View of Berat, Albania from Berat Castle hill.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Berat, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? South towards Greece.

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Hiking, eye doctor... and a fairly major car accident!

Well, what a day we had. As Ruth says, our life is never boring! But as you'll see, sometimes boring might actually be a bit better.

There is so much to tell you that I think we will break this into two blog posts!

Let's start at the beginning. As I explained in yesterday's blog post, I woke up feeling quite a bit better. Almost totally normal. And, we had been cooped up in the apartment for three full days. It was time to get outside and get some exercise.

We drove to the outskirts of the city, but still close to the waterfront. It's an industrial area, but there is a teleferik... a gondola ride up a mountain. I had seen where you can also hike up the same mountain, so that was our plan. It's not a long trail, 3.5 kms (2.2 miles) one way, but it's fairly steep, gaining 610 meters (2,000') in altitude.

The top of that mountain is where we are headed!

We parked up at 10:30am and started the climb. It didn't take long to get a bit of a view...


The cable car is not very busy.


Looking back at the city.

Heading higher. 

Beautiful area!


As far as cities go, Antalya has a lot to offer. And Turkey overall. We have been very impressed with our visit here and look forward to returning in the motorhome. It almost ranks right up there with Mexico. The only thing that makes Mexico better in our opinion is the food, and the fact that we can speak some of the language. No language is easy to learn at our age, but Turkish is definitely on the difficult side.

Some people are taking the easy way up!

About half way up, I began noticing that I didn't have quite as much energy as I normally do. Yes, it was some steep terrain, including one section where you have to use a rope to help yourself up. But Ruth was having no problem keeping up with me, and normally it's me waiting a bit for her. This time, I had to rest more often.

This was really steep!

Almost at the top!

We made it... what a view!

Looking south.

I was surprised when I looked at the photos this morning that I hadn't taken very many from the top.

We hadn't been moving very quickly to get up there and it had taken us almost two hours to do the one way trip up. So it was now 12:30pm and we had out eye doctor appointment at 3:30pm. So we didn't spend much time at the top. We had a little snack at the top.. Fortunately, it was all downhill to get back to the car, and it only took an hour.

We drove back to the apartment and had a quick lunch, and then drove about 20 minutes through the center of the city to get to the eye doctor.

I had emailed him the file from the hospital eye doctor we had been to, so he already had the basic test results. But as he explained, while it's only a fifteen minute job to actually perform the operation on one eye, but there is hours of work in preparation. You only get one chance to select the proper lenses, so they make certain checking and double checking that it is right before proceeding.

Cool waiting room!

Dr. Muhacir doing some tests on Ruth.

So, what's the bottom line?

I (Kevin) have a minor bacterial infection in one eye lid that I wasn't even aware of. I have had a history of getting cysts on my eyelids, but haven't had one for years. But this is related. He says it's extremely important to get rid of that infection before doing the operation If the infection were to get into the eye itself, it would cause problems that are difficult to fix. Otherwise, my eyes are suitable candidates for the surgery. They will do a multifocal intraocular lens implant. This is exactly the same surgery as is done for cataracts. The doctor tells me that I will not ever need a cataract operation in the future and that because we are younger than most cataract patients the end result is normally much better than when it is done for more senior patients. I should never need glasses again unless I want to see something very up close. There is a possibility I might need them for my phone, however for normal computer work, and anything further my sight should be perfect.

Total cost for the complete job for both eyes for me will be 18,000 lira ($3,000 CAD, $2,350 USD)

Ruth is a different story. She has a tiny hole in one of her retinas. Again, she was not aware she had this problem until now. And he was pretty sure that it will cause problems in the future, but they are manageable. However, a different type of lens has to be used and the options are limited. Still, he is very confident that she will be happy with the results. 

Total cost for Ruth for the complete job for both eyes will be 15,000 lira ($2,500 CAD, $2,000 USD).

So we are happy with that. We were at the eye doctor for to almost three hours while they performed all these tests and had discussions with us explaining things. Very pleased with the doctor.

We have our first eye done this Friday (Christmas Day!) and the second eye done next Wednesday.

He is concerned that we are going to leave the country on January 10th. Normally, he likes to keep "control" of his patient's situation for a month after surgery. While doing the flying, or the high altitude hiking are not problems, other problems can develop. He said he doesn't normally do "tourist surgery" as he called it where patients are shipped in and shipped out.

So over the next few days we will look into what changes we can make, if any. The fact that our tourist visas expire on January 11th might mean there are no changes that can be made.

We didn't get out of the doctors office until about 6:30pm and then drove through the busy city on our way back to the apartment. This is where our day went downhill. 

I had my first ever "at fault" car accident!

Full story in the next blog post.

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And in Canada...



18 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about your accident, hopefully no one we injured. Looks like a go for your eyes! Sounds like you have a good doctor. The best to you 2! Rawn Stone

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! No, no one was injured except for Kevin's pride.

      Yes, it is a go for our eyes. The first one for each of us gets done tomorrow and then we have the weekend to relax while we are in lockdown for the two days so that makes the lockdown a little better to deal with, plus the weather isn't supposed to be very good.

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  2. More and more crazy stuff happening everyday! Maybe House Arrest wasn’t so bad! Lol

    Hope Kevin feels better soon!

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    Replies
    1. Lol, yeah maybe "House Arrest" is better, NOT!

      Kevin is feeling just fine. :-)

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  3. Good luck with your eye operations

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  4. Sounds like you should wait until you are back in Turkey with your motorhome!

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    Replies
    1. You are thinking just what we were thinking this morning. Follow up appointments are important.

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    2. No, we will do it now. Everything is booked.

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    3. We will be getting follow up appointments!

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  5. I've been reading your blog for years (your blog is incl. in my sidebar) but feel I should comment now. Postpone your Kilimanjaro trip. Perhaps with a doctor's note you could extend your Turkey visa by a few weeks. Even if all goes well after surgery you will have very light sensitive eyes and dark sunglasses will be required for quite some time. Strenuous activities or bending down will affect the implanted lenses. BTW cataract surgery in Canada is free (had it done myself and no longer need glasses) Follow up after surgery is important!

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    Replies
    1. There will be more to this story in an upcoming post.

      Both doctors that we have met with and talked to, have both said we would be totally fine doing a hike up Kilimanjaro without any issues. It was one of the first questions we asked because it we couldn't do the hike safely after the surgery we weren't going to go ahead with the procedure.

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  6. Sounds like you are having a good time despite all of that. Hope to get back there myself summer after next. Our Turkish friends got transferred to Munich from Vancouver and have invited us to take a road trip to turkey with them. Plus i have a cousin who lives in Antalya. At 73 which I will be then, I'm not climbing that mountain. Always nice to do it with locals, did the same thing with our Colombian friends 2 years ago.

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    Replies
    1. We are having a great time overall, this was just a little blip in our trip. Luckily with all the travels we have had, we have rarely had bad issues, we just pick ourselves up from this one and shake ourselves off and continue on.

      Turkey really is a fantastic country, it rates right up there with our love of Mexico. We hope that you make it back here one day.

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  7. I found the days between the surgeries a little awkward, with two fields of vision.
    Was glad when the 2nd was completed.
    Hope all goes well.
    Merry Christmas Kevin & Ruth.

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    1. Kevin and I were both wondering about that ourselves. Thankfully we won't have too long to wait in between the two surgeries.

      The doctor and us feel confident that there shouldn't be any issues, let's hope we are correct.

      Merry Christmas to you as well.

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  8. Ouch! Hoping everything works out for you.

    It's about time.

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