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Surgery: An Unexpected Curveball


The morning of New Year's Day, I was punched in the face by a combative patient that needed to be restrained. I really didn't feel it at the time, due to all the adrenaline rushing through my veins, but I definitely felt it later, with a popping sensation in my jaw and a red mark on my face. For precautionary measures, I was sent down to the ER to be checked out. A CT scan of my face revealed no broken bones or dislocation of my jaw, just a facial contusion. Over the next couple days, I experienced increasing blurred vision but did not connect it to being punched in the face. While at work last Wednesday night, the blurred vision progressively worsened until I could only see a white, gray haze. I was very concerned and drove to my eye doctor in Loris and waited until they opened at 8am. My vision dropped from 20/30 to 20/400 with a high intraocular pressure. Unfortunately, Dr. Mike was not able to see in my eye due to all the hazing and referred me to a retinal specialist to make sure I was not having a retinal detachment. I took a two-hour nap and drove to Myrtle Beach to see Dr. Gutman. After arriving, my vision improved to 20/200 and the pressure in my left eye dropped from 31 to 12. Dr. Gutman examined and looked into the back of my eye and told me I had fresh blood in my eye from a vitreous hemorrhage. I had two options: 1. I could wait to see if the bleeding would stop and my vision would clear up (could be months up to a year) OR 2. I could have a vitrectomy, which would entail removing the jelly-like substance inside the eye, see where the bleeding is and laser the blood vessel, then re-fill my eye with a similar material and seal it with a gas bubble (it makes me nauseous thinking about it). I informed Dr. Gutman that I plan to serve on the mission field full-time in Honduras with a departure date of February 22nd. Since there is no guarantee of any American eye doctors coming down to the hospital that could follow up on me, I have chosen to have the surgery to stop the bleeding and regain vision in my eye. With that said, my departure date to Honduras has been delayed due to the fact I cannot fly until my eye heals, which would take 1-2 months. Since then, I have been having increasing intensity of my headaches, along with eye pain, but Dr. Gutman said the blood has made it way to the anterior chamber of my eye causing irritation, inflammation, and my headaches. He placed me on a steroid eye drop to use four times a day, along with another eye drop twice a day to decrease the pressure due to the bleeding. So as of right now, surgery is scheduled for Thursday, February 2nd at Waccamaw Hospital. Please pray for: -The surgery itself -My vision to be restored -That I may not become sick from the anesthesia (vomiting increases the pressure in the eye, which could complicate the recovery process) -That I lean into the Lord during this time -Workers comp to approve the surgery without any hiccups

The past week has been disappointing with my departure date being delayed, but my head knowledge that the Lord is Sovereign and has a reason for this unexpected event is now slowly becoming heart knowledge. A precious friend have me this necklace as a sweet reminder to have patience during these next couple months.


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