LOSS OF EYE-SIGHT AND MEMORY TOO- REMEMBERING BLINDNESS … by Jose Saramago

SunSet on the Pacific

SunSet on the Pacific

You know the book: BLINDNESS by the Noble Prize winning author Jose Saramago, “a magnificent, mesmarizing parable of loss”, which I read several times and also saw a movie made based on that book. My blog is not on that book nor its subject but something of a personal experience of LOSS OF MY EYE SIGHT AND MEMORY (RECALL), long enough to transport me to a WORLD OF IF?

POST POSTSCRIPT-2 SEP. 4, 2013: DR. JOHN A. GORFINKEL WHO ASKED ME TO SEE HIM TODAY AT 11:30 AM, WHICH I DID AT A SHORT NOTICE. HE HEARD MY COMPLAINT OF THE LOSS OF MY EYE-SIGHT AND RECALL MEMORY, ON AUG. 31st, HE EXPLAINED TO ME SAYING THAT “WHEN THE EYE-SIGHT WAS VERY FOGGY, IT AFFECTED THE RECAL MEMORY BECAUSE WHAT I WAS UNABLE TO SEE CLEARLY COULD NOT RECALL FROM THE MEMORY” WHICH IS PLAUSABLE. THANK GOD EVERYTHING IS BACK TO NORMAL 20/20 EYE SIGHT AND EXCELLENT RECALL MEMORY.

POST POSTSCRIPT -3 Dr. John A Gorfinkel, described the condition known as KERATITIS.

TOUCH OF BLINDNESS – MY PERSONAL TRUE STORY

Yesterday, as soon as I left the Toronto Western Hospital at Bathurst Street, by its main door on the west, I found myself without any sight or memory, most likely as a result of checkups and procedures that I went through during my four hours stay, first two hours in the Emergency, over-full with no room available, and another two hours at UHN – Krembil Neuroscience Centre’s Ophthalmology Department.

Stepping out of the Hospital door, I found as if I was in a different world, people looked like cotton balls, no clear shapes. I could not clearly see their faces or differentiate by gender, just movement in a fog of different universe. I couldn’t remember where I was but I followed those figures crossing a road which I could not recognize nor I could read the name of the street, stuck on the electric pole at the corner. I do remember now, that I walked toward the left following other floating creatures, crossing the street and took the Street Car as few others did in front of me. These floating creatures, who took the Street Car, put something in one of the cash box next to the person sitting in the driver’s seat, I didn’t know what I should do, took something from my pocket (I think two dollars) and put that like others did and I sat down. Even the person sitting next to me looked like the others, no clear features or shape. The street car moved and then came to a stop twice, I was to ask the person sitting next to me what was the name of the street which, of course, I could not read hanging on the electric pole at the corner. I didn’t dare to ask, thinking the person might make fun of me that I cannot even read the sign. At the same time, I heard the driver calling the name of the stop – College Street, that rang a bell. To my surprise, I could not remember anything about College Street and pitied myself as I always thought having an excellent sense of directions. I was confused where I should be and going now all were mixed up. One thing I remember calling my wife to let her know of my leaving the Hospital and to meet her at the Eaton’s Centre, that’s all what was stuck in my memory.
I mentioned that I was at College Street & Bathurst but no way of knowing where should I go to meet her. The street car continued on and reached the corner of Bloor Street where, for no reason, I got down, I faintly remembered my wife mentioning Bloor, coming there by Sub-Way.
When standing at the crossing of Bloor and Bathurst Streets, I saw the street car continuing on the Bathurst Street, crossing Bloor Street, and turning right into Bathurst Sub-Way Station. However, I stood fast right at the corner where I got off, thinking my wife will be coming by Sub-way and might see me. Now I can imagine the state of memory, waiting for a Street Car on Bloor Street going toward East, only realizing there are no tracks for a street car. I hesitantly pulled my iPhone to call her again, very worried someone may not snatch that from me while I cannot even see clearly anyone’s face around me. I was a bit scared too realizing where I might end up.
I saw lots floating creatures moving from my point toward north, I followed them, couldn’t read the signs, turned right with another group of floating creatures and turned left, heading to Bathurst Sub-way Station, passed the Ticket collector’s window who gave me “go on” sign. I don’t remember and how I decided to take the Sub-way going East, frankly speaking I had no idea where it will lead me. Went down the steps and rode the Sub-way heading East, now it was going right along the Bloor street but under it. When it reached Spadina Sub-way Station, I was confused again, very faint idea was lurking in my head, too late for thinking, train moved on and stopped again, couldn’t decide to stay on or get off, train moved again and stopped at Yonge Street Station where I got off, why I still don’t remember WHY.
I followed the floating creatures, still no clear faces or shapes, stood at the platform as others were doing, thinking my wife might spot me. When it reached Dundas, I spontaneously got off, walked in the Eaton’s Centre where I was to meat my wife. Being hungry, I went to Starbuck Coffee shop, ordered a cup of coffee and my favorite cookie, sat down patiently to recover from what was happening to me. Once finished my coffee and the cookie, I went to the newly opened corner of Apple’s products within INDIGO BOOKSTORE, bought myself +Jot pro stilo for my iPad Mini. I decided to charge to my Visa Card, when it came to sign, I could not see where to sign, apologized and jokingly said “I cannot see”, I am just coming from the Hospital, in fact I still had the TWH hand band from the Emergency. The salesman remembered me seeing that stilo a day early and I promised that I will buy.
With coffee and cookie in my hands, I made to an empty chair to sit with a book which I couldn’t even read its title. I continued pretending that I am reading and I called home to update what I am going through and promised to come home as soon as I could walk and see up to few feet ahead of me.

WHAT HAPPEND THAT LEAD TO THE ABOVE SITUATION

On Aug. 27th, I went for a “Facial” at the posh well know Spa in town, thank for the gift that I got from my wife on my Birthday. I had gone for Facial twice in Baden Baden, Germany and enjoyed the facial treatments.
I was quite excited about this gift and so I went.
During the Facial treatment, I felt very strong heat on my face, mentioned to the lady to reduce the heat, which she did. Once finished, I felt very strange as if my Cataract artificial lenses had been affected by the excessive heat applied to my face. I started feeling reduced vision in both of my eyes. Tried to cool it using Systane Ultra eye drops, for the first three days, with no let up on my pain and limited vision.

Yesterday, Aug. 30th, I finally left the house at 10:00 am and headed to the Emergency at Western Toronto Hospital, as I always did in the past. Checked in at 10:26 am, was fast tracked and, in no time, nurse checked my vision, going through the charts, as is done at Optometrist office. Found I could not go through all that, though I have had 20/20 vision ever since I had my Cataract surgeries in 2011.
I was thoroughly checked for Glaucoma (the second leading cause of blindness affecting more than 400,000 Canadians), Macula and other eye ailments but found nothing. Dr. PETER SWITAKOWSKI (whom I know through my earlier visits, a very kind, respectful and excellent doctor), in-charge at the Emergency Desk, before letting me go, asked for a blood test and to follow up with the Ophthalmologist at Krembil Neuroscience Centre. He gave me the referral letter for the appointment.
I was taken by a volunteer helping my way to the Ophthalmology Department at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre,
where waited for good 40 minutes with no one else waiting for any emergency, lead by a Dr. Sit to another section of the department where Dr. Gonzalez was waiting for my arrival. She was the only Ophthalmologist on Emergency duty for the day.
I found her very kind, polite and patient, understanding and professionally very thorough, set to find the cause of my complaint. She asked me about the medicines I am taking but I could not remember even one medicine, no memory to recall, since I did not have my list of Medicines with me, for the first time it ever happened. She probed further if I could be of help in knowing what type of ailments I have had. She would mention the name and I would answer Yes or No. When it came to the list of surgeries (which I had many) I was again stuck mentioning by type, mentioning only a few including Cataract, Knee replacement and Gall bladder removal. After several procedural checkups for Glaucoma and Macula, she finally pinned down the cause of my sight problem, saying that I bruised my retina in the process of my Facial treatment at the Spa when “I may have blinked under the hot steam, applied to my face, commonly least harmful. I thoroughly agreed it may have happened. She gave me Systane Gel Drops to take 4 times a day for two weeks which I started immediately.

POSTSCRIPT: Though could not remember during my Emergency & Ophthalmology stay, I had taken all my regular daily medicines: Norvasc 5mg., Avapro 300mg., Amiloride 5mg., Plavix 75mg., Levothyroxine 0.15mg., Co-Metformin 500mg., Proscar 5mg., Novo-Gesic Forte 500mg., and Caltrate 600mg., PLUS Coenzyme Q10 60mg., Vitamin D3, 1000 IU, Total One-Multi Vitamin & Mineral (Swiss)

NOTE: LET ME ASSURE YOU, I HAVE FULLY RECOVERED (BY AUG. 31st) OF WHAT I WENT THROUGH. THANKS TO ALL THOSE WHO HELPED ME AT THE EMERGENCY (SPECIALLY DR. PETER SWITAKOWSKI AND DR. GONZALEZ), AT THE OPHTHALMOLOGY DEPARTMENT, KREBIL NEUROSCIENCE CENTRE, AND THE TORONTO WESTERN HOSPITAL PLUS ALL THE MOST EFFICIENT STAFF.

NOTE: PLEASE ASK AHEAD OF FACIAL SPA TREATMENT ABOUT THE STREAM AND PRECAUTIONS YOU HAVE TO TAKE