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Continuing Eye Issues

In April, we went to Iowa to teach the Scholastic Clay Target Program athletes and their coaches. I noticed that there was a blurry spot in my left eye, so when we returned to Fulshear, I called and went and saw my eye doctor.

He tested each eye separately. The right eye was fine at 20/20, but the left eye had a hole in the middle and I couldn’t see the letters. As you can imagine, this was very concerning. The doctor couldn’t see what the issue was with his naked eye, so he took me back to the retina machine.

The retina machine reads the macula and found there was a hole in it. I had never heard of this, but Mr. Google and I got really close to finding out exactly what it meant to have a macular hole. My regular eye doctor had shown me a photo of how it looked and what might have to happen, but nothing was in stone until I saw the retina doctor.

I had to wait two weeks to see the retina doctor. They redid the retina test, and sure enough, there was a hole that would require surgery to fix. This, of course, came at a time when we had eight weeks of airplane travel for clinics. And after this surgery, I would not be able to travel on an airplane for three to four weeks. He did tell me this didn’t need to be done today, but sometime in the next three months.

This was in early May, so I scheduled the surgery for the middle of June. But then all our clinics got full and Brian’s classes here were all full, so he couldn’t travel with Gil. This would have to wait a few weeks. Someone would have to stay with me for at least three days after the surgery since I would have to have my head pointed down for that length of time.

Try eating with your head pointing to the floor… not a pretty picture.

July 1st was the scheduled date, and on June 27, I went in for my pre-op test. They did the retina test twice and then the doctor finally came in. “Well, we have some decisions to make,” he said. Now, that doesn’t sound good, but it turned out to be.

The hole had closed by half. Now, he said, we can do the surgery in two days, or we can wait for three weeks and see what will happen. Let’s see… have eye surgery or wait and see if it heals on its own? No hesitation from me — let’s wait and see.

Three weeks went by, and I made my way back to the doctor. They did the retina test twice again. It seemed like an hour, but I’m sure it was only minutes. The doctor came in and said the hole had completely closed by itself.

“But I can still see a hole in my vision,” I told him. The macular hole had sealed up, but the gel around the hole was still not completely closed. He told me it should heal in a few weeks, and to come back five weeks later.

We are now halfway there. The hole does seem to be getting smaller, but we will see where this journey takes us.

When I have brought this up to people, I have been surprised at how many of them have had this issue, or at least knew someone who had had it. Most had to have the surgery, so for now I am feeling very blessed.

I had asked the doctor if I could demonstrate shots for my students, and he said it would be okay. Gil and I both had lessons one day last week and I wanted to see if the sight pictures would come back. It took several shots, but it felt so right. The picture was so clear for the first time in three years.

This experience did show me that I would need to do the three-bullet drill a lot because the pictures were not quite perfect yet. All that being said, it’s a great feeling to shoot again.

I can’t wait to get out and shoot!