Macular Eye Clinic and Coronavirus

Today, I was due to visit the Macular Disease Eye Clinic at my local hospital for my monthly check-up and injection (if necessary). It's a bright and sunny (if unseasonably cold!) day here in Bridlington so I set off early to walk the mile and a half to the hospital. However, before I'd got 10 yards beyond my own front gate, the phone rang.

It was the clinic, advising me that my appointment had been cancelled. Because my condition has been stable for a few months and I've not needed an injection, it was not necessary for me to attend. I guess it was another of those 'balancing acts' that the Prime Minister keeps alluding to, i.e., the risk of catching and spreading the Coronavirus outweighed any benefit I might derive from attending the clinic. 

I'm OK with that, but I voiced my concern about future visits: What if, next month or the month after, the eye clinic doctors are themselves sick or have been deployed elsewhere, and I really do need my sight-saving injection. Might I not be able to get it?

But I was assured that this will not be the case and that injections will ALWAYS be available when needed. I was given the usual admonition that if I experience any changes in my vision (and we macular patients know what to look out for!) I am to phone the hot line, immediately. And again, I'm reassured with that. In short, all those patients who NEED an injection (now... and down the road) WILL be treated.

And now an update on my ill-fated Spring Marathon-A-Thon...

As you may know, my training has been curtailed due to injury. I have Achilles heel tendonitis plus a touch of plantar fasciitis and have hardly run at all, since Christmas! I've been attending physiotherapy sessions at the hospital (now also cancelled because of the virus) and I saw a podiatrist, last week. The latter has ordered me some special insoles for my shoes and he gave me the 'green light' to do some light running, preferably on soft surfaces.

So as soon as the insoles arrive, and providing we're still allowed out, I'll be doing a little light training on the beach or on the playing fields next to my house. Otherwise, if I'm confined to barracks, it will be the treadmill. 

But every cloud has a silver lining, and of course the virus has caused the cancellation or postponement of most sporting events, including my three marathons: Washington DC Rock 'n' Roll, London, and Edinburgh... so all is not necessarily lost.

The latter two races have been postponed until the Autumn, so I have not lost my places in those events. The DC race, though, is cancelled and I have not yet heard if runners will be able to transfer their entries to another Rock 'n' Roll event. I do, though, have a 'Good for Age' place at the Chicago Marathon in October, although this will now take place just one week after London! 

I'm not sure that I would be up for running two marathons in two weeks, but theoretically, at least, I may yet be able to complete a 'marathon-a-thon' of three marathons in three countries (albeit in 5 weeks rather than 3 months!), if I can get myself fit in time.

There are some big IFs there, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed, and perhaps you all could do the same for me :) 

And there's something else you may be able to do for me...

I understand that many people are unsure of whether or not they'll be getting a pay cheque in the weeks and months to come, and of course, looking after yourself and your family is the top priority. However, if your finances are still in good shape, please remember that charities are also going through a hard time. Staff are getting sick, fund-raising events are being cancelled left, right, and centre, and collecting tins are gathering dust in shuttered pubs, clubs and other retail establishments.

But my fundraiser is still open! And now, more than ever, the Macular Society could use your help. The day is almost in sight when some of us with 'wet' forms of the disease may be able to treat ourselves at home with eye drops, or maybe only attend the clinic for injections every three months instead of every month. But more research is still needed to make this a reality and even then, we are still the 'lucky minority' of macular disease sufferers... most forms of the disease have NO TREATMENT and NO CURE.


It only takes a couple of minutes... just CLICK HERE to be taken to my Just Giving page and you will have not only my sincere thanks, but also those of the millions of sufferers worldwide who are losing their sight to Macular Disease in its many forms.

Thank you so much!


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