Keeping my eye on a few things

Dilated eye or sign of an ax murderer?

Fireworks. This weekend I experienced lots of fireworks, only most of them were in my vision and not cast against a summer night sky.

“Weird,” I thought. “I haven’t been looking into the sun or any bright lights.” I’d worn my shades while hiking the Konza and had only watched one (count ’em, 1) firework in favor of spending time with Madi’s giant pup who’d just rather not do the big booms and bangs alone. Yesterday, the squirky lights revisited while at work. I asked my well-respected colleague whether she had ever experienced such fireworks. She urged me to call the doctor.

So I did…after a few more hours and eye-ball fireworks I begrudgingly called.

And the eye doctors graciously got me right in. Whether it was my requesting a piratey eye patch or they are just good with last minute appointments, I’ll never know.

Whelp. I’ve learned a bit about retinal detachments in the past 18 hours. How my nifty near-sightedness is potentially a factor as well as any of the head bonks I had as a kid (and there were legion.)

Next, I’m going to learn about the interplay of calcium deposits and optic nerves (optic nerve drusen). I’m all atwitter.

Actually, I’m a bit scared. And still learning.

What I’ve learned:

  • roller coasters and roller-coastery things are now out (what fresh hell?)
  • it appears my dream of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane has been kiboshed, too (all sorts of dammit)
  • there is no reversing this nor mitigating the further deterioration of the eye
  • my driving is not likely to improve…
  • if the retina fully goes to hell and detaches, my next job is to get to the emergency room; no forecasting or timeline on this event given because “it may never happen”
  • otherwise my eyes are yippy skippy healthy (really.)
  • it is unwise to console myself with a wee spot of Insomniac Cookies ice cream left in the freezer unless looking like shellfish-eating Hitch is the look I’m going for – with dilated eyes thrown in for extra zombie chic-ness
  • Altoids: a can of these little blue mints exploding in my car have now given me an even edgier look…like I’m trafficking viagra in the Sweet Vibe

What I feel: scared, grateful for the unknowns, freaked out about the unknowns, trust for my eye doctor who is also a triathlete and said I could still run, swim, and bike; grateful for all the light i can now see, small, kind of alone in the universe, surrounded by good people, and hungry.

I have wondered if this was the “shift” I felt coming in the Universe of late. Honestly, I was hoping for something more romantic or “wahoo!” than the accelerated potential of losing my vision.

This was not the post I mused over while drifting out of sleep yesterday morning. That conversation was about the bittersweetness of July 4th – fireworks and the half-way point of summer marked in celebrations, water play, and pyrotechnics.

But the conversation with my eye doc marks a bittersweet half-way point in this living: 50 years of taking my sight for granted and another 50 of being grateful for every seen thing.

Every face
Every sun ray
Every tree, grassy patch, water fall, morning rise, bird on the wing, laughing baby, and goofy dog
Every photo
Every roller coaster already ridden
Every day when this thing does not surprise me with more and flashier flashes

I am long accustomed to living with impeded sight – if we count what the heart sees and the mind has learned. I – and most other people – have learned to work around or work through these impediments.

Perhaps Beethoven’s deafened world helped him to compose his greatest symphonies.

Perhaps the heart hampered by fear and taught to not trust can learn best to give and receive love freely while limping forth with uncertainty.

Perhaps my driving WILL improve with the progression of these flashy fireworks and what they mean for how I see and perceive the world.

I will remember Tottsie Ferris (sp) who traveled the world completely blind and walking on unsteady feet – only using tiny Washington, Georgia, as a staging ground for her next big adventure. Her story has helped get me this far; now onward.

I want to see the stars.

I will watch for them as I await my next conversation with the eye experts and the great wide world.

7 thoughts on “Keeping my eye on a few things

  1. Ugh, all sorts of dammit.
    I hate that this is what is expanding the meaning of sight and vision for you (& me), but I’m grateful that you have the courage to pursue this insight whatever it may look/feel like.

    If you would like some help in the medical info dept, I’ve got access to my excellent medical school library. (Lord only knows what the internets will tell you these days…) Feel free to send me a list of topics and I’ll do my best to give you articles/guidelines/research etc. that I can find!

    Stay brave, sister lady.


  2. I am here for you. I can not be your eyes, they see beauty in clear focus. Your colors are bright cheery and always give me my warm fuzzy feeling. However if you ever need someone to describe something to you, I will use your words, that you have taught me. You have never said it was a sunny day or it was cloudy. You use words that can and do explain it as if someone can picture what you see just by your description. The warmth, of the sun, the twinkle of the stars, the snowflake the floats from the heavens…you make them all real, alive.

    If I could I would take this crud from you. My eyes are interesting anyway. Bifocals, blood sugars and an attitude that has been less than stellar. I Love you AL. I have for over fifty years. If you decide to rock the glass eye, I want to be with you for your first drive afterwards. Drive better? Ha!!! Be true to you.


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