When I covered Arizona basketball two seasons ago, I knew what Jerryd Bayless was going through when he sprained his MCL because I had sprained my MCL a few months prior playing ball.
I chided him a bit for missing his only collegiate game in Phoenix at ASU about a week and a half or so after being injured because I returned to the Rec Center in that same time period. Of course, by return to the Rec Center I mean played less defense than I usually do and only ran from three-point line to three-point line. That probably wouldn’t have cut it for Jerryd against James Harden and the Devils.
The point is that when Jerryd said he couldn’t move laterally well enough to defend I could feel his pain because I couldn’t move laterally on defense at all at that same juncture of my recovery.
The point of all that is I have no basis of comparison on Amare’s surgery because thank God I have never needed retinal detachment surgery.
But the father of a reader of mine by the name of Robert Vujica has gone through that surgery, and Robert was kind enough to write me back to let you all know what his dad, Dan, has gone through so we can put Amare’s recovery in a bit of perspective.
No, Amare isn’t back to being the Amare of old quite yet, but after the kind of eye surgery he underwent it’s pretty amazing that at this point he appears to just need to round himself back into game shape and keep those goggles on.
By contrast, here’s what Robert’s dad is going through after his eye surgery:
It appears that Amare has recovered well, unfortunately my dad’s eye appears to have suffered permanent damage.
My dad’s retina became detached due to an infection caused by “routine” eye surgery that did not involve the inner eye. My dad’s retina was intact and not torn as was Amare’s, however, it appears that the infection has caused some degradation to the retina.
My dad had his reattachment surgery in February. While he can see out of that eye, and can even read, he still wears a patch to drive. He just purchased an extremely expensive pair of specialized prism glasses to help him drive.
They are now telling him that the best that he can hope for is a return to 30-20 vision. 40-20 is apparently the level that the DMV will no longer allow you to drive.
At this point, my dad feels that his loss of sight is significant enough to have ruined his quality of life. We are currently seeking legal representation to go after the orignal surgeon that infected his eye.
Maybe young people recover from eye surgery better than older people. My dad is 77.