Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Bright Lights Of Toulouse

Last week’s yomping with SW took me over 4,200 kms for the year so far.

This week I have not yet done much walking. Monday was spent at the hospital in Toulouse, about my eyes. In fact two hospitals because I was sent to a third one. The particular combination of problems in my eyes is causing some consternation in the medical fraternity.

After becoming familiar with a huge variety of machines, most of them involving very bright lights and numerous doctors (3 on Monday alone), I have now been given a very clear picture. I have a problem in both retinas for which there is no treatment, anywhere in the world. It will get worse. I also have cataracts on both eyes but they are not yet bad enough to take any action and in any case the other problem is the one causing me visual problems – cataract operations would not give me any perceivable benefit. New spectacles would similarly be of no use to me. There are some special Omega 3 capsules which may slow the degradation by 40%.

Not so good, then. But within the last week we read about the first successful retina transplant (or was it an artificial retina?), just completed. Conveniently, it was in France.

Tuesday morning we were at a different hospital – this time for Gay’s back. As we drove into Quillan it was raining heavily (also yesterday). As we returned, the rain stopped for a while to reveal the hills all around, covered in snow which is now well below 1000 metres (we live at 500 metres).

We are still without an Internet connection at home.

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