Karen Haggerty

Writer & Clinical Hypnotherapist

Aye Aye Captain!


Aye Aye Captain!

The week leading up to my trip to Slovakia was as usual full of medical appointments. A body behaving badly won’t obey orders and have a few days off, even when I ask nicely.

I met Mr Ali, an eye surgeon at St George’s Hospital in London, a few days before my departure. A charming man who seemed rather taken with my eye condition (it’s his speciality) so we had a little fun when he examined me as I have a rather extreme case.

I have Congenital Fourth-Nerve Palsy which in layman’s terms equates to my eyes looking outwards. The opposite to cross eyes. For many years of feeling dizzy when standing up, I had put it down to my blood pressure being a little low. In reality, for many years I’d been seeing double from various angles but had become used to it. It can happen to anyone but is common with people with EDS like me. Another genetic condition that has worsened with age.

I need an operation but have been a tad poorly and distracted with all the cancer scans, operations and examinations. So I wear a very fetching (love that word) see-through, plastic eyepatch on one eye. It’s covered with lines and makes the vision in my right eye, erm, ‘interesting’ but it stops me feeling giddy.

They fitted a new one at St George’s for me. My old one was too small and not the right prescription for my posh new glasses. I wore it with pride as it fitted the whole lens and made life a little easier. Now, I’ve lost the bloody thing! Here in Slovakia! No idea where and we’ve searched the room in the billet and the car. We’ve grovelled around on the floor of the small village shop, much to the amusement and curiosity of the locals. I’m seeing two of most of Slovakia now . . .