(Note: This is how I experienced the days leading up to Douglas' eye surgery. He plans to give his perspective in a later post.)
One Saturday in early May, Douglas told me that he was having blurry vision in his left eye. He had something very similar in his right eye in January 2020, and that turned out to be a tear in his retina that he was able to have repaired in Birmingham. We assumed that he was having the same problem in his left eye this time. He needed to have his eye checked ASAP, and he would probably need treatment. But we didn't know where to go, only that he would most likely need to leave the country.
At this point, it started to feel like a nightmare episode of The Amazing Race:
"Your husband's left eye needs urgent treatment or he could end up with a detached retina. You will need to do the following:
1. Get his passport back from immigration (it had been sent in for a new visa) or get a document to stand in place of the passport.
2. Find out where in east Africa you can get retina treatment
3. Figure out how to get there and buy a ticket
4. Get a COVID test
5. Find a place to stay in a place where you might not know anyone
Also, time is of the essence, as he could end up with a detached retina and lose sight in his eye.