A Change In Vision

Kage Baker had (usually) black eyes. They went oddly and dramatically with her paper-pale skin, freckles and red hair – but she had her father’s eyes, and he was mostly North Eastern Native American.

Mrs. Baker occasionally sighed regretfully that none of her many children had inherited her own, blazing blue eyes – but two granddaughter and a grandson did. A couple of her children did boast hazel eyes; and in fact Kage’s own eyes would sometimes shift to a russet red or a moss green. Most of the time, though, they were a hot bright black like obsidian. And they worked  all her life, for which she was extremely grateful – she spent 50 years watching me stumble around in a blur.

Mine are dark brown with grey rings round the iris. They’ve been largely decorative most of my life: except for the tumour that had to be excised from under my left orbit when I was two (My mother was 6 months pregnant with me when her wedding ceremony in Nevada was interrupted by a festive atomic bomb test …) She had a fashionable detestation of spectacles, though, and I was 11 before my habit of memorizing the eye chart was found out – to my mother’s horror, as it meant I would need – shudder! – GLASSES.  But the miracle of the optician’s art has kept me from walking into walls and door jams ever since.

A month ago, my left eye began to ache. It felt like there was ground glass lining the eye socket; and there began a swift decay of what poor vision my left eye still possessed. Migraines have gotten insanely frequent – right now, they are daily, and yestreday I hit a personal record of three in one day. Maybe that actually counts as one long migraine with peaks; all I know is, I spent the day peering through a wall of mirrored thorns and cursing at the pain …

Anyway, I saw an ophthalmologist a few days ago. Good news: I do not have glaucoma (the first diagnostic guess was closed-angle glaucoma, which causes quick blindness). Bad news: my ordinary age-related cataract is spreading at an unusual rate in the left eye. Now, cataracts do not hurt – but they can also cause a degenerative drying out of the eye, which, I am told, can cause mild discomfort.

Or it can feel like your eye socket is lined with ground glass, and give you daily migraines.

It can also make you hyper-sensitive to bright light. I’m using artificial tears 4 times a day; which are kind of refreshing in the heat, especially when they run down my face, but only a mild anodyne. And, of course, I can’t see for shit out of that eye. At the moment, though I am emphatically not going blind (technically), I am essentially one-eyed. I think I’m going to be wearing an eye patch, to keep the light off my damned left eye, while my physicians and I discuss removing the cataract. I will wear it in honour of Kage, of course.

Until I get the bright light problem, and the pain problem, and the dry eye problem all under  control – which will hopefully take only a few more days – I am taking a hiatus. Typing is almost impossible. Reading is screwed up, too, though if I shut one eye and turn up the font on my Kindle to Dick and Jane proportions, it works for a while.

Don’t worry, Dear Readers. I’ll check here and leave brief notes frequently; and hopefully inside a week or so I will have found a way to type comfortably and quickly once again. And if my eye patch is cool enough, I’ll post a photo.

One way or another, I’ll see you all soon.