As there has been a sudden Email interest in my health, I will answer all questions in one go:
1) No I am not about to croak.
2) Several readers have asked "What are the symptoms?" So far I have resisted the temptation to reply that they are a little yellow cartoon family on the telly. The truth is that I noticed a small dark grey patch in the bottom left corner when looking through my left eye which (for those of you who did not pay attention in biology) means that the retina has started to peel off in the top right corner. If you notice the same effect, then go to your nearest hospital straight away. DO NOT EMAIL ME!
There, hopefully I've done my bit for the public's health.
3) How long did I have to wait? It's classed as an emergency, so they did the operation within 24 hours.
4) Local or General anaesthetic? It's up to the patient- the op. can be done under both. I had local and it's pretty weird. Not painful at all, but you have to be able to keep your mind focused on something else. The operation lasts an hour and then they put a bubble of gas in your eye to push against the retina to keep it in place. (Don't ask what the gas is- it annoys the surgeon).
3) Afterwards? You lie face down feeling sorry for yourself for an hour, wear a patch for a day and you can go home once the pressure in your eye is below 30. (Nobody knows what the units are and only people like me ever enquire). One in three suffer from elevated pressure in the eye for a while (which feels exactly as you'd imagine it would), but it's easily treated with eye drops. Don't forget to take the eye patch home with you for future Adam Ant/ Pirate dressing up amusement.
For ten days you have to maintain a certain position as much as possible in order to keep the gas bubble pushing in the right place- in my case I had to have my head upright during the day and sleep on my left side at night. (I had the easiest regime- some poor sods have to lie face downwards or on their side for the first ten days.) You take drops and tablets for a couple of weeks, which unfortunately don't have any interesting side effects. All your friends will be moderately sympathetic until they tire of you shouting "Who said that?" every time they ask how it's going.
Outcome? It's like looking through a bowl of water at first then the bubble gradually disappears from your vision over a few weeks and now I can see one between one and two lines less on an eyesight chart. This isn't a major problem as I wore contacts anyway, so I just get a new prescription. Apparently the vision may improve over the next six months or so. (Or so my optician hopes, so he can sell me another contact lens).
Anyway, that's it. Now that you have all convinced yourselves that you have a detached retina, I shall await the News at Ten report that every Eye Department across the Nation is under siege.