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Have you ever seen a man vanish into thin air?

  • I spent he 1980s competing in triathlon, which meant that all free time had to be used for training. At lunchtime I walked a kilometre to a public change room near Sydney Harbour, spent the next half hour running 6.5 km, then showered and walked back to work.

    It was hard to fit it all in to a 60 minute lunch break so I left ten minutes early; then, to be fair, I came back 10 minutes late. The boss didn’t mind because I worked hard and never asked for overtime when I had to stay late.

    Sydney Harbour foreshore is a lovely place to run. As you can see from the photograph below there is a semi-circular path that most of us used and, off to the south the Botanical Gardens stretch out over many acres.

    One day as I ran, always trying to catch runner after runner, and always keeping an eye on the person I was chasing, the man in front of me disappeared. Zap! Vanished! Gone! First he was there, then he wasn’t.

    It was a dramatic way to lose somebody and it took a few seconds to work out what had happened. When I did I turned my head a little to the side and, pop! there he was, back again. I turned my head straight forward and once again he vanished.

    Sounds odd but there was a natural explanation. Several years previously I’d had a Central Serous Retinopathy (a blood vessel burst through the retina) in the other eye. It creates a shadowy, blind spot which permits very little vision. The normal treatment is to seal it with a laser.

    The reason my jogger disappeared when I still had one good eye was that we were running on a semi-circular path and the bridge of my nose blocked off vision from the good eye. When I moved the nose to the side, I could see again.preous episodes were round this one is larger and an odd shape –- I can’t quite decide whether it looks like a hammerhead shark or a giant sperm. In either case, it’s kind of inconvenient.

    I’ll give it a few days to see if it heals by itself and, if not, it’s off to Dr Frankenstein and his magic zapper to get it sealed up again. No big deal but I thought you might enjoy the story of the vanishing jogger.



  • Harry
    How are you doing?  I hope you went to see the doctor for this.  

    I am genetically predisposed to retinal detachment.  I might put off seeing the doctor for other things but I won't put off anything that involves problems with my vision.  I am extremely fearful of losing my sight.

    January 12

  • Didge
    Didge Harry
    It actually turned out to be something unexpected, Harry. 

    It happened on Saturday and by Monday had changed shape which, I knew from experience, shouldn't have happened with a CSR. So I rang my optometrist (a GP wouldn't have had a clue). He examined it and phoned a specialist who saw me the same day. I should have realised then that there was a problem because immediate appointments don't happen in Oz. 

    It turned out to be something quite serious and I have to go back for a series of *ouch* injections to the eye as well as medical follow-up. So, yes, your concern is well-founded. Thanks for taking the trouble to point it out -- if I'd missed it myself this information would have been valuable. 

    What a great site this is! 

    January 12

  • Harry
    Harry Didge
    I'm very glad you were able to see someone immediately.  I hope they are able to help you retain your vision.  Due to my family history and the fact that I suffer from ocular migraines, I see an opthalmologist annually.  I'm in the U.S. & the medical plan I have forces me to go through my GP to get a referral to my opthalmologist. 

    Thanks for the friend request.  Cheers.

    January 12

  • Didge
    Didge Harry
    We share those ocular migraines. Good fun, aren't they. :D 
    January 12

  • Harry
    Harry Didge
    Wonderful fun.  Especially when I'm driving and one suddenly come on.  Sheesh!
    January 12