My Diving Accident End of June

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Jeff Pack
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My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Jeff Pack » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:25 pm

Well here you go. What turned out I guess in the end to be a diving accident. I'm posting this varied places in the hope it will save someone the hell I went through.

End of June, I scratched my eye slightly taking out a contact lens. Weekend came around, Jeff and I were diving the Ruston Walls. Putting contact in, burned abit, no big deal l powered on.

By Monday, eye was infected.

Went to see the Doc, she did the stain, black light, said yeas, infected, heres some steroid drops.

Got abit better over the week, then go worse. Went to Optometrist next. He said dont see a DR again for issues, come directly to me. He prescribed some antibiotics. Its got abit better then got worse.

He kicked me to the super eye doctors at Pacific Cataract and Laser Institute, basic the minor leagues of eye docs..

Now during all this, I've expressed my concern it came from the salt water in my mask from diving, as when diving CCR, to dump counterlungs, I exhale out nose which gets some salt water bouncing around in there.

Over the next several weeks tried all sorts of stuff and schedules. It got better then got worse again. Finally they had to give up and kick me the major league. Dr Rotkis, commonly referred to as "they guy thats done it all and seen it all".

He looked at it, aand said it was an Amoebic Infection. He said like 60-70% chance.

So treated that for awhile, it never got better.

At that point, it was going on 4 weeks of unbearable pain. Most would never have tolerated the level of pain I was in.

We had sent a culture of the cornea in to grow a culture to get an idea what it was, as all antibiotics, and even virals wouldnt stop it. The concern was if it penetrated the cornea to the eye itself. But by end of the month, nothing back, and the clock was ticking. I'd had enough, it had finally reached even my breaking point. All the DR's where just amazed at my pain threshold. But even with that, theres a limit, and I'd reached it. The cornea was massively scarred. A transplant would have to happen anyways. So threw a Hail Mary, hoping to excise all the infected tissue.and hope to have got it all.

So had a corneal transplant around 7/31. Dont remember much of it, but Swedish was great. I was knocked out cold.

In my 1 week follow up, we finally got the culture back.. Yup, fungal infection. The really odd parts thats had everyone shaking there head, is it presented as an amoebic infection.. So even Dr Been there seen that was taken back. One for the record books.

So at this point I'm 2 weeks out of surgery, super sensitive to light, right eye barely works. Will get better over time.

I'm out of any sort of diving for 4 months, and that will be recreational only. Probably out of tech diving for 6 months..

The lesson to be learned here is theres some nasty stuff in Salt and even fresh water. If you have any sort of cut, scrape, dont expose it to either. Get fully healed first..

I wouldnt wish what I've gone through on anyone.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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Gdog
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Gdog » Thu Aug 15, 2019 6:53 pm

Wow thanks for informing us Jeff. Get well!

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Jeremy
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Jeremy » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:30 pm

Hope you have a speedy recovery Jeff - that really sucks

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fmerkel
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by fmerkel » Thu Aug 15, 2019 8:55 pm

Very informative report on a nasty situation. Damn!!!
Hope the transplant takes and heals well.
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Tangfish » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:48 am

My god that is a scary story and a horrific experience. Glad to hear you’re going to make a recovery. Do they expect you to fully regain your eyesight?

I hate fussing with contacts on dive trips. I will be much more careful going forward, based on your story.

Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes people keep things like this to themselves, but in my opinion the more we share the more we help each other avoid similar problems and challenges.

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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Penopolypants » Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:51 am

Ouch! What a miserable experience. I hope you heal quickly!
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by ScubaJess » Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:17 am

So sorry you had this happen, I hope it will heal up fast.
Thanks for the heads up!

Eye issues are the worst!! I had an allergic reaction to some eye drops for eye pressure after I got Lasik back in 2004, that was some of the worst pain I've ever had in my life. My whole eye was blood red, super creepy, and the lights killed! I cannot imagine having that last more then a few hours.

Take care!!
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Vjw » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:24 pm

Thank you very much for sharing this information. It does help everyone to be aware. I’m so sorry you had to go through all this and hoping for a complete recovery!!

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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by oldsalt » Fri Aug 16, 2019 4:05 pm

First of all, I, too wish you good luck on your recovery. Like some of the others here, I suffered through eye injury but even that didn't require a cornea transplant as you have gone through. I was pretty much shredded by a grenade in Vietnam. The doctors were focused on saving my life and major body parts and didn't sweat small pieces of shrapnel in the eyes. It pretty much healed until the metal corroded years later. I felt like a wimp complaining about the pain from such small wounds. You're right Jeff. It hurts. It has been fixed. I hope you will recover completely.
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Jeff Pack
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Jeff Pack » Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:26 pm

Tangfish wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:48 am
My god that is a scary story and a horrific experience. Glad to hear you’re going to make a recovery. Do they expect you to fully regain your eyesight?

I hate fussing with contacts on dive trips. I will be much more careful going forward, based on your story.

Thank you so much for sharing. Sometimes people keep things like this to themselves, but in my opinion the more we share the more we help each other avoid similar problems and challenges.
After a transplant, something corrective will likely need to be done. This eye had "some " astigmatism, so its 50/50 whether it got better or worse.

It'll be 8 months to a year before I can look into any surgical correction, 4-6 months before eye has healed enough to get new glasses to correct it.

Being a water baby and out of the water during the good diving months is, well just fucked up. But it is, what it is. I just hope folks will learn from this, and think carefully about any cuts and scraps, and their expose during diving.

Its a hell I wouldnt wish on anyone.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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Desert Diver
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Desert Diver » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:39 pm

I had corneal grafts in the mid 80's. I have always used contacts but know that I have to take them out if the eyes get too red.

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Max Bottomtime
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Max Bottomtime » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:23 pm

Before Merry retired, we used to collect sea water and look at in under the microscopes at her lab. There are so many animals and silica particles that I often wondered if it would be better to spit in my mask and not rinse it.

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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by SCUBARM79 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:07 am

May your recovery be complete. Thank you for sharing this information. Question: Did they narrow down a source of the fungus/the type of fungus? All the best to ya during your surface interval.

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Jeff Pack
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Jeff Pack » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:21 pm

Source, not really, But since it occurred a few days after diving, and with CCR, salt water gets spit around inside the mask(adjusting loop volume), I think it pretty safe to say came from salt water...
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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Jeff Pack
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Re: My Diving Accident End of June

Post by Jeff Pack » Tue Aug 20, 2019 2:31 pm

although I never asked about type of fungus, they just said it wasa a fungus from the culture, and put on some anti fungal voriconazole.

Shit burns like as bitch in my eye. I was also takinbg it orally, but that stuff made me all dizzy, loopy, generally feeling like shit for a few hours.

One other thing I've learned from this, is YOU have to be your own advocate.

I have a mild allergy to fluorquinolones (cipro and the like). Since I started taking that shit, I had bad flashing, like someone with a strobe standing in front of me.

So bad one night I had to call the on call DR. He mentioned "might " be the antibiotics, so I started looking up fluoroquinolones (moxaflxacin in my case).

There are nasty side effects of it, and I'd been on them 5 weeks, well beyond any recommendation. After some arguing with my doctors, as they claimed it wasnt the cause ( and I'd already been off them 3 days at that point and the flashing was diminishing greatly), I talked them into another antibiotic (tobramyacin) and havent had ANY flashing since.

So just a word to the wise, dr's arent always on top of every detail.

At this point I'm almost 3 weeks out of surgery, vision is very very very slowly returning every day. One more followup tomorrow, then I should be 3 weeks follow up instead of every week, and longer interval after that.

But this no diving is killing me, as well as physical conditioning has gone to crap now, and will be another big uphill climb.
=============================================

- I got a good squirt in my mouth
- I would imagine that there would be a large amount of involuntary gagging
- I don't know about you but I'm not into swallowing it

CCR discussion on Caustic Cocktails.

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