2019 Day 52 – Of Verdicts and Sacher Tortes

Today’s the day: I have my specialist’s appointment booked. I know where I’m going and hopefully, I’ll get a verdict rendered on the state of my eye. It’s been 10 days since I had it lasered in an emergency treatment, thanks to a very unexpected and rather scary retinal tear.

I still have symptoms: my short distance sight is blurry. I still have “floaters” in my eye. Much less than when it happened, but they’re still there, especially visible when I look at pale surfaces. They appear as many tiny dots, moving across the eye much like an oil slick. Most worryingly, I still have some flashing in my eye, especially at night – that was the issue that raised the alarm in the first place.

So. Deep breath: eye dilated to cat like proportions thanks to nasty stinging drops. Horrible lens inserted into my eye socket, blinding lights applied. My doctor, oh so very thankfully, speaks flawless English. I unload everything I can think of on him – did the laser treatment work? Are the symptoms permanent? Why are they still there? Am I allowed to fly? Will I ever be allowed to wear mascara again and about 30 other questions I’ve written out and translated, just in case of a language barrier, in order of concern.

There’s good news and less good news. The good news is that the treatment has worked. He can see that scarring is forming around the tear, stabilising it, which it was meant to do. The less good news is that the treatment does not (and was not meant to) treat the symptoms. I’m stuck with those until the eye heals itself. The remnants of the floater are the remnants of bleeding from the tear. The body will eventually absorb them, and/or gravity will push them to the base of my eye, out of the line of sight. They’re visible on the scan, directly over my optic “cones” which is why my vision is blurred. Sometimes this takes a week, sometimes it takes a year: time will tell. The flashing is due to the retina still letting light in, being “stuck” at a point at present. This too, will take time. That’s not great, but I’ll take it. I was terrified the damage was permanent.

There’s little I can do to help myself along. No extended reading for another 10 days (ouch) – too much eye movement. No cycling or strenuous activity either. The only suggested treatment… wait for it…you’re going to love it…is watching TV for hours on end. This apparently stabilises the eye to one point, reducing the stress of movement and assisting healing. Thank you Doctor. I think I can manage that. The reading, I’ll struggle with. I ask whether the application of a slice of Sacher Torte might help – he’s certain that it might.

We leave with hearts, minds and Himself’s wallet considerably lightened. I’d be hard pressed to vocalise how terrified I was of permanent damage. In the end, I all but skip out of there.

Back in the heart of Vienna, the shops are calling. It’s a great time to be here – the summer sales are on. We shop for a while, then it’s off to the Cafe Savoy for a coffee and a restorative slice of Vienna’s famous Sacher Torte.

Invented in 1832, and subject of an intense intellectual property legal battle at one point, today over 360,000 pieces of Sacher Torte are produced in Vienna annually. And they’re just the “official” ones, allowed to bear the legal name, stamped in chocolate.

We opt for the official version, of course, at the Cafe Sacher, a sumptuously decorated, crystal chandeliered affair.

It’s rather good too, although Himself prefers his strudel.

Having recently wandered out of the nearby Wachau Valley with its endless apricot trees, I finally make sense of the apricot jam layer in the Sacher Torte – I’ve always wondered about that.

Having hits all the main sights hard over the last couple of days, the rest of the day is spent relaxing. A bit more shopping, a bit of architectural gazing,

a walk in the the Stadtpark. On the way there, we stumble across remnants and a model of Vienna’s ancient city walls, dating back to the 1200s.

Stadtpark is home to a series of sculptures celebrating Vienna’s musical history, including this one of Johann Strauss.

We also pop along to see Mozart’s apartment, but neither of us is in a frame of mind to do a tour.

The anesthetic is wearing off and my eye is stinging in protest. I think I’ll take the good doctor’s advice and retreat with binge watching session.