If it wasn’t so cruel – it would be hysterical. Two to eight weeks he said. What kind of time scale is that? I mean what are those numbers based on – what kind of fucking swing in the dark – thumb suck bullshit data is that to give someone to process?
Two to eight weeks – its day two and I’m climbing walls.
The horribly delicious irony is I am that person who relishes a day of leisure – who frequently took ‘sickies’ to spend a day in the wine lands, who could never understand those people who got bored at home, Boredom equated to a lazy, uncreative, unimaginative person. I am longing for my office, my work colleagues, the job, the projects, my team…oh the irony – I found something I love doing and now I am incapacitated – in a fucking scary way.
Today is day four of an ever decreasing lack of vision in my right eye. I haven’t tested myself this morning – but I am pretty sure my vision has gone from being blurry to now not even registering a flicker.
It started out as blurry vision on Sunday from what I had imagined to be a result of a long day of drinking with very little to eat on Saturday – a migraine without the headache. Sunday night paranoia crept in googling loss of sight… then I imagined a tingling sensation…a stroke…at my age…damit Kim all those cigarettes, all that booze; you’re going to be the girl that mothers warn their kids about! “She tried to get healthy – but it was too late…”
Then the urgent request for Opthamologist appointment on Monday morning. She kept asking me if I took pills – said it is a mystery and to go home and drink lots of water – I had no idea I looked like a druggie – then memories of being 16 and taking LSD came to mind…OMG – those long term effects of LSD that they kept warning us about! I googled…my wild days haunting me with every keystoke.
I drank about 5 liters of water – did a couple of headstands – maybe I just need a bit of blood rushing into my eye socket. Monday night I phoned the emergency room – an amount of R600 extra after hours – screw it! I then drank a bottle of wine, got numb and slept. Maybe it had all been a dream.
Tuesday – Doctors appointment – just down the road so I’ll drive – zero peripheral vision on right side – so probably a bad idea.
I think at this point – I am calming myself down, my mantra – you are going to be fine, you are always fine. But maybe this is the one time you are not – maybe this is it – no more getting by on a wing and a prayer – your time is up – this is why you aren’t married, this is why you have no kids – because it will be one thing you are grateful for when you die a painful, ungraceful, sad death from the tumor in your eyesocket…
More tests – more letters I can’t see, extended silences from my GP.
“You need to see an Ophthalmologist” He says.
“Yes, but will I live?”
My voice is high-pitched and hysterical. I do dramatic well.
“Of course you’ll live, but let’s just make sure we diagnose you correctly – it looks like a ultrasensortythingymigig – which is cured by medication.”
Another Doctors room. Frigid, Sea Point unattractive receptionist reading me the fine print; a thousand ways for me to want to turn around and leave her alone to wallow in her miserable existence of a life. All I can remember hearing: “it might be hours…cash business only…up to R800 probably more…not medical aid approved rate.”
I asked if there are any ophthalmologists that are within medical aid rates – no answer. I didn’t care what she said – I may live – but now was I going to lose my sight?
The tiniest little eye doctor that ever was, examined my eye – nodded his head when I asked if it was serious –told me all the worst case scenario’s… but that it should clear between 2 and 8 weeks. A heavy prescription of cortisone for a month that only cost R11. My medical fees for such a diagnosis over the last couple of days have amounted to more than R1600.
The tears started the minute I left the car park – leaving my one good eye blurred – not ideal.
So here I am day two of my 2 to 8 week diagnosis of Optic Neuritis.
I wrote this roughly 10 weeks ago – since then I have been hospitalized, tested for MS – got some lovely photographs of my brain and my body poisoned and deformed by cortisone. It’s cool – I don’t have MS – but my sight hasn’t come back either. But it isn’t completely blind anymore – just shit. I’m too angry and scared to go back to any of the Doctors – the tiny Ophthalmologist that correctly diagnosed me, has actually gone into retirement – maybe seeing how devastated he made me with his vague answers led him to believe he may not be so helpful anymore.
Since having this thing – I get to hear loads of weird and wonderful ‘eye’ stories, but I have yet to meet someone who has had this, or even know of someone who has had it! I would so like to get one authentic happy ending! Or even to know if ones sight comes back gradually, or do you wake up one morning and miraculously it is all back??
Anyway – I felt the need for an old friend tonight. An old friend born out of what I then construed as a tragedy…the irony.