Ashenden post op update.
I have been getting a number of emails very kindly asking after my health and the state of my recovery.
Firstly can I thank all my friends ranging from personal and virtual for your kindness and your prayers.
The operation to mend a detached retina involves placing a gas balloon inside the eyeball (sulphur hexaflouride) after a vitriotonomy, which is the straightforward bit.
For the retina to heal in place The patient has to hold their body at a particular angle depending on where the original retinal tear/s was/were for 10 days.
This allows the gas bubble to bring maximum pressure to bear on the retina and hold it in place while healing takes place.
In my case this involves lying on my right side with my head remaining remaining at a 45° angle to the floor. This has to continue throygg the night; in the daytime you’re allowed 10 minutes relief each hour to move and change position, in order to eat or do anything else essential.
Sadly, quite a lot of pain involved in this process. The whole of the  torso, back, neck and shoulders, complain at this regime, and from time to time muscles going into spasm in protest.

One of the complications of this operation is that there is a  muscle in the eye to which is prone to spasm post-operatively and causes a good deal of pain as well.

And also, and in my case I tore the cartilage in my right hip year ago and it has yet to to mend completely, so lying on it permanently for 10 days has been difficult. I can’t usually lie on it at night for more than two hours without being woken by it.
I think the thing I found this difficult is having tye combined pain drown out any sense of God‘s presence making anything but mechanical prayer impossible. I found this really quite distressing and alarming.
It is upsetting to become (temporarily I hope) blind in one eye. Sadly my other eye was damaged bath doesn’t function very well by itself…… But to lose the sense of the presence of God, drowned out by pain or anything else, is one of the worst thing that can happen.
Most things can be born with a sense of the presence of God, and very little can be born without it.
I am very grateful that God in the last 24 hours the pain in the eye has begun to reduce a little, which is a huge relief.
The discomfort of holding one’s body in the same position that night is set to continues of course until sometime in the next week, at which point we find out whether or not the operation has worked and the retina has been successfully reattached.
There is the added dimension of the timing of it all. It feels almost like the starting gun was fired from the beginning of an important and long race only to immediately find a trip wire in place which leaves one sprawling helplessly in the mud, blind and lame.

This may be pure fancy.

At very least it has seemed ‘odd’.
I’m very grateful for all the prayers of my friends, which as you can see are very important and very valuable in these circumstances. Thank you for those of you have been in touch and please forgive me not being able to reply personally at the moment.

Bless you all.

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