Thanksgiving 2010: My Eyesight Returns

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Thanksgiving 2010: My Eyesight Returns

Since last February, I've had double vision. 3 surgeries later, I am just about normal, but I've learned alot along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving!  I had a great weekend and hope you did, too.  This year, I am thankful for my friends and family …and especially my eyesight.

Turkey Day

As with many of you, we had a marvelous feast.  We celebrated with our parents, friends and the kids.  Amy did a wonderful job with roasting a turkey, stuffing from scratch and her famous garlic mashed!

I usually smoke a turkey, but this year I fried a turkey!  3 gallons of peanut oil, a 12 lb. bird and 40 minutes is all it took!  No rubs, seasonings or marinades.  I recommend it.  (Actual cooking took place in the middle of the driveway to avoid any potential fire hazards!)

It was a great way to celebrate Thanksgiving.  I’ll be doing it again next year.

Double Vision from Accident

Last winter, I fractured my right orbit.  The orbit is also known as the eye socket.  I had a freak fall that broke my cheek bone…and that resulted in double vision.

Since last February, I had double vision any time I looked to the left.  Fortunately, I had single vision when looking straight ahead or to the right.  I had no problems working and operating as those activities require only that I look straight ahead.

I did, however, have to give up both tennis and kick-boxing.  Neither could I do with double vision.

The broken bone caused damage to one of the muscles of my right eye.  As a result, my right eye didn’t move to the left easily and I saw double.  To compensate, I’d close my right eye when looking to the left, but at the same time, I’d lose my depth perception.

Multiple Operations to Fix Me

I had three surgeries to fix my “eye.”  The first two were performed over the Spring and Summer.  The goal, at that time, was to simply fix the broken eye socket and see if function returned.  I had limited success.

The most recent surgery was about 3 weeks ago.  I immediately saw an improvement and 2 days later hit some tennis balls for the first time in over 9 months!

What Does This Mean? I realized how hard it is to be a patient.  Not only is the vision compromised, but the surgical results were disappointing.  How similar this must be with my own patients with retinal disease!

As a physician, I am now more empathetic and sympathetic to my own patients.  Many of my patients have lost depth perception, and I was surprised how this impacts every aspect of our life!

I would guess that I have about 85% of my function returned (far up and to the left is still weird).  For that, I am very grateful.  I thank my coworkers, family, and especially Amy for helping me through this difficult year.

I am lucky.  I have great support systems and resources.  I am also lucky that this was not a disease.

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  • teresa weber November 30, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Wow! Now I fully understand it (kind of). First of all, you are a miracle. Secondly, I am impressed with your humility and your sense of optimism. However, most of all, I feel you are a miracle !!!!!!!!!

    Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Teri

  • Alfredo December 1, 2010 at 12:56 am

    Dr. Randy,

    I follow your tweets from Mexico City. I’m shocked reading your story…first time I hear from a Dr. having to go through some of the feelings of us patients that dealt with eye problems.

    I’m glad to hear you’re doing better. You’re a remarkable person.

    All the best and keep up the good mood and work!

    Hasta luego,

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. December 1, 2010 at 11:57 am

      Dear Alfredo,

      Thanks for following! I was fortunate never to lose any function and could work, hence, it explains why it took me so long to finally get this done!!

      Stay well!


  • Alice Russell December 1, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Thank you so much for all you do. I was not aware of your eye problems. I feel blessed to
    have you as a doctor, as I have better eye sight that I did when I was younger. As my age
    I need all the pluses I can get. My plan is to stay active until I am at least 100. This requires
    good vision and a caring doctor. Alice Russell

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. December 1, 2010 at 11:58 am

      Thanks for all your support! It has been a pleasure to get to know you.


  • Tom Wong December 1, 2010 at 10:31 am

    A very moving story! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. December 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for the support! It has been slightly frustrating giving up my sports, but I look forward to getting back to full activity!

      Thanks again.


  • Razia Iqbal December 1, 2010 at 10:44 am

    It has been a pleasure for our family to learn about the satisfactory progress of your problem. God Almighty has been kind to you as you are doing a noble work to help humanity. May God’s blessings, help & protection be always with you.

  • Shannan December 7, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I just stumbled onto your blog after searching for blogs regarding “retinal detachment.” I never expected to find a doctor who has suffered similarly. I am very happy with my ophthalmologist, but your patients are especially lucky to have a doctor who can relate so acutely. Thanks for sharing your story. –Shannan

    • Randall V. Wong, M.D. December 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm

      Dear Shannan,

      Thanks for commenting and “welcome!”

      You have just had surgery for a retinal detachment and I wish you all the best. Most patient’s who have retinal problems seem pretty disengaged, initially, as most retinal problems require treatment that is counter-intuitive. For example, the repair of a retinal detachment and vitrectomy. Until last month, you never heard of this stuff!

      I created this site to educate.

      I shared my experience because it may make me a bit more “real” to those of you I’ve never met.

      Regardless, I am very luck to be doing so well. I wish you the best. I read your post and it seems as though you are in great shape.

      Stay in touch.


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