If you follow my page on Facebook, you already know it’s been almost two weeks since I’ve done any serious felting, or any other fibre-related crafting for that matter. Here’s the reason: one morning I woke up and, just like that, my left eye was blurry. It had been fine the day before, but now I had trouble seeing. I panicked. Wouldn’t you?
I did nothing for a few days, hoping it would go away, and when it didn’t, I went to my local optometrist to find out what on earth was going on – but mostly, I wanted to know how to make it go away. To keep this short, let me just say he told me to stop wearing my glasses for a week, not strain my eyesight, and come back in a week to see what happened. I did, and then he declared I was better, but as good as I’d ever get; if I was lucky, it would never get worse. The culprit, he stated, was the laser eye surgery that I had gotten almost a decade ago. My good eye was now going to be my blurry eye, and that was that. No extra explanation offered, despite my questions. He did change my glasses though, but to a lower prescription. Huh?
I suppose I don’t need to say I was very depressed upon hearing the bad news. I was in denial, but mostly, I was very angry (Stages of Grief, anyone?) I don’t know about you, but I happen to not enjoy getting a negative diagnosis without some extensive backup information. Why did my eye go blurry? Was it my allergies, and constant scratching? Why does laser eye surgery do this, and why the heck wasn’t I informed about this before getting it?! I could smack someone. That’s angry for you.
I’m also a very, very stubborn person. I like to think of this as a positive trait, because it’s what makes me a persistent woman, one who will not take no for an answer (“It can’t be done, so don’t even try!”) and work on the problem until it’s solved (“See how it can indeed be done? Hah, showed you, didn’t I?”) I had to know why my Good Eye was now my Blurry Eye. So I did what everyone with an inner doctor does: I went online and searched for my symptoms. I was a little like showing a mouse to an already panicked elephant – my options ranged from a detached retina to cancer, so not very merry indeed. That’s it, I though, I need a second opinion, and by a qualified ophthalmologist. I just didn’t quite know how to get an appointment though, having never needed one in the UK since moving here… but the idea stuck.
Before I got the chance to do that however, I had my bi-monthly spinning group meeting to attend. I went mostly to cheer myself up, not expecting to get much done. I took my spinning wheel and managed to do some work, which was great. For some convoluted reason, Better Half convinced me to meet him at his workplace afterwards, bring my wheel to spin with, and awe the passers-by (he’s a tattoo artist at a busy shop near Old Street, so that would indeed be funny).
The place happens to be really close to Moorfields Eye Hospital. I was thinking about whether I should go there and ask what to do, when I made a mistake in my way out of the Tube, and instead of exiting nearest my destination, I got out near… the eye hospital. Hah, I took it as a sign and just went in and asked for help!
Now, don’t laugh – this was my first time at an A&E, and I had no idea I could just walk in and ask to be seen, considering I hadn’t been in a freak accident, nor was this an emergency per se. I was in just for a quick question, but ended up sitting down and going through all the motions. Before I knew, both my eyes were getting probed, yellow and orange eyedrops were being put in them, and advise was given. All this time, with a spinning wheel in tow. I got lots of stares, and many questions about the strange contraption I was carrying, both from staff and patients. I got to talk about my fibre passion and it helped keep my mind off the eye thing, so that was very nice. This conversation starter also helped me make new friends and talk about my work – here’s the proverbial silver lining!
When I finally saw the doctor, she looked into my eye (literally) and saw what was wrong. The surface is indeed scratched, it was most likely from my allergies and not keeping it moist enough. “Is it permanent?” I asked. “I was told it was by an optometrist.” She looked at me like I had grown an extra eye in my forehead (pun intended, sorry) and very calmly told me “No, it will absolutely go away. In three weeks time, your eye should be as good as new.” “So, it’s not the laser?” “It’s not the laser, that was done very professionally.” “THANK YOU!” I could have kissed that woman! I can’t say how relieved I felt. I walked out of there floating, relief and gratitude pouring out of me.
So, in sum, it was a huge scare, I’ll be fine in a few weeks, and the upside of this is, I’ve stopped scratching my eyes like mad and vowed to take better care of them from now on. Oh, and I’m also having words with the Pessimistic Misdiagnosing Optometrist in a few hours. Like I said, I’m a stubborn woman…