With Thanksgiving upon us here in Canada, I pause to reflect on the reasons to be thankful, especially considering how the year started.

As many readers of this blog know, I had right eye glaucoma surgery October of 2014, consisting of a tube shunt being implanted in my right eye. The recovery was smooth until Friday January 2, 2015. On that night, I did an intense cardio workout that consisted of running stairs. In addition, I performed body weight exercises that include squats, lunges, crunches and push-ups. Within minutes after completing the workout, I noticed changes in the visual field of my right eye. It progressed until I was not able to see any shapes. All I saw were colours. Long story short, the tube shunt had sensed the rising pressure in my right eye and went into action, draining too much fluid out of my eye. Unfortunately, the tube shunt cannot distinguish between glaucoma related pressure and exercise related pressure. In essence, it’s a “dumb device.” Anyway, it drained so much fluid that the pressure in my right eye went down to zero, causing the retina to buckle forward. 

Fortunately, with expert treatment, I recovered from this episode but not without some consequences. Due to the fact that the retina is wrinkled, the visual field is likewise wrinkled. But it beats the alternative.

At that time, my doctor told me to hold off on vigorous physical activity until he gave me the clear.

I finally got the clear on Friday September 18th. I was advised to stay away from activity that would cause me to strain or exercises requiring my head to be inverted or semi-inverted. That essentially eliminates the standard push-up, planks or yoga type positions. That also eliminates break falls from consideration as well.

Push-up picture
Long a favourite of mine. My doctor has put the kibosh on it.

I have to admit that this did not sit well with me. However, I’ve gotten a fair number of suggestions to get around this, most of which involve incline variations of the pushup. But I’m thankful to be where I am now.

So on this Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the following:

(1) I’m happy that I’ve been given the clear to exercise again. I’ve been easing myself back into physical training slowly. Let me tell you, months of relative inactivity have exacted a toll. I’m particularly focusing on my cardio, taking easy runs. I’m easily winded but am focused on getting back into reasonable cardio shape by next spring. I gained 10 lbs during my period of inactivity and have already lost 4. So that’s a reasonably good start.

(2) In the past couple of months, I learned that I might be a candidate for another cochlear implant, all because of a throwaway question during an appointment in August. Surgery will be scheduled sometime in November or December. I will find out soon. So I’m very thankful for that.

(3) I’m thankful for my lovely wife, Mary-Anne. Her support through the eye situation back in January was unbelievable. She was a rock through the whole situation as well as supporting Bamboo Spirit Martial Arts. I don’t know what I would do without that kind of support. I’d be on the road to nowhere without her.

(4) The support from my friends, students and parents of Bamboo Spirit in the early part of the year was tremendous and their patience, while I recovered, is much appreciated. They’ve also done a great job of spreading the word about the Bamboo Spirit children program, which is growing by leaps and bounds.

(5) I’m thankful that I am able to visit my parents in Ohio on a regular basis and to spend time with them as well as with my mother in law in Ajax. Always take the time to visit with your parents, relatives and cherished members of your family.

Now let’s eat. 🙂

Happy Thanksgiving!
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One thought on “Reasons To Be Thankful

  • October 12, 2015 at 11:16 am

    So very glad things are looking up for you!!! You have a lot to be thankful for indeed!


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