Monday, May 6, 2013

More ophthalmologic learnings....

During this trip, I've been in regular contact with Dr. Perry Rosenthal, the inventor of the Boston Scleral Prosthetic Lens Device .... that I used to wear.

Those lenses, and -- by extension -- Dr. Rosenthal, mean(t) everything to me.  They protected my chemically burned eyes against bright light, wind, dry air, dust, and ... sawdust.

Since this trip was, in part, an experiment to see what tropical climates might do to my eyes, I've kept him in the loop.

Generally, it's been very good news.  Humidity over 80% brings significant relief of symptoms.  Humidity between 60% and 80% brings moderate relief of symptoms, but leaves me pretty intolerant of wind.

Once the temperatures drop below about 75*, that relief is dramatically diminished.

Humidity between about 40% and 60% seems to offer only slight relief, but seems to leave me vulnerable to corneal problems (Superficial Punctate Keratitis, corneal abrasions, corneal edema, etc.).

Humidity below 40% is like Northern Colorado: full, disabling pain, and almost certainly severe risk for sight-threatening complications.

Tegucigalpa, however, IS HOT (nearly 90*), and seems to be VERY humid -- probably over 60%.

But the UV index is extreme (intensely bright sunlight), and -- as a big city -- there's lots of traffic, causing pollution and airborne dust.

I've walked about 9hrs in the last two days, but ... when the walking is over ... I'm pretty well flat-out. It's like having my eyes sandblasted with really fine sand.  They just burn.  When this happens, my vision deteriorates and fluctuates.  Can't focus on the computer.  Can't read my travel guide.  Significant difficulty walking on the very variable terrain of the streets and -- er -- sidewalks.

I took my camera out, today, but it is a very sketchy feeling town.  I didn't take it out of my day pack until I'd climbed the hill overlooking Comayaguela, the part of town where the bus companies are located.

Ob that: I'll be on a 9:45am "normal" (ie, not first-class, and NOT non-stop) bus, tomorrow, bound for Trujillo, Honduras.  My first beach destination !

I reached out to a German-owned hotel with good reviews, asking about a minimum of three nights' stay, but whether there's any discount for stays of a week or more.  Might want to hang by the beach for a while, eat good food, do day trips, swim a bit, walk on the beach, and ... fire up the old Spanish.

I'm going to veg out for a while.  It's 80* and 65% humidity in my room.  No perceptible wind.  Very little dust.  No diesel fumes blowing in my face :-)

Ciao for now, then, from ... the Clean Room of the Honduran branch of ... the Gulag.

Good thing I WAS looking where I was walking !

I love the "blobs" of concrete still stuck to the bottom of the railing.

A GINORMOS Home Depot variant.

They burn garbage, openly -- probably for warmth, since it's only about 90 degrees, today :-)


  1. Sure sounds like two days in that town was enough. Hanging by the beach, now I'd call that good sense. Travel safely mi hijo.

  2. Anyone hang out by the Home Depot looking for work?
    Time/sufficient safety to check out the Parque Nacional by Trujillo?

    1. a) Yeah. Me ;-)

      b) Not sure. The limiting factor would probably be water. It's just *intensely* hot and humid, here. Not sure I could carry enough, and wouldn't want to find out that I couldn't.

      May walk part way up, in the morning, at least. Today, I walked out to the Laguan de Guaimoreto. Jus' byoo-ful.