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Why I don't fly now


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Went to my eye specialist as my eyesight is extremely bad now. I have had a detached retina in one eye for about 6 months, my bad eye which now has a plastic lens, a cornea graph and still can't see out of it, which has now got worse. I close my eyes and I still see a coloured lit area that makes it hard to go to sleep. My good eye has a cataract so I see double and my glasses are pretty darn strong already so basically I can't see out of one eye, see double with the other and having dancing lights when I close my eyes and try to sleep. They are stuffed

 

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Well that is unfortunate news. When something like this affects one of your main passions in life it can be quite upsetting. It must also be a bit of an issue with your management of the websites too.

 

Four years ago I had a BRAO (branch retinal artery occlusion) in my right eye. I suddenly lost all sight in the right eye. I had no idea what was going on & then it slowly came back only to disappear again for about 70% of that eye. It is caused by a bit of plaque usually from the carotid artery finding its way to the artery that feeds the retina & blocks it. The retina is starved of oxygen and the part fed by that little artery dies. My biggest fear was I would not be able to fly, followed by not being able to drive. I was lucky as I still have some vision out of the right eye & my brain has compensated for the change. I also found out that there are plenty of one eyed pilots & drivers around.

 

I am thankful that I can still do both but I know one day I won't be able to. It is sad that your day has come sooner than you wanted it to.

 

Unrelated but a statement that has always stayed with me is "One day you will walk out to your hangar knowing that this flight will be your last or one day you will walk out to your hangar not knowing that this flight will be your last. You will not do both"

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That's hard, Ian.

 

I've come to my flying later in life than many. I hope the years allow me a few hundred hours, for all that.

 

All the best.........)

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Bugger - really sorry to hear that Ian.

 

Eyes are so critical to just about everything we do.

 

I second danny's comment about finding a flying buddy so you can still escape the 'tyranny of petty things' from time to time.

 

All the best,

 

Alan

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Sorry to hear of your eye problems Ian.  But danny is right, you will be able to fly in 2 seaters with another pilot. You sure are welcome to fly like this in my Jabiru if you ever make it to Gawler or Edenhope.

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Thanks guys for the comments, to take the stick when flying with someone else would have to be with an instructor due to needing a biannual now which given my eye sight I would struggle getting and nor would it be the right thing to do...legally and morally.

 

I should get my new glasses at the end of next week which will help with the actual magnification and talking to my eye specialist the other day he says that in a couple of years he will be forced to do something to correct my so called good eye...cataracts and a plastic lens. He is extremely reluctant to touch though as if anything went wrong I would be blind, full stop. I have been trying to get him to try and fix the detached retina but he says due to the type and severity of the detachment it is extremely risky so he won't. I told him to pull the darn thing out then as it is causing too many issues with my sight but he said that if anything happened to my other eye he would be forced to try and fix the detachment as I would be blind anyway so best to leave it in.

 

Probably like many others, I could get by without hearing, speech or smell but sight...that is the worst I reckon

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Sorry to hear about this. Time and money were the reasons I stopped flying - you know, got my licence in my early thirties but a young growing family and career pushed the flying out of the picture. Now the kids are grown I've been thinking about getting back to sport aviation and maybe getting my RAA licence. When I read stories like yours it makes me think I should act before its too late for me. But I now have full time caring responsibilities fro my wife, who has MS, so money is once again a problem.

 

Maybe we both need to look into computer flying as an alternative?

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Sorry to hear about your eye troubles Ian. They sound serious.

I have had a few issues with my eyes, but they have all been treated successfully. It was only when I started having these issues (torn retina and wet Macular Degeneration) that I really started to value my sight. Fortunately for me, laser treatment welded my retinas back and I'm currently having injections in the eyeball for the MD.

When we were kids, we had an oath to swear that what we were saying was true; "Cross my heart and hope to die. Stick a needle in my eye." Having a needle stuck in my eye was about the worst thing I could ever imagine. It turns out that I'll tolerate some unimaginable stuff to keep my sight. And it turns out having an injection in your eyeball is not quite as bad as it sounds. The laser treatment though, is another matter entirely. One of the worst experiences in my life.

Again, sorry to hear about your troubles.

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Yes, very sorry to hear your condition's deteriorated that much, Ian. 

Reminds us all of the tenuous hold we have on our various faculties ... and to answer your classic  "Doesn't anyone fly anymore?" in the affirmative, while we still can.

All the best in adjusting to your new limitations.

And thanks for all your on-going efforts to keep the site up and running despite it all.  

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Ian 

 

so sorry to read of your deteriorated eyesight and it’s impact  on your ability to fly. I recently read that in the coming decade advances in non surgical opthomology will render all corrective lenses a thing of the past. Perhaps your day will come again? 

 

At any rate,  we value your extraordinary contribution to the aviation community through your  running of this website and I’m sure there will always be a right seat  for your to scratch the flying itch. 

 

Best wishes 

 

Alan

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So sorry to hear that Ian. My eyesight is such that I cannot read the 2cm high digits on my alarm clock without glasses. Sometimes, even with them, text on the screen is blurry. It has to be at just the right distance. I practice doing some things in total darkness so that if it got to that stage I could manage. I have to take two tablets early in the morning, at least an hour before breakfast I have things set up so the tablets are in an old tablet bottle, some water is in an old lemonade bottle beside the bed, so if I wake at, say 4.30, I can take the cap off the water bottle, wash down the tablets and put the cap back all in total darkness. Attaching and removing the night bag from my urostomy pouch in the dark is something else I have prcaticed. Fortunately the bits are designed so a blind person can do them. Kinda like braille. It is a scary prospect, I know how you feel. I hope I'm not making things difficult for you.

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The biggest problem is I get the Aurora Australis lights every time I close my eyes...this is what I see all night long with my eyes closed, and even a lot during the day with my eyes open:

 

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Corrine went and purchased a bed side clock with huge 2" numbers so i could see them:

 

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Hi Ian,

 

Very sorry to hear about the deterioration to your eyes.. I can only echo what has already been sent...

 

Thanks for maintaining the site despite various challenges - this one the most important..

 

All the very best wishes,

Lance

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Bugger. I saw this posted above. A peculiarly Australian response perhaps. It was my first response as well... I was bloody annoyed about my knees deteriorating, my shoulder in constant pain, feeling tired all the time and I see this. I have bugger all to feel bad about. So sorry you have this. I have tinnitus. Constant ringing that can drive people mad. I ignore it. Harder to ignore lights with closed eyes. Hard to deal with not being able to fly and do other things you have a passion for.

 

Bugger! You look just have to replace the bits missing with other things you’ll be passionate about!

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Chin up Ian.

All the sympathy in the world does little to ease that hand you've been dealt.

Rest assured that you have many friends (especially through your great forum). Take strength from knowing that.

Have faith in the best advice that your opthalmologist gives you.

And keep looking for those little gems of joy that do come your way, from whatever direction they come.

And whenever a empty right hand seat is offered, take it. Even with limited sight, nothing can steal the feeling a steady climb out.

All the best to you.

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Mike, I agree with you about tinnitus. I have a constant sound like an electrical transformer, plus whooshing like two tornadoes, one in each ear, and they are different and not synchronised. Similar to driving on the freeway with a window open just a tad. It is as persistant and annoying as cicadas in summer. I have the radio or TV on, not to listen to, but to distract and try to blanket out the sound.

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I've had tinnitus for a couple of years now & have learned to ignore it. I only notice it when someone mentions it. Mine is just a constant high pitched ringing.

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Hi Ian,

 

I am very sorry to hear about your eye issues.

 

I hope that you'll get opportunities to fly with an instructor from time to time to continue to experience the joys of flight. 

 

Greetings to Corinne too.

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Thread drift I know, but we have spoken above about tinnitus. I have just been watching a video on Youtube and the sound I have constantly at the back of my head, in addition the the whooshing of two tornadoes, is the whistle of a taxying Vickers Viscount.

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As those who have been in front of A Viscount with 4 engines howling will know is bloody intolerable.  It's not the props. It's the compressor intakes. Nev

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I’d not swap the tinnitus for lights. Bugger! Sorry to hear this. I was just thinking about the sounds of tinnitus. Whooshing etc. When it’s really quiet I have mosquitoes. No idea if they are real or not. Used a lot of bug spray and now I just go “have at it”. 
 

 

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It's most like the sound of the steam generators on top of the boiler on steam Loco's. Hiss and wining sound.. Can be most disconcerting when all is absolutely quiet. Nev

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Best wishes Ian. The medical profession, despite my criticizing them, is real good these days. Apart from that endorsement, I agree that you will always be welcome to the right hand seat of the many  planes owned by us forumites, certainly my Jabiru for one. We are very grateful for all you have done with this site.

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