The past 12 months have been a bit rough, with a cochlear implant surgery in my left ear in December of 2013 and an emergency glaucoma surgery in October 2014. Both are likely the result of congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). The hearing in the left ear took a turn for the worse in July 2012. Speech comprehension took a drastic dive thereafter. Long story short, I needed cochlear implant surgery. The results have been excellent. The upside is that I’m picking up environmental sounds that I never heard in my whole life. It’s been great. The speech recognition is coming along and is going to take time. I’ve been told that it will take an additional two years.


Me after the cochlear implant surgery 12 months ago! No, the duck lips had nothing to do with the surgery. 😉

Regarding the eye, I was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1993 and it had been treated well with medication until earlier this year when my ophthalmologist detected a slight rise in my right eye pressure (21).  When I went back in July, it was 26. He said that was unacceptable and referred me to a glaucoma/cataracts specialist in October. At the initial appointment with the specialist, the right eye pressure had risen to an alarming 37. It was pretty clear that glaucoma medication was not working any more and that I needed emergency surgery. I naively asked “so are we going to do laser surgery?” One of the doctors in the room looked down and shook his head. The other doctor gravely informed me that they have to do conventional surgery to install a tube shunt.  The surgery was a success bringing the pressure down from 37 to 11. Vision is still blurry but improving.


Yes, the duck lips appear once again! 🙂

At the last appointment, my doctor was pleased with the results of the surgery in my right eye. However, he was less than pleased with the pressure in the left eye which has risen to 26. This is a sign that my left eye is not responding to glaucoma medication as well. I am now scheduled for left eye trabeculectomy to reduce the pressure on January 27th. 

These two surgeries have had a deleterious effect on my fitness. And a third will put a further crimp in my fitness.  I admit that I did not exactly get back on track fitness wise after the cochlear implant surgery.  My doctor advised me against strenuous activity after the first eye surgery as the eye is sensitive to rising blood pressure and will likely advise the same after the next scheduled surgery.  I’ll be happy once I get the all clear from the doctor to resume moderate to strenuous physical activity after the January 27th surgery. I’ve got a long road back though. I know that I’ll have to ramp things up gradually and work my way back into shape. In the meantime, I’ve been eating as clean as I can in an effort to mitigate the relative lack of physical activity and keep my weight down.

P.S. I recently suffered a significant setback in my right eye as a result of a workout on Friday night. In a matter of minutes, the vision in my right eye became incredibly distorted and blurred. Long story short is that the pressure in my eye dropped down to zero. The function of the tube shunt is to maintain homeostasis in the eye. It responds to increased pressure by draining extra fluid out of the eye to maintain that homeostasis. Unfortunately, it appears that the tube shunt does not distinguish between intense physical activity pressure and glaucoma pressure. It appears my shunt reacted to the wrong kind of pressure and drained fluid accordingly. This brought the pressure dangerously too low and caused the retina to buckle. The pressure came back up to 2 yesterday. It needs to go back into the teens, preferably in the 13 to 18 range. I’ve been told that it will take time and that my vision should return. I won’t lie; this has been very discouraging.

I have to remind myself that…..“when the going gets tough, the tough get going!”

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