Thursday, April 16, 2009

I Seek You



My opthamologist says it's possible I have glaucoma. Unlikely, but possible. Ruling this out, as we've been trying to do for the last year, involves lots of visits to the doctor, drops in my eyes, things poking my eyes, lights shining in my eyes, and me with a pirate patch over one eye and my head in a box.

Yes, that's right. My head in a box. This, of all of the tests, is the least invasive, but the most annoying. It's called a field test. You rest your chin on the chin rest (how imaginative I am!), place a patch over one eye, stare into a glowing red cross in the center of a circular box thing, and wait for tiny pinprick lights to flash on and off in the box. When a light flashes, you click a button. This is supposed to test your peripheral vision.

The first time I took this test, I flunked it. The second and third times I took it, I passed with flying colors. A word to the wise: Taking this test is not as simple as it sounds. If you simply stare, bored, into the red cross, you will miss a number of flashing lights and your doctor will think you have a disease and will want to start poking your eyeballs.

So here is what you have to do. Although you are wearing a patch over one eye, you must close this eye in order to properly see the flashing lights out of the open eye. Doing this is not as easy as it sounds, since the test lasts approximately 7 minutes PER EYE. After a while, your cheek will start to shake from the effort. You must also open your eye that is being tested as wide as possible in order to see as many flashing lights as possible. At first you will think, Huh! I see all of the flashing lights. This is a piece of cake.

Do not be fooled. Soon, the lights will stop flashing. You will think you saw a light flash, but maybe you didn't? The lights flash at different speeds and brightnesses. At one point, you may think all of the lights have flashed at the same time. You may sit for 20 seconds with your finger poised over the clicker, waiting for a light to flash, while you're squinting one eye and black mirages are dancing across your vision.

Don't forget to breathe! I almost passed out during this most recent test because I was focusing so hard on the flashing lights that I forgot to breathe. I used to do this as a child when my mom cut my hair. I'd stand as still as possible, focusing on not making any sudden movements so that she wouldn't accidentally poke me in the face with her scissors, and I would start to weave dangerously from lack of oxygen.

Anyway, now that I've finished this obnoxious head-in-the-box test again, I'll be subjected to another test in a couple of weeks. It's state of the art, my doctor tells me. So brand new, not even Stanford has it yet, although they will soon. We'll see what the new test determines.

So it is Friday. I have been really bad at the blogging this week. It was due to a mixture of distraction from the rash (still here but clearing up, I think) & burnout. Life burnout. I need to press my big red reset button. It will involve lots of lying around, prone, and ocassionally lifting a beverage to my lips. Preferably one spiked with tequila.

Thankfully, Hubs and I are taking off 3 days next week and heading to Napa. It's our 3 year anniversary and we plan to spend it drinking copious amounts of wine. I feel quite confident it will help me decompress quite a bit. We've yet to plan our "big" vacation this year, hopefully 2 weeks on the road, driving to Washington. Perhaps in July.

Happy weekend! See you next week.

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