Tuesday, 25 March 2014


Glaucoma is a sneaky disease. People's eyes often have problems with draining the excess fluid from inside. Consequently, everybody with the malady is unaware of it. Excess pressure damages the optic nerve, causing irreversible blindness if it's left untreated. Patients are advised by ophthalmologists to have their eye pressure checked regularly to prevent this damage from occurring.

Unfortunately for me, my mother wasn't aware of this danger and how serious it can be. In the autumn of 1973, I complained to her that I was seeing rainbows around lights  with my left eye. Mom promised to call a ophthalmologist about it but she put it off for five months. By that time, I had lost most of the vision in my left eye.

Complicating maters was that my brain compensated for the lost vision by making it seem to me that I still had vision in my left eye. Otherwise, I'd have complained much more strenuously once I couldn't see with it.

I began taking eye drops in 1975. The medicine helped for a while but by 1984, my pressures went up alarmingly. Laser surgery didn't help because the holes made by ophthalmologists soon healed over.

Conventional surgery in 1986 worked for a while but I was soon back at the clinic with high eye pressures. After conventional surgery again in 1990, my pressures stayed low for a few years.

By March of 1995, they had gone up alarmingly. The new ophthalmologist felt shocked that my previous doctor had let the pressure build up while saying he couldn't see anything wrong. The new specialist pulled some strings and got me into surgery that week rather than waiting the usual three to five months.

Instead of cutting a hole and leaving it that way, the new ophthalmologist put in a plastic tube called a Bleb. It's worked remarkably well for me during the past nine years. Never have I needed another operation since.

My poor vision has always caused me grief. In Deliverance from Jericho: Six Years in a Blind School, I wrote about being sent five-hundred miles from home for months at a stretch. I also mentioned my poor vision in When A Man Loves a Rabbit: Learning and Living with Bunnies. Both books are available from the Bruce Atchison's books page.

How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity shows how cruel a certain house church was to me regarding my poor vision. You can read more about how God led me out of that sick congregation at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.

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