During the rest week all I did was core work, but was still feeling tired, even falling asleep in the chair, which isn’t like me. On the Saturday I didn’t feel right, but I managed to pin point why I was feeling a bit nauseous, when I closed my left eye, I couldn’t see properly out of my right eye. I had a blind spot, it was as if I was looking through frosted glass. This left me feeling quite uncomfortable, but I just put it down to possibly a scratch or something that would just go away in time.
Tuesday was a week since my last run and poor session, so tonight I’d see where I was at, however I had concerns about my eye, typically of me I just thought, well this will either make it worse or it’ll be just the same. I guess most runners have the same attitude which is running will either kill or cure all aliments.
My session went really well, I felt good and my times were good and as for my eye, well I wasn’t thinking about it so it didn’t worry me.
On Wednesday I saw one of our customers outside the shop, I know that she is an Optician so I asked her advice, I knew that without examining me that there wasn’t much she could do, but I thought she might be able to put my mind to rest. This wasn’t really the case, she was very good and recommended that I go to the eye infirmary as soon as I could to get it checked out.
After work on Wednesday I drove over to Sunderland to have my eye looked at. The infirmary was full of people with different stages of black eye’s, grazes, teary eyes and patches, I felt like a fraud.
I got seen to pretty quick and after a short examination the nurse could see the problem, I have a blood clot in a branch artery of my eye. This is very rare (0.85 people out of 100,000), even rarer in someone my age and rarer again to have kept my sight. We talked about possible causes, the one that really struck home was possibly a Stroke!
The nurse gave me some eye drops to dilate my pupils and sent me off to make some phone calls to arrange being picked up as I wouldn’t be able to drive home. The battery in my phone was almost gone so I had to find a pay phone, by the time I got to the phone my short distance sight was almost gone, but with the help of a nurse I managed to make a call to Clare to arrange a lift home.
I had a further examination, we discovered that I had lost a sizeable amount of my peripheral vision but I was still able to read the bottom line of the eye test. The blood clot had starved the optical nerve of blood so it had died and wouldn’t be coming back. The nurse also said that because of my age, fitness and healthy lifestyle it was very unlikely that I’d had a stroke, but I would have to go to TIA clinic for a scan, just to completely rule it out.
I was free to go home now, but had to go back in the morning, I left the ward, dazed, confused and blurry eyed and managed to get myself lost in the hospital corridors. After a bit of wandering I found my way out and sat in the car until Clare and her Mam arrived. I filled them in with what I knew and understood, then we had a very quiet drive home as we were trying to understand it all. I guess we were all in a bit of a shock too, that word Stroke is a scary one.
The following morning, we were back at the hospital to see the Registrar, he confirmed what the nurse had said and once again said that I’d been very unlucky to have had this happen but said I should focus more on how lucky Id been not to have lost vision completely, he’d never seen that before and in 23 years the nurse had only seen it once before. By now I’d had time to think and had plenty of questions to ask him and he was very good. The one thing that worried me most was, had this been caused by pushing myself too hard, was it this that had caused the bleed to start, he confirmed that this wasn’t the case.
So where am I at now, well until I get a CT scan and an ECG I can’t do any exercise, drive or work. We need to find out what caused it to make sure that it doesn’t happen again and to rule out things like Cholesterol and Strokes in the future. I have a Hospital appointment on Monday and a Doctor’s appointment on Tuesday for my ECG, I’m hoping by the end of the week we’ll find out that this was a one off freak thing and I’m good to start training again. I needed a break and I’ve certainly had one now and I can’t wait to get back into it. I guess the Gordon Smith relays are out now, but you never know, I shouldn’t have lost too much form in two weeks, I might still be good for the North east Counties 5,000m Championships.
On a brighter note, myself and Clare had some photographs taken as a trial run with our wedding photographer. The plan was to get some casual shots at Beamish Hall, so we could get to know the photographer and for him to see what we were like as a couple, so on the day we all feel more relaxed, the photos were taken a week ago now and we got them back yesterday, they look really good.