed their tune. Some had eyesight and balance problems like you. It sure does hit people differently. I am wishing you the best and a speedy recovery. Take care. Bob

Like

29 08 2022
mountaincoward

I think it is much worse for us older folks and has the potential for serious problems. I hope you never get it. At least I’m better now – I’m just hoping there’s no recurrence of the visual problems as I keep reading of people going blind a while after they had Covid.

Like

27 08 2022
Paul Shorrock

So sorry to hear about your troubles Carol, it must be very worrying. Like you, we have been as careful as possible, and so far remained clear, but odds are we will all catch Covid eventually. Hope you recover before too long.

Like

27 08 2022
mountaincoward

It was pretty scary for those 4 days or so! I’m feeling quite a bit less tired now and have started on the hills again – doing okay so far but only small stuff…

Like

24 08 2022
Alli Templeton

I’m so sorry to hear about the horrible time you’ve been having with Covid, Carol. My heart goes out to you, it sounds such a harrowing and scary experience to have to go through, especially on your own. It was a relief to read that the eye and hand are returning to normal now, but I’m sorry the virus is still bugging you. You’re a fighter though, and I’m certain you’ll be fine, but in the meantime I’m thinking of you and sending you all good wishes for a speedy recovery. And I’m very much looking forward to reading all about your inspring adventures when you’re back on track. Take care and keep in touch. ❤

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

Thanks Alli. Actually the eye team at the hospital rang me today and said can I come in first thing in the morning so I’m off back to see them after all. No idea what they’ll find now if anything…

I’m still very, very tired though…

Like

24 08 2022
Alli Templeton

Not surprised after all you’ve been through. I expect they’re just being cautious – they can’t afford not to be nowadays. Hope it all goes well and that you’re feeling all better very soon. The blogosphere isn’t the same without you.

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I have to admit that I’m running out of posting material anyway a bit as I’m doing the same hills most of the time. Also, it really seems now like I might never be able to buy film again. Apparently there’s been a waiting list for it all year and none has come out! 😦

Like

24 08 2022
bob

I thought something must be up with you. Sorry to hear about your troubles.I always still wear a mask shopping or on public transport but only around 5% still do that which really p*****s me off as it’s only for 10 to 30 mins or so minor inconvenience at a time normally.. Most people are intrinsically selfish and only think of their immediate family and sometimes not even that. If we do get another, potentially lethal, variant most of the population will be sitting ducks for it…, all for the sake of 10 to 20 minutes wearing a mask indoors. Hope you make a full recovery.

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I can’t see why everyone was so keen to abandon masks as they’re so little trouble and we’d all got used to them anyway. And, as I pointed out to one lady who thought they looked awful – if you’re older like me and your jowls are sagging to your belly, you definitely look better in a mask!

Like

24 08 2022
Diana

This must have been very confusing and scary. I’m glad to hear your eyesight is improving, and I’m wishing you a full and speedy recovery!

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I’m just terrified it will come back. But I am recovering slowly – just very tired…

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
Jim R

What a terrible experience for you. I started reading and kept thinking how similar our experiences were. I’ve had all the shots and boosters, masked all the time, stayed home, etc, and somehow got it in July. That is where our similarity ended. My case was over within 2 weeks with no lasting effects. Just annoyed. I wish you speedy recovery.

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I have to say I’m very annoyed about it and quite bitter really. Richard offered to come over but I told him to stay firmly at home away from it!

Like

24 08 2022
Natalie Minnis

Sorry to hear this Carol. It sounds like a horrendous experience. Look after yourself – make sure you get lots of rest. And make sure your vision is good before you get out and about again – especially peripheral vision. Hopefully you’ll be back out on the hills before too long.

Like

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I’m back out walking shortish distances as I believe fresh air is a big part of the treatment and the road to recovery.

Like

24 08 2022
John Bainbridge

Both very sorry to hear that you have been so ill and we wish you a complete and speedy recovery. Appalling that you had to get home on a bus. It might be worth getting in touch with the neuros who have done papers on this, to give them some more evidence to make their case. Hope it won’t be too long before you are back on the Hills. John and Annie.

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

Thanks both of you. That’s a great idea to try to contact the folks who wrote the articles and feed them more evidence and the fact that they really helped me writing about it. I’ll try to do that.

Liked by 1 person

26 08 2022
John Bainbridge

Hope you are feeling much better.

Like

24 08 2022
jester1970

That’s a pretty nasty bout of Covid you had there Carol. It does seem to come with all sorts of bizarre side-effects that you wouldn’t expect, and I hope that you recover quickly.

Your account of being discharged to make your own way home is worrying but not unusual sadly.

My late father had taken ill just after retiring. Overnight he went from being his normal self to appearing to have developed severe dementia. He was confused and hallucinating, at one point he tried to set fire to his trousers to get rid of the “bugs” he could see on his legs. We got him to hospital and they found he had a urine infection (which strangely can make the person appear to have dementia), and after a few days was discharged. Just after he was discharged we phoned to check on his progress overnight, to be told he had gone home, having said he would walk back. This mystified us, as he wasn’t home, and so a family friend rushed to the hospital, where they found him wandering around reception with a bag of tablets, wearing slippers, and without any jacket. This was in January or February, there was snow on the ground, and yet someone thought it fit to let him leave to walk two miles home, in his slippers.

Complaints to the hospital went unanswered and eventually we had to complain to the NHS Ombudsman, who found the hospital had been derelict in it’s duty of care.

It may be worth raising your concerns with the hospital manager directly, because that should not have happened to you.

All the best,

Jim

Liked by 1 person

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

There is some kind of patient feedback service and I intend to send for a form. I’ll be praising the attitude of the ENT department and their consultant but will be a bit critical about the eye department. Having said that, they phoned me this morning to see if I can go in and see them tomorrow morning which I’m going to – at least I’m fit to travel now!

Terrible about your father. I’ve heard that about urine infections too – and dehydration can make the elderly very confused. How scary that he tried to set fire to his trousers 😮

Like

24 08 2022
Easymalc

Sorry to hear of your latest plight after all the precautions you’ve taken. Hope you have a speedy recovery

Like

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

Thanks Malc. I look a bit like your avatar at the moment – about all I can do is sit around and ‘take it easy’ LOL

Like

23 08 2022
Bitchy After 60

Thanks for the update. I hit like only to acknowledge you not to like your plight. When it comes to sight, I can only imagine how nerve racking it all was. A bit scary for sure. Good on you for taking the initiative to figure it out and exercise you eyes. Hope everything gets back to normal sooner as opposed to later.

Like

24 08 2022
mountaincoward

I suspect my eyesight came back as much due to luck as to my ‘treatments’ but at least I felt I was doing something about it. And the vitamins I chose were the same as the doctor in the BMJ article. Having worked at a health shop until recently, I knew about the benefits of B vitamins etc.

Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: