Thursday, May 30, 2013

Postoperative checkup at Moorfields Eye Clinic

Today I went for my check-up at Moorfields Eye Clinic at Mile End, one week after my second Phacoemulsification of cataract with intraocular lens implantation #2

That's medical terminology for removing a cataract and implanting a new permanent lens. (see also Day surgery sketching at Moorfields Eye Hospital).

I'm very pleased to say I'm infection free, inflammation free and the 19 eye drops  a day have now been reduced to 12!  Plus I can now read easily to the second to bottom line on the eye chart and today I drove again for the first time in weeks and weeks.  Big mistake - I totally forgot about the dilating drops and had to get "he who must not be bored while I sketch" to come to where I'd parked the car and drive me and the car back home again!

Subject to my check-up at the end of June, I should be able to get new glasses for reading and the computer and get back to normal activities   At the moment I'm having to limit the use of my eyes for reading/computer use.  Instead I'm watching rather a lot of television with my brand new better than normal eyesight for longer distances!  Come July, everything will be back to normal - as in normal about 25 years ago!

Moorfields outreach service at Mile End Hospital - Waiting in reception
8" x 10", pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The above sketch was done while sat waiting to be called for my eye tests this morning.  Drawn on site with colouring added when I got back home.

My clinic is held at a local surgical centre on the Mile End Hospital site.  It's just one of the 19 outreach sites Moorfields Eye Hospital has around London.  These enable people living all over London to get treatment and monitoring and follow-up care without having to travel to the main hospital on City Road.

I have to say this has been one of the very best experiences of NHS care I've ever had.  I guess I shouldn't be surprised as it is a postgraduate teaching hospital! I certainly wasn't in the least bit surprised to see from the website that the hospital has just had an excellent report after a surprise inspection by the Care Quality Commission.

If you live in London (or elsewhere in the UK if you have an uncommon eye condition) and need your eyes sorted out see if you can get your GP to refer you to Moorfields!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Day surgery sketching at Moorfields Eye Hospital

Yesterday I had my second day surgery to remove my cataract and implant a new lens (see
Phacoemulsification of cataract with intraocular lens implantation #2 - which means super new sketching eyes!  Plus I'll be able to get back to proper artwork having had severe difficulties seeing proper colour, tonal values and detail for the last 18 months or so.

I was the last operation of the day so had some hours to while away - and there's nothing like a spot of sketching for passing the time and keeping you calm!

I arrived at 11.30 and after initial check-ups for blood pressure and temperature and the insertion of my dilating drops I got stuck into my first sketch.  The theatre gown in the foreground was for me later in the day.

The patient in the bed opposite - with the ubiquitous post surgery eye dressing
8" x 10" pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
When you come back from theatre, those who have had a general anaesthetic get to rest up in bed.  I was more than ready for my chicken sandwich and big pot of tea when I got back to my bed at 5.30pm having had nothing since 7am!

While I was waiting earlier in the afternoon, I drew the nurses station but didn't try drawing the nurses as they were always busy and came and went too quickly.

Nurses' station in Sedgwick Ward, Moorfields Eye Hospital
8" x 10" pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I felt great after the operation and after post surgery examination and tests was back at the bus stop for the journey home two hours after I left the operating theatre!

Thanks to everybody who helped me get my eyesight back!

Postscript:  The sketches were much admired by staff - as always seems to happen when I sketch while in hospital.  However one of the interesting aspects of this particular operation is I might have earned myself a commission from one of the doctors.  I now have an email to follow up on!

I've added in a module to the side column to say how you can commission a sketch from me.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The green at Ide Hill

We visited the village of Ide Hill in Kent the day after the early May Day Bank Holiday.  This sketch was done late afternoon while sat in the sun on a bench on the edge of the lovely village green.

The Village Green in evening sun at Ide Hill
pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I assumed they hadn't got round to taking down the bunting for the May Day celebrations however it turns out The Ide Hill May Fair is on the second May Bank Holiday.

This village is a little way from Emmetts Garden.  It has the same name as the hill on which it stands.  Apparently the name of Ide Hill was first recorded in 1250 as Edythehelle and is meant to denote 'Edith's hill' - which makes it an eponymic name ie derived from the name of a person.

Which is interesting as the area is normally associated with Octavia Hill who was one of the three founders of the National Trust.  She was a a social reformer, philanthropist, artist and writer, who campaigned for open spaces for  poor people.  One of the things she did was saved Mariners Hill, Toys Hill and Ide Hill from development and these three hills became part of the Green Belt around London which has stopped urban sprawl.  Last year to celebrate the centenary of her birth, the National Trust created the Octavia Hill Centenary Trail East and the Octavia Hill Centenary Trail West

According to the National Trust
Ide Hill is 33.5 acres of semi-natural woodland that lies on the side of the Greensand Ridge. The area is designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its abundant wildlife.
People may remember the woodland which suffered very badly in the Great Storm of 1987 - that was on Ide Hill.  It lost 70% of its trees.  Emmetts Garden lost 95% of its trees and virtually everything we see today has grown since 1987.  So basically - all those trees you see in the background have grown since 1987!

Here's a view of the church in Ide Green (to my immediate left from where I was sitting) from the most easterly point of the Bluebell Wood in Emmetts Garden.  It's the highest church in Kent - and there's a pun in there somewhere ;)

The Highest Church in Kent
St.  Mary's Church at Ide Hill from Emmetts Garden
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Links to posts about Emmetts Garden:

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The view of the Weald from Emmetts Garden

Every year, in Spring, we go to Emmetts Garden in Kent to see the bluebells in the woods.  This is by far the best place I know to see bluebells. I've included a couple of photos at the end of this post.

However the garden is located in one of the highest points in Kent - on top of a 600m sandstone ridge - which provides splendid views of the Weald of Kent if you know where to look and where to sit.  I confess we re-engineered the seating arrangement for this sketch with a bench moved about three feet to the right!

The view of the Weald from Emmetts Garden (May 2013)
pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook, 8" x 10"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The water in the distance is (I think) bough Beech Reservoir - I've spent years wondering and finally got the map out and worked it out!

Believe it or not if you want to find out about the garden, you're best off going to Wikipedia as the new National Trust website tells you virtually nothing!  See Wikipedia - Emmetts Garden

The garden is mainly an arboretum and has some splendid examples of magnolias which grow to an enormous size - very Himalayas!

One of the Giant Magnolias at Emmetts Garden
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
However it is famed for its Bluebells which carpet the woodland.

Bluebells in the woods at Emmetts Garden
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Bluebells in the woods at Emmetts Garden
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Near the Rose Garden, there is a new 'natural' planting of tulips and very young cherry trees which looked splendid against the fields in the background.

a new planting of tulips and cherry trees
copyright Katherine Tyrrell