seeing

Seeing is all that matters. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t see. The one thing that makes me panic is the thought of losing my sight. Hearing I don’t care much about, but seeing. I know that I’m whining now — I really do know it — but I have to wear an eye-patch on one eye for two days. Just two days. A few hours into it, I’m getting rather desperate. I can use my other eye, but I feel like a prisoner in my own brain. I am, obviously, a prisoner of my own brain no matter what. It doesn’t become so apparent, though, when you can look out at the world unrestrained and without strain. My seeing eye is tired already. This will bore me to death before it’s over. What do you do when you cannot read words or view pictures? I don’t know.

a week ago

I cannot stay in, I cannot go out. I look like a moron (a real pirate eye-patch would have been more appealing than one which makes you look like you have a hole in your head) and feel like an idiot. Whining about it is still an option, I suppose. It’s perhaps the best entertainment I can get today.

18 thoughts on “seeing

  1. Oh, I feel for you.
    After seeing this morning’s headlines, perhaps it is a good thing if you cannot go out.

    Coincidentally, I’m dealing with procedures on my eyes as well, which aren’t fun, but yeah, the idea of loss of sight is pretty terrifying. Unlike you, I feel I would be all right, because I would still appreciate music, and that would become my lifeline. But hopefully, this is all needless catastrophizing. Wishing you a full and speedy recovery … and perhaps stay away from major shopping centers in the next couple of weeks …

  2. P.S. I know from experience that even simple eyestrain can be exhausting. Any time I’ve lost or broken my glasses, by the end of the day I feel downright sick.

  3. It’s nothing bad or anything, I’m skewed-eyed, and have probably been for all my life. I’m copying what I wrote on facebook recently:

    ***************
    Luckily, in my case it’s nothing really bad at all, I’m just whining about relatively minor issues. I’m quite sensitive to light (which sometimes has got me thinking about eye diseases and stuff, and that’s scary just thinking about), and have experienced more frequent headaches and tiredness when reading. Apparently I’m skewed-eyed, and either I’ve deteriorated or, with age, become less capable of compensating for the flaw. I know I’ve had it for most of my life, because I’ve been seeing double at long distances and when I’m tired. (I thought it was… normal…!)

    Anyway, I’m having a second eye-exam next week, and the patch on one eye is supposed to stop the skewing for this occasion. I won’t have to wear it for more than a few days, thankfully. It’s uncomfortable, itchy and annoying, but will probably not kill me…! It’s a reminder, though, of how visually oriented I am. I’m not one to listen to audio books or anything, so I feel… lost.

    ****************

    I’ll probably end up getting glasses (again, it’s not the first time, but it never worked before — possibly because they’ve been trying to correct the wrong thing).

    The city seems to be back to normal; the terrorist act was frightening, but luckily quite a failure. These streets are central streets so it’s rather difficult to avoid them (I passed one of them twice today… in a bus, though). And, I do go out, at least 4 times a day… with mr D! It’s pitch dark at 3 pm, and I’m wearing sunglasses to cover the eye-patch. I look like a lunatic. I try to pretend I’m being cool. Not very successfully, I imagine… ;-)

  4. I will be awarded the Stupid Prize. It’s the opposite of the Nobel Prize. It’s for stupidity that is simply unbearably stupid. I have deserved the prize.

    I had the date wrong. I’ve been wearing the eye-patch for 37 hours FOR NO REASON!! And I’ll have to start all over again tomorrow.

    (Some days you just get totally fed up with yourself. Stupid stupid stupid.)

  5. Oh no. Oh dear!
    I have to say, however, that you cannot have the stupidity prize, because I’ve got that prize sewn up. Believe me, what you did is exactly the sort of thing I would have done and been kicking myself over it for days.
    I hope this means at least you can go without the patch for a couple of days now.

  6. No, the awful thing is rat it was this morning I should have started. I still have the appointment, so either I had to postpone it, or begin a new with the patch. Thus, now I’m a pirate again. 5 1/2 hours endured so far.

    And yesterday evening I sliced myself in the thumb when cutting cheese. Woke up with pain in the wound and had to clean it. Should have done that *before* putting on a band aid last night of course, but I was too lazy.

    Just want to go into hibernation for a couple of days. I don’t know what to do when I can’t see words or pictures properly. Depressing. Tried to listen to the radio for the first time in 15 or 20 years. But listening instead of reading the words myself… it doesn’t make sense! And even when I listen to music, I always look at something simultaneously, otherwise I become completely restless.

  7. Everybody’s brain works differently. My father, who used to enjoy music, after he had his second stroke could not enjoy music at all – got angry and demanded it be shut off, it bothered him so much. Obviously, the rest of us didn’t hear what he was hearing – something about how it came through to him was “off” due to his brain processing. I am not comparing you to a stroke victim … hope that came out right – just that brain wiring is complicated and everyone’s is unique.

    I can’t listen to books on tape either – just doesn’t work, I can’t understand what I am hearing without extreme concentration. I always had to listen intently and take copious notes in lectures in school. Music is different though (doesn’t require intellectual understanding, just gives pleasure).

  8. It might be that Waldorf (even in the best of circumstances) is not a good fit for a child who does not process things aurally very easily. All the emphasis on recitation and listening to stories … if you get the point that way, great, but if you don’t, it would be distressing to a child.

    I remember when my son was small he wanted to listen to books on tape in the car, and we did that for awhile, but I disliked it because I would miss big parts of the story, having to pay attention to driving.

  9. ‘It might be that Waldorf (even in the best of circumstances) is not a good fit for a child who does not process things aurally very easily. All the emphasis on recitation and listening to stories … if you get the point that way, great, but if you don’t, it would be distressing to a child.’

    So true! it’s the worst possible fit, really. It was useless. I was lost, and time and energy was just wasted.

    Aural information is, well, disorienting. Visual information makes sense and I can remember what I see. Written words have shapes and books have physical pages and make orientation possible.

  10. I didn’t realise it was so horrible for you.

    My eyes see different things, I’ve got astigmatism in one eye. The optician suggested this might be useful later but I’m not sure what for. I could never play tennis as a child as the ball came hurtling towards me & then disappeared. But I hated tennis, so I didn’t mind.

    Perhaps you could try the Hitchens channel without having to watch? http://www.youtube.com/user/hitchenschannel

    or Dawkins at Duke?
    http://richarddawkins.net/videos/559954-richard-dawkins-speaking-at-duke-university-oct-3-2010

    sleep well.

  11. I have severe astigmatism in one eye, too, and two eyes that are extremely different – one a lot worse than the other. I was recently told I have “narrow angles,” making me at risk for glaucoma. I have to have a preventive laser procedure which I am not looking forward to. Also one eye is turning “lazy” and wandering. Not so as anyone else could tell – yet … but as I get older I fear I will look like a batty old lady …

  12. ‘The optician suggested this might be useful later but I’m not sure what for.’

    It’s not easy to think of any obvious use actually… (Though bad eyes should be good karma — next life you will develop a magnificent spiritual eye!!)

    Apparently I have good eyes except for the skewing, which, presumably, is the cause of the other troubles.

    Laser procedure — scary! I can understand you don’t look forward to it, Diana. I would fear they’d do something wrong.

    I’ve enudred 31 hours of one-eyed-ness now. Eye-patch is itching, my other eye is tired. Took a long(-ish) walk with mr D. Managed to kick him accidentally with my boot when he tried to walk past me on the left side. I lifted my foot without seeing he was there. He thinks I’m very rude.

  13. “I would fear they’d do something wrong.”

    Oh, please don’t say that :) It is apparently common and painless. I have a pretty hard time with anyone touching my eyes though. I sit through ordinary eye exams trying not to whimper.

    Oh dear, bad eyes and karma … I’m sure this is a weighty topic, anthroposophically. You are probably right that it has something to do with failing to “see” in a spiritual sense. There’s probably many eye problems among critics … of course, the logical explanation is that we’re a lot of bookish types who have ruined our eyes reading fanatically.

  14. I like to read fanatically. It would be dull to read laconically.

    Look at you and me, Diana. We must never play tennis together…

    I took one of my dogs for a walk by the sea yesterday & saw a seal a few feet away in the water. It kept bobbing up to have a good look at us, was still there on the walk back. Dog couldn’t smell it, so was oblivious.

    Poor Mr Dog, so undignified.

  15. Thetis — Undognified, he says.

    Diana — ‘Oh, please don’t say that :) It is apparently common and painless. I have a pretty hard time with anyone touching my eyes though.’ Exactly. It probably is common and as close to painless as you can come (you have to take the psychological stuff into account too), but still I fear having people that close to my eyes with laser tools and other tools.

    Today it transpired I’m astigmatic as well as skewed-eyed, and apparently my horizon is tilted. Lazy nerve. Right eye. Apparently this can’t be corrected other than through some kind of surgery, which may or may not be needed. In case it is, it’s possible to correct the skewing at the same time. The first option now, though, is glasses to correct the skewing and astigmatism and see if it helps. I should probably not play tennis with you two either. We’d look like three clueless drunks.

    ‘You are probably right that it has something to do with failing to “see” in a spiritual sense. There’s probably many eye problems among critics … of course, the logical explanation is that we’re a lot of bookish types who have ruined our eyes reading fanatically.’

    Maybe I was spiritually lopsided in my last incarnation. Wonder what happens next! (Of course, reading, especially early reading, is bad for karma.)

    Another logical explanation, at least for some types of problems, is they’re inherited.

  16. Okay, so no tennis matches for the three of us :)

    Well, it sounds like there’s a good chance you simply need glasses. I believe *most* cases of astigmatism are correctable with lenses? Doctors can make everything sound threatening. At my age, I’m getting used to hearing from doctors: “Well, there’s a small chance you have [fill in the blank with horrible disease promising early death and disfigurement]. We propose several weeks of costly and frightening tests, and then several weeks of waiting for the results. We will then tell you you’re fine and there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Oh, and you should repeat the tests yearly for the rest of your life.” I guess this just comes with aging. After all some day there *will* be something to worry about.

  17. I sure hope so, I mean that glasses will suffice. I think the skewing was a much bigger problem than the astigmatism though and that if it weren’t for the skewing, I could live with the astigmatism. But if you’re going to have the glasses, you may as well fix the astigmatism.

    It’s the ’tilt’ (a separate issue but related to the other two, or one of them) that won’t be possible to fix with glasses, and that would possibly need surgery if it gets worse. (Though I would avoid it unless it was absolutely necessary — and I don’t think it will be.) And then, if you need that, you can fix the skewing at the same time. Or I think it’s like this: if you fix the skewing surgically, the tilt issue will automatically be resolved. But it’s the tilt glasses cannot fix.

    I’m scared of doctors, I almost never visit doctors. Except the shrink who gives me my meds. Other doctors, no. I’ll die of some curable cancer that would have been detected during some rather trivial check-up or test had I taken it.

  18. I woke up at 2.30 am. Sat up, eager to leave immediately, thinking ‘the patch is going! I’m getting rid of the patch!’ Then realized it was too early and had to go back to sleep. No point being up at such early hours, especially not when I couldn’t see properly. Might as well sleep.

    Such a huge relief to remove it. Though I ripped off a piece of skin too, I think. Or I got a rash from the patch, I don’t know. Maybe a rash, it would explain the nasty itching.

    Took a walk with mr D afterwards. Went shopping, fixed things I couldn’t do when I didn’t see, vacuumed the flat (it was a complete mess).

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