These Ancient Eyes: I am Officially Annoyed – at my own Eye…

Friday, June 22, 2012

But let me explain.

A few years ago, I had an eye infection in my right eye. It was, to say the least, disturbing. It resulted in that eye being closed a lot of the time, and me having to put drops in it (I don’t like eye drops at the BEST of times), and I came out of it with what my optometrist says is permenant scarring on my cornea.

The result of this is that sometimes my eye works just fine, but other times…like when it’s hot, or when I slept oddly the night before, or when venus and mars decide they don’t like me, or whatever…I’ll wake up and put my glasses on only to notice that I feel…lopsided.

The first time I noticed the lopsidedness, I thought I’d somehow lost the lense out of the right side of my glasses. The difference in my vision is that stark. There’s almost no difference between how I see the world through my right eye without my glasses, and how it looks with my glasses on when I’m having what I’ve come to think of as a “blur attack.” A quick tap of my finger proved that the glass was still there and hadn’t somehow leaped from my frames (inside their glasses case) in the middle of the night. So the next thing I did was go in the bathroom and wash out my eye (another thing I strongly dislike doing – the pattern here is that I don’t like things touching my eyes, thank you very much), which would usually fix this for awhile when I was in the worst part of the eye infection.

Washed my eye out, put my glasses back on…nope, still looked as if I didn’t have a lense on the right side. I took the glasses off and leaned in close to the mirror to try and see if there was something in my eye….Nope, nothing. No visible evidence of why it was blurry.

I thought it might clear up, so I worked around it for a day or so. The down sides of this quickly became apparent. It started with a dull throbbing centered behind my right eye that eventually evolved into the feeling like my eye socket was rocking out to some rave I couldn’t hear. I needed to be able to keep working, so I did what most people in my situation would do – I closed the eye, kept it closed, and continued working with just my left eye.

The headache eventually faded to a dull throb, then left entirely with the addition of some pain medication. However, every time I opened my eye, it was still blurry. So I closed it again. This was the beginning of several months in which I would keep my eye open as long as I could stand it every day, and then close it. Some days were worse than others. Then, one morning, just as suddenly as I’d woken up with the blurriness in the first place, it was just gone. I still have no idea what happened. But I could see normally, and there was no more headache. I was thrilled.

Until I noticed that my right eye seemed to have developed a mind of it’s own in all that time it was closed.

All that time when I wasn’t using my eye, it got lazy. Literally. I’d be working, both eyes open, and suddenly notice that everything in my vision had gone weird – my right eye was crossed, my left eye was still focused on what I was doing. Or sometimes I’d become aware that my eye had drifted off to the right somewhere, and it took a lot of work for me to focus the right eye back where it was supposed to be.

Genetically, I’m prone to lazy eye. My dad had to have surgery for it before I was born – and as I mentioned earlier, I hate the idea of anything going in my eye. I sure was NOT going to be happy if I had to have SURGERY on my EYE. So I began the painful process of forcing my eye to focus properly again. I had to monitor it very closely. And for quite a few weeks, I would keep getting eyestrain headaches after I’d been up for about five or six hours. Dull ache behind my eye as I worked muscles that had been allowed to atrophy over the previous months – nothing like the pounding rave that the blurriness had caused. I delt with it, though – like you do when retraining any muscle that’s lost functionality for whatever reason. Eventually, the headaches stopped, and my eyes behaved normally and worked together like they were supposed to.

A few months later, I woke up with a blurry right eye again. This time it was gone in a few days. The next time it came back, it didn’t even last a whole day – the next time it took a week or so to return to normal. It became clear that this blurriness thing was an intermittent problem that I would probably be dealing with for the rest of my life – a result of the scars on my cornea from the infection, perhaps. Annoying, but I’d learned how to deal with it, right? Just close my eye until it goes away.

The first time the blurriness lasted more than a couple of days, though, I started to recognize the subtle tug of my closed eye – it was trying to drift again. I forced it to move with my other eye – but without the eye open to be sure I was focusing on the same place as my left eye, I couldn’t be sure I was keeping it trained properly. So, once again, I started keeping the eye open and trying to work through the blurriness. This resulted in my old friend, the pounding rave, having a return engagement in my eye socket by the third day. Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow…

But then, eventually, I would wake up and the blurriness would be gone again. It was a constant cycle. Recently, I’ve gone the longest I’ve GONE since this started happening without a blur attack. Several months, actually most of this year. The last attack I remember was in late January, so it’s been almost six months.

Which brings me to the reason for my annoyance and this post today. See, I woke up this morning to a blur attack – one of the worst since the actual eye infection. I tried closing my eye, but it’s been so long since I’ve schooled my eye muscles that I felt my eye start drifting almost immediately. So I snapped it back open again. I need my depth perception. I need my eyes. I can’t work on art, I’m having a lot of trouble reading and writing (primary focuses of my JOB), and even looking at my computer screen for something like WoW on my lunch break gets painful quickly.

I can already feel the beginnings of the rave starting up around my eye, and this is only the first day of the attack. I hope it’s the last, but for right now I’m stuck in the absurd position of being very annoyed and angry at my own eye. Yes, I understand, you had an infection. Yes, I know you carry scars – I have scars all over my body from various things. You are part of me, eye. Deal with it. Deal with it without having a freaking “oontz-oontz-oontz” RAVE in my EYE SOCKET.

I feel like an old guy telling annoying kids to get off my lawn, except that I’m talking to a piece of my own anatomy. That’s all. Just needed to vent about that…Now I have to go take some pain medication and try to get through the rest of the work day without banging into walls from lack of depth perception and/or snapping at people because my head feels like there’s a frat party going on in my eye.

Quiet down in there!