Tuesday, January 6, 2009

A Gleam in My Eye

When I was in college, I would occasionally pull all-nighters, as most normal college students do. I think more than once I pulled two all-nighters in a row, which was really fun and a little psychedelic. I would find myself laughing out loud at some internal joke when no one else was around (or worse, when other people were around but no one else was with me), or just talking to myself in low tones. I would occasionally see things, too, out of the corners of my eyes, while walking across the ravine bridge on my way home from class, for instance.

About a week ago I started seeing something, or rather, I noticed that I was not seeing in the normal way. I had been getting plenty of sleep (although that was not true for much of December), and although I am keen to develop the aura-seeing skill, I have not yet done so, so I delved a little deeper into what I thought it might be. This was right around New Year's, and I didn't want to ruin our annual party with a trip to the ER (that was exciting enough last Memorial Day Weekend), so I didn't call my doctors. We did happen to have a neurosurgeon in the house, however, Ian's Peace Corps friend Dr M (4th year, I believe, resident at OHSU in Portland), and so I described my symptoms and asked him what he thought.

I had noticed that the phenomenon was only in my right eye, that I wasn't getting headaches (except for one migraine which was just the visual part and no pain, like 99% of the migraines I get and have gotten since I was 17), and that it was pretty minor—basically a tiny blurry spot just above my center of focus. I don't even notice it unless I'm doing something close like reading, so it took me a couple days to even be sure there was something to notice. Anyway, Dr M thought it sounded more visual than neurological, and recommended I see an eye doctor.

I'm afraid you're going to have to wait for the complete resolution of this mystery for perhaps a couple weeks, because my optometrist did see something, but didn't recognize what it was and so referred me to an eye surgery clinic where they have better optical imaging tools (that sounds like a fun morning). He didn't seem to think it was neurological, though, and in all other ways my eyes are completely healthy and behaving well. My prescription has barely changed in the last two years.

Here's my question: When Dr Jason asks, every two months when I see him, if I've noticed any differences in my sight, I've assumed he meant differences that might be explained by brain tumors. But perhaps the full-brain radiation somehow affected my eyeball? I just don't know. Also, I don't have any eyelashes at all anymore, and it turns out they have the pretty important job of not only looking fetching, but of keeping debris out of your eyes. Perhaps it's some sort of weird scar tissue from something that flew in?

My next appointment is in two weeks, because next week WE ARE GOING TO BE IN HAWAII. I am very excited for the prospect of being there, and very much going to have my leftover Ativan easily accessible for the flight across the Pacific.


Shelley said...

Hawaii...Nice. But you might miss the BIG storm of the century hitting Seattle, after all the little ones that have come through. :)


Laura said...

My friend at work got a tiny metal shard in his eye once. And I have read about jewelry you can have embedded in your eye. Are you missing any gems from any rings?

allyson said...

Have a wonderful trip!! xoxo