Solipsism Gradient

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Hiatus: still there

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Two years have passed since my last post on the subject, and the few readers left may want to know what happened since then with my eye troubles.

There have some relatively minor complaints. The Diamox pills I was using to keep eye pressure down turned out to have noxious long-term side-effects and I had to discontinue them gradually. Some side-effects (dizziness, weakened voice and reduced coordination) I had attributed to lack of physical exercise and old age 😤 but they’re gone now, it’s a relief.

Fiddling around with eyedrops to find the least irritating ones is an ongoing process, complicated by two bouts with small corneal injuries — probably caused by forgetting to blink while using the computer.

The remaining problem is a macular edema that appeared over a year ago, causing blurred vision. After it proved resistant to eyedrops, a subtenonian triamcinolone injection relieved the condition for several months, but it seems to be coming back. It’s still undecided whether repeating the injection will be worthwhile.

In the meantime, the eye is still drier than usual, painful towards the end of the day, and the dilated pupil makes me avoid the sunlight; I’m still getting used to these — apparently permanent — conditions.

On the development front, I’ve decided to start writing software again in the near future; maybe not for publication, but purely as brain exercise. None of my old apps seem to be doable for the recent macOS versions; Apple has tightened restrictions on what can be done by third-party apps.

Also, I see that most of my Objective-C experience is now obsolete and Swift has progressed beyond my feeble CS skills. But it still might be fun to try to catch up! To that end, I’ve purchased a reasonably configured M1 Mac mini running macOS Monterey and have slowly been migrating my normal apps to that; tricky as I was still depending on some 32-bit utilities, so my trusty “Late 2014” iMac will still be in use in parallel for several months.

Things are more positive on the general health front. We’re both fully vaccinated with a booster shot, and have been able to start regular gym sessions again, with encouraging results. This has also been producing excellent results in our table tennis training, and we have even been twice to special training sessions in nearby Varginha. This weekend I’ll play the 10th TMB Challenge Plus tournament and have good chances to add a medal to my collection.

Hiatus: better…

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Yes, things are getting better. The visual distortion I reported two months ago has lessened significantly; it’s still there, but much less pronounced and not as annoying. Hopefully all will be cleared up in a few more months, as promised; I’m scheduled for a new eye check-up 6 weeks from now.

There are two faint gray sickle-shaped shadows remaining around the central focus area, no doubt some retinal scarring resulting from the operation; they’re visible only when viewing uniformly coloured areas.

Otherwise, my depth perception has returned almost to normal and I’ve made progress on my table tennis training, somewhat hampered by the heat — it’s been between 30 and 34º for weeks. Stay tuned.

Hiatus: progress!

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I know you’ve all been waiting for an update on my eye surgery
…not really? Well, here’s one anyway.

Fast recap: here’s how things looked from my right eye —  it’s just slightly exaggerated. It’s called a macular pucker, and reading Spalding Gray‘s monologue about it wasn’t very comforting. The darkened, twisty part was unfortunately almost right in the middle, so reading with that eye was impossible, and the whole 3D experience was unreliable.

So, 3 weeks ago I had that somewhat scary vitrectomy operation and I’m happy to report that the surgeon said that, technically, everything went well — no infection, no visible scarring on the retina, no harm to other parts of the eye. Whew. In the meantime, I still have two weeks of antibiotic and steroid eyedrops every few hours; a small price to pay, of course!

Subjectively, the darkened blob is almost gone and the twisty parts are very gradually spreading apart and getting smaller; there remain two gray curved marks around the center, only noticeable when looking at a uniform background. Everything should stabilise in about a year and, with some luck, my eyeglasses should need no changing.

In another week I should be ready to resume my (relatively) new favorite activity: serious table tennis. I’ve started training regularly again two years ago, after about 40 years off the tables, and will write regularly about the topic here.

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