Stroke & Hiatus

Happy New Year!

If you’ve been a regular visitor to the site, I want to extend my thanks and hope I can continue to impress throughout the coming year.

If you’re asking what happened to the daily photos as they appear to have not been updated in a while.  It’s true.

Toward the end of October, I was feeling overwhelmed with a full-time job, maintaining three websites, a freelance business, and keeping creative enough to provide a fun daily photo.  Though I took my foot off the gas slightly, I was still headed for a crash.  In Mid-November, late at night, I was unable to see the display on TV.  I was wearing new eyeglasses, I was frustrated!  Took them off, cleaned them and…nothing.  I covered one eye, then the other and discovered I couldn’t see anything out of my left.  Who knows how long my right eye was covering; regardless, it was the middle of the night and fear started to sit in.

Branch Vein Ischemia

The next day I went to the eye doctor.  I hoped I’d be told it was eye strain but secretly thought they’d tell me it was diabetes or some thing.  Despite all these thoughts, I wasn’t prepared for the severity of what I was told next.  After a battery of tests and unable to see the largest eye chart ‘E’ they could throw at me, the doctor explained I had had a hemorrhage in the eye.  I was to see a specialist immediately.  With both eyes dilated and fear growing, the drive to the specialist was interesting, to say the least.  Even though I got in to see the specialist right away, I still waited for more tests for the better part of the day.  Finally, the specialist reviewed his findings: I had severe high blood pressure which caused the veins in my left eye to weaken and rupture, leaking blood behind the retina, interfering with its function.  In short, I had an “eye stroke”, or a branch vein ischemia.  Moreover, there wasn’t anything they could do other than wait and see how it goes with high blood pressure medication and lifestyle changes.  But I had to start immediately.

The next day, my Dad and I went and seen the first doctor I found online who would see me right away.  Turns out she was kind, patient, and professional.  I was put on 20mg of Lisinopril (high blood pressure medication) at first, then increased two weeks later to 40mg.  No to low sodium diet and mandatory exercise.  I lost weight the first month than I hit a plateau.  Discouraged but I never went off my diet.  If anyone has suggestions on maintaining routines, I’m all ears.

I’ve been taking it easy.  My eyesight is improving but I still can’t see long distances in my left eye.  My memory seems strained at times though that might be just under times of stress.  When you improve, it’s easy to treat something serious like a headache.  You can’t.  Just as with photography, constant vigilance.

Stay well fellow photographers.  If you’re not around, you’ll miss your shot.

Posted on January 27, 2013 in Personal

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About the Author

James Cain is a Saint Louis digital photographer. His studio, www.opentheshutter.com has been active for more than ten years; he's shown works of art at St. Louis Union Station and has participated in other notable art shows. Currently, he writes informative photography articles for publication and is an active member of the local art community.

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