After a week or two spent staring at glowing rectangles, my eyes like to just sort of give up, and force me into an out of focus day. So far, thankfully, this has happened only on weekends, but these “episodes” are coming more frequently so it’s a safe bet they will happen on a day I need to drive to work, sooner of later. It’s scary, and Wayne thinks it may be scarier for me than it would be for “normal” people (not sure why I put that in quotes, considering I am quite in tune with my abnormality). The eye doctor said it’s just a lovely side effect of aging (I added the lovely in there, he’s not real fond of adjectives in general). And so…
Yesterday, I lost most of the day. When I got up in the morning, my eyes were focusing slowly and painfully. The struggle to force them to make sense of what was around me, to squirrel through the blurry fog, made them ache, and the ache transferred to my head. I am on call so I had to look at the computer to do on call checks. To see the screen, to focus on it, I had to take my glasses off and lean in really closely. The strain made them water and burn. Wayne noticed and sent me to bed.
I laid in the darkened bedroom with my glasses off and let my brain do its worst. When I was a kid and my eyesight first started heading south, it wasn’t particularly scary. I think it was just a thing until an eye doctor told me that if they hadn’t invented some particular sort of lens, I would be legally blind. I think I was in fifth or sixth grade at the time. His words have never faded; I can still hear them in his voice, I can still picture his office and feel his oddly moist breath on my cheek as he did his eye-doctor-y stuff. His words led me to practice blindness. I would take off my glasses, blindfold myself, and try to make my way around the house. I’d try to do things like get a glass of water and find the bathroom. It was a pretty morbid game, if you think about it.
It is also a fear that stayed with me.
On the days that my eyes choose to not work right, that fear comes back. Wayne knows about it and understands. He takes care of me, perhaps too well. He won’t let me drive and he urges me away from the computer. He keeps the bedroom dark, visits me, brings me coffee or tea. If it lasts longer than a few hours and I start getting scared, he talks me down and lets me cry. We discuss how long ago it happened before, we talk about what we will do if it happens on a weekday (which, sooner or later, it will). And he lets me rest.
Sometimes, it clears up in an hour. Sometimes, it takes most of the day. Yesterday was the second type. I didn’t feel steady until well into the afternoon. I missed my brand-new step-daughter’s bridal shower because of it. I was going to try to do it, and Wayne had offered to drive me, but the idea of being in a strange place, with people I did not know, and eyes that weren’t working scared me. My mind reading husband got that and called his mom to tell her I couldn’t go, and then had one of the girls take my contribution with her. And I rested.
They are fine this morning, thankfully. Not perfect, because they are my eyes, but I don’t expect perfection. I can focus without straining. I can look from one thing to another without trails of light or foggy auras that I can only make sense of because I am in my kitchen and know everything in here. The headache is almost gone and the fear that this time it won’t stop has calmed, because it’s obviously stopped. I will be able to write, to do my on-call checks, to go grocery shopping. And of course, I will be able to spend some more time asking Google for a cure that probably doesn’t exist. I wonder if it is finally time for Lasik?