Where’s John Been?

Some may have noticed that lately I’ve been a little slower than normal in answering questions. I’ve even beed posting answers with a few typos in them.

It’s because I’ve had a problem with Retinal Detachment.


BTW, see the linked site for more than you could ever want to know about the subject.

I had been warned by my optometrist, Dr. Asha K. Sherring (below) in Autumn 2008, that I should expect to develop cataracts. I noticed on Saturday, May 30, that the center of my visual field on the right was being blocked by something “like a piece of fine cloth”, so I called Dr. Sherring. She was concerned about how quickly the problem had developed, and correctly so, since it was not a cataract.


She got me in for an appointment the same day I called her (Tuesday, June 2). The good news was that this was not a cataract. The bad news is that she discovered a retinal elevation.

She referred me to Dr. Shalesh Kaushal, M.D., Ph.D., of UMass Memorial, who saw me on Monday, June 8, and confirmed that I did, indeed, have a retinal tear. Fluid from the eye had entered behind the tear, and raised, or detached, the retina at that point.

He scheduled me for surgery on June 10. The great people at the UMass Day Surgery center at the Hahnemann Campus made this, my first surgery, the one to beat. Any other surgical operation will have to contend for a nicer staff, and a more professional operation.

The surgery went well (what I can remember of it), and I went home that afternoon (after they tricked me into a wheelchair. Next time I’ll know better: “sit here and we’ll put your shoes on”, indeed!).  The follow-up visit today, with Dr. Kaushal and his staff, also went well. I can already see a bit out of the right eye (I can tell you that there are fingers, just not how many). I should be back to work on Monday, and I’m looking forward to that.

Fortunately, my son, Brian, travelled from Phoenix to be with me until Sunday. He’s losing a week’s work to be with me (and, since he’s paid by the hour, that’s no small thing). I thank my father, John W. Saunders, Jr. for his help in paying for Brian’s plane fare. Thanks to my mother, Joyce Gittoes, for checking up on me several times a day. And thanks to all my family for their support and good wishes.

I’d especially like to thank my old friend Chris Johnson. When I called Chris to let him know about the surgery, I found that he was quite familiar with UMass, as he had just been there the day before! Seems I need to keep better track of my friends!

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