March 2023

Recovery from the RD continues – just not very quickly. Three-week post-op and Doc allowed easy cycling (indoors only) for 30 minutes in addition to extending the walk to the same duration. Light weights are also permitted but nothing in a supine position. Very happy to be able to re-unite with the trainer. Vision improving and changing. Stitch for the buckle became visible and another source of eye irritation. Doc proscribed erythromycin eye ointment and now back to applying three of the four different eye drops twice a day. As a result, since one of them is atropine sulfate, the pupil is constantly dilated. Top edge of bubble reached middle of visual field: underwater view below and blurry above. As vision in the left eye improves, overall vision suffers as the bubble is now visible and distorts the overall view. Probably not explaining it very well but difficult to describe the effect. Several days later, top half of visual field is much brighter, able to discern finer details, and able to read large font positioned close; below line is underwater, darker, but not murky while peripheral view is blurry. Assuming bubble absorption continues as the top edge of the bubble is slightly below the middle of the visual field and each edge curves downward almost as if the size of the bubble is shrinking. At the 4-week mark, bumped training rides to 45 minutes with average heart rate below 110 bpm and peaks below 115. No change to the 30-minute walks. Gas bubble continues to shrink. At the 5-week mark, top edge of bubble is no longer a horizontal line across the visual field. Able to discern bubble shape with rounded sides and improved peripheral vision. Top of bubble wiggles and undulates with head movement and fills maybe 25% of the visual field. Left eye vision is still blurry and details are far from crisp but able to read the time on iPhone if held about 12 inches from eye. Visual field still has a milky cast – hoping it’s not an indication of a cataract already. The smaller the bubble, the worse the binocular vision; very distracting and headache producing. Also wondering about the long-term impacts of the scleral buckle: does it eventually become imperceptible?

The spring issue of the American Randonneur arrived and I made the Awards List pages for achieving the R-12; riding a 200K (or longer) randonneuring event in each of 12 consecutive months. Accomplished that in my first year as a member but, unfortunately, won’t be repeating that in 2023 as Feb passed without completing any outdoor distance and March will be a carbon copy. Increased Zwift rides to 60 minutes with the same HR parameters. Still no desire to ride outside with current visual deficits although would like to increase the indoor intensity. Forced to lower the power output as the ride progresses due to HR drift. Often end up getting dropped at that point in a partner paced ride and finish it solo; 45 minutes seem to be the threshold for staying with Maria on partner paced rides at 2.1 w/kg. Have to drop below 2.0 to maintain HR target. No change to walking distance although did take a couple of hour walks with the Missus over the weekend.

Had to eliminate another common activity – dental cleaning – due to restriction on supine position. Thanks to the Missus for the heads-up after her experience. Confirmed with the Doc – best if the appointment is rescheduled at least 6 weeks out. Hearing that was another kick in the gut. That much longer before being able to lay on my back?! Bubble will surely be absorbed before then. Learned that the milky view is normal part of recovery process. Bubble continues to shrink – now down to less than a quarter of the visual field. Added another 15 minutes, up to 75 now, to the trainer spins. No adjustment to the intensity threshold. Just past the 6-week mark, a complete bubble is visible when looking down. If possible, while smaller than before, it’s more present in the field of view and disrupts the vision. The buckle continues to be unpleasant. A new feature noticed over the last couple of days is the continued presence of the bubble even when the eyes are closed. Not sure how it’s possible but there are different shades of black and purple that still make the circle visible. It moves the same as when the eyes are open: circle moves to the middle of the visual field as the head lowers. Initially thought RD was creating a super-power: true night vision. Can’t explain the phenomenon but unfortunately it’s not a new visual capability.

Cooked a few new items: chicken chile verde and Costillas a la Riojan (Argentine pork chops with fried egg), dump and bake chicken parmigiana, and sausage, chicken, beans (black, red, and garbanzo), and rice. 

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