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Snow in Hattiesburg, MS December 5th, 2009

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 05-12-2009


The sky is falling! The rumors are true, it is snowed in Hattiesburg, MS on December 5th, 2010.  Not only did it snow but the New Orleans Saints are 11-0.  As if that wasn’t enough, Extreme Home Makeover is in Hattiesburg right now building a new home for a very deserving family that was taken advantage of after hurricane Katrina. 

I knew that global warming was just a fad. 

Don’t worry, the snow is already melting so this will be a short lived glance at Frosty.  It will return to sunny an 70 in no time.

View the pictures I took this morning that I uploaded to Flickr.


Eye Surgery Update

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 12-11-2009


A lot of people keep asking me about my eye so I thought I’d give an update so I can keep things “DRY” (don’t repeat yourself).  I obviously haven’t been blogging much lately, and the episodes of the podcast have been hard to get out (although we got one out first of the week). When you can’t see very well you don’t feel like “playing” on the computer.  It is just a constant reminder.  I basically go to work and that is as much as I can stand in front of the computer.  Oh, and by the way, white backgrounds were made by the devil.  I wish there was a setting in Windows to invert all white backgrounds to black and the black text to white.  My eye is still red so there is healing to do yet.

All in all I’m managing.  My good eye is just doing more work.  I can actually feel it take over in a lot of situations and darken out my other eye as if I’m looking out of one eye even though the other is open.  It is funny how the human body works.

To show you what I see here’s what I did.  I took a screen shot of the Google News home page and blurred it to give you an idea as to how it looks to me sitting in my computer chair.



What It Looks Like To Me With Correction


See the bulge in the image?  That was done on purpose because of swelling still inside of my eye.  It doesn’t look exactly like that but close enough.  Actually there should be about 2 more bulges to make it more accurate.  If there was a ripple effect in Paint.Net I’d used that, but there wasn’t.

Things further away aren’t so bad as up close and of course there is the glare.  Further off things don’t look as bad, they are a little clearer but right now I have 20/60 vision in that eye with correction.  That’s the latest. 

About the only thing I can’t do or stand to do is mow the yard.  Other than that things are pretty normal.

Eye Checkup Today Not Good, Having Another Eye Surgery Today

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 04-09-2009


This morning I met with my eye doctor for a post op.  It didn’t take long before for he said things didn’t look good.  I had more fluid build up on my eye and I had developed a lot of scar tissue.  My problem is I heal too quickly.  My wife has always been amazed that I’ll get a cut one day and then almost be healed the next.  While I am no Wolverine when it comes to healing I do tend to heal faster than most.  When it comes to healing in the eye, slower is better.

The doctor scheduled me immediately for surgery for today at 1:00 PM.  This time the procedure will be a vitrectomy with silicone oil. 

I knew something wasn’t right as I knew the measurements I had taken on my eye the past week didn’t show any progress.  This surgery is not suppose to be as bad as the last one, but really, are there any good eye surgeries? I don’t think so. 

Here we go again.

Medical Update For Friday

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 28-08-2009


Here is a medical update for Friday.  I decided to blog because A) it wouldn’t fit in 140 characters B) not everyone is on Facebook C) DRY (don’t repeat yourself).  Here’s the latest.

I saw the doctor that operated on my chest on Thursday mid-morning.  He said I was healing nicely and the biggest news is the tissue he took out was benign (in other words not cancerous). That’s a HUGE relief!  The doctor did say there was cell activity and it would have continued to grow so it was a good thing it was taken out.  All in all that’s good news all the way around.  I still have soreness and can’t pickup heavy objects but feel fine otherwise.

This morning I saw the eye doctor.  I had a list of questions for him answer and we got into a side conversation about Windows 7.  The past few days have started out good, but turned miserable after about lunch.  I’ve had major headaches in the evening, excessive water, glares, flares, etc.  The doctor said to continue to take it easy and there was some fluid that hadn’t gone away yet that should.  I’m suppose to report back in next Friday for another checkup. 

According to the doctor it will be about a month before my eye returns to normal and it still won’t be as it was, I’ll be more near-sighted.  In about a month I can start to look at getting a corrective lens prescription to fully correct my eye sight back to where I can see. 

As far as work I don’t know if I can return on Monday or not.  It is killing me not to be productive and I hope the next few days bring me over the top to where I can start to return to life as normal.  We’ll see how things are when I wake up on Monday.

What have I learned from this experience? 

  • Save up sick days at work, you never know when you’ll need them (One day I could see, the next I couldn’t!)
  • Keep up on life’s duties (bills, yard, pets, etc), you never know when you’ll be down and you don’t want to get behind
  • Keep an emergency stash of cash around in case you have trouble because things you normally do yourself, someone else is going to have to do them for you (yard, weed eating, dog grooming, house cleaning, cooking, etc)
    (ps – please disregard any typos or grammatical errors, eye can’t see dang it!)

The Road To Recovery

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in General | Posted on 25-08-2009


Last week I blogged I was having two surgeries.  I had one surgery on Wednesday and then another on Thursday.  I have to say back to back surgeries were not fun but more importantly the second surgery is the one that took the wind out of my sails. I did ok on the first surgery.  After a couple of days I would have been fine and able to go back to work.

The second surgery I had was an eye surgery.  The official name of the surgery is called “Scleral buckle and vitrectomy”.  Don’t worry I didn’t know what it was either.  The doctor explained this is what he needed to do to repair my eye due to the detached retina.  If you are REALLY curious as to what this surgery entails I invite you to watch the following YouTube video (caution, not for the faint of heart!).


While I was in eye surgery, my wife took pictures of the video monitor where family could watch the surgery.  This is me on the operating table.  The surgery took about 1.5 hours.


After surgery I was wheeled out to the front and given some crackers and a diet coke to make sure I wasn’t going to get sick.


The next morning (Friday) at 10:30 AM I had to go into the doctor’s office to get the bandage removed.  At first I couldn’t see anything from my eye and then eventually I was able to see at least two fingers about eight inches from my face.

The good news is the doctor said and I quote: “Keith don’t take this the wrong way but you look beautiful”.  He was referring to my eye of course and that was good to hear.

So I could block out the bad eye to see with the good eye, we bought an eye patch.  The patch was worth every penny because it allowed me to at least see and get around the house.  Covering one eye though is weird as it totally messes with ones perception.  My computer time has been limited to spurts of about 5 minutes since the surgery.  As a matter of fact, it has taken me 5 days to write this blog post.  Very slow going.

Here is a picture of what my eye looked like one day after surgery.  As you can see it is totally swollen shut for the most part.  Don’t let my smile fool you, that’s the pain killers smiling!  You can’t see it from the picture but my eye is completely red. If you have watched the video, you’ll understand why.







Each day my eye has improved.  To give you an idea how things looked from my view after surgery I took the picture of me sitting in a wheel chair above and simulated what it looked like from my perspective.  The thing I couldn’t simulate was the glare, and a shut eye lid, but hopefully it’ll give you an idea.  As you can see there were big improvements the first few days and then the last several days there are smaller improvements.











It is going to take some time to recover.  I hope by the end of the week I can at least feel well enough to sit down at my computer in the office.  My office has lots of sun light in it and the light hurts my eyes.  Plus having four large LCDs giving off light hurts and creates lots of glare.  While I recover I’m spending my days with the lights off in the living room.


I wanted to say thank you publically to my family, friends and the community who have put me in their prayers and continued support through Twitter, Facebook, phone calls, text messages and carrier pigeons.

The next several days I’m going to continue taking it easy to get back to zero.  See you soon.