Eye Exam Time 2019

Three and a half years since my eye surgery and for the first time I had a fairly routine eye exam this week. Everything is stable. Even better, my reduced sensitivity to light is because things are improving not because I’m developing cataracts. Phew. And wow.

Painting of brain injury cropped to what looks like eyes of the brain  by Shireen Jeejeebhoy

I’d noticed after the surgery that my scarred eye was not as averse to sunlight or bright light as it had been all my life. Then in the last few months, it began to dawn on me that I can turn the lights on in the morning and not feel like my eyes are being glared shut. My eyes are still sensitive but not as much. I never experienced this kind of change before my surgery.

My ophthalmologist remains super pleased and astounded at the results. I was amazed I was in and out in less than two hours and managed not to barf despite the eye drops bringing on intense nausea and dizziness that lasted the entire day, long after the pupil-dilating eye drops had faded away. I guess my brain objected mightily to a change in the tsunami of visual info and the accompanying haze. Sigh.

The bad news is that adaptation to my new vision is unsurprisingly slow and the battle with my brain to stop suppressing vision from my scarred eye will continue indefinitely. The good news is that when I get old, my vitreous will liquify and all the floaters will drop down out of my vision. I can look forward to an unimpaired view of my computer display and an easier time editing my photos (which I’m rather neglecting . . . What else is new . . .). Also, my vision is stable, and my lenses are clear.

Stable.

Not a word I’m used to hearing with any part of me since my brain injury. My brain, my sleep, my health continue to change, whether for better or worse. I feel like every aspect of my life is out of my control. Even those things that seem like they are within my control will suddenly go sideways. Inexplicably sideways. I’ve come to shrug my shoulders and try to ignore it else despair will drape over me like a cowl.

So I take this good news about my eyes for this moment only and continue my orientation and mobility training. I remind myself that it was 12 years or so after my brain injury that I was able to walk without listing to the side and with automaticity. Three and a half and counting is not too bad in comparison . . .

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