Well, today was pretty much the most terrifying day of my life. I noticed a weird vision defect a few days ago. At first I thought there was a flaw in the lens of my glasses, but after a while I realized I was seeing it even when I wasn’t wearing them — a sort of shadowy streak running about halfway across the line of sight for my dominant eye. I didn’t think too much of it until I woke up the next day and it was still there. So, I began to research symptoms and talk to people (including doctors) about it, and the universal conclusion seemed to be pointing to the idea that I had somehow torn my retina and was rapidly working my way toward a detached retina and blindness in my good eye.
I reached out to an ophthalmologist today and set up an afternoon emergency appointment, and the phone consultation only served to reinforce the notion that I was in for some expensive and uncomfortable surgery at best, a complete lack of vision at worst. Thankfully, the doctor determined that my retina is perfectly fine and that I simply have a very large and very unusual floater — a piece of fiber that’s dislodged from the tissue of my eye and become suspended in the vitreous fluid, right between my pupil and optical nerve. It’s harmless, but it’s permanent. I’m going to have a distracting, intrusive, uncomfortable vision defect for the rest of my life.
Also, the dilating drops made me look stoned.
Anyway, the uncertainty had me more anxious than I can remember ever feeling about anything. My whole life revolves around my vision — how could I make a living if I can’t see to consume media and write about it? I had this nauseating future sight of my entire existence crumbling.
I also had this profound feeling of anger at the thought of losing my vision and being denied the opportunity to get any further into Game Boy World, of all things.
I’m not thrilled about the speck in my eye — or rather, as my mother joked, more of a biblical log. It makes looking at screens a lot more difficult than it was just a couple of days ago, and I constantly have the sensation of having been dazzled by a bright light. I’ll take it, though. Certainly beats the alternative I’d been bracing for. I’ve never been so happy to hear someone say, “Your vision is going to be mildly impaired for the rest of your life” before.