Back in December, 2021, I wrote about my trip to the ER for what I thought was an impending retinal detachment.
Turns out it was a simple vitreous detachment. Simple meaning…I wasn’t going blind. The ophthalmologist told me at the time that it would eventually happen to my other eye as well. Well, now it has. And, on vacation! 🙁
A week ago Wednesday, in the morning, we were packing up to leave our rental 12 hours away, where we’d gone to attend our son’s graduation from dental school.
Brian, Mason, and I were just about finished packing up the truck when, despite the doctor’s warning that it would happen, I was surprised to see flashing lights on the right side of my right eye. I knew from the last time that I could see them better in a room with a blank wall. So, I went into the bathroom, and blinked my eyes a few times.
The first time this happened, the lightning flashes were small at first, on the left side of my left eye, and then, over several hours, expanded into an arc on the left side and above my left eye. This time, they were all the way around in a circle inside my right eye. I knew what it was but I still freaked out because it was a different experience, and started off far worse than the first time.
There was a slight chance I was having a retinal detachment but I knew what symptoms to look for. And, I insisted we drive ALL the way home that day – for 12 straight hours – because I did not want to have to get surgery on my eye in a different state. I wanted my own doctor. I tell ya…that 12-hour drive was very stressful.
The first time this happened to me, it took about 24 hours for the vitreous detachment to occur. Only when a round object appeared in my line of vision the next night (a donut-shaped shadow) did I flip out and and we raced to the Emergency Room.
Well, it didn’t take near that long this time. Within seconds of me “looking” at the round lightning circle, a shadow appeared in my right eye. Not in the center. It was off to the right. And, it was in the shape of a spider.
Since it wasn’t in the center of my eyeball, my fear lessened a bit. It was clearly not a retinal detachment. And, unlike “Donut” (yes, I named it, at the doctor’s suggestion), it wouldn’t be located directly in the middle of my eye.
Over time, as the doctor predicted, my brain has gotten used to Donut. I don’t notice it unless I’m looking at a blank wall or at the sky outside. For months, it REALLY bothered me because I kept noticing it, especially when working on my laptop. That doesn’t happen with Donut anymore. And, the flashing lights in my left eye went away after a few months.
Well, as Murphy’s Law would have it, two days after Spider moved in, he started dragging some flappy flesh inside my eyeball that is to the left of Spider and, thus, in the center of my vision. It’s like looking through a very, very thin curtain. Glasses can’t fix it and neither can surgery. So….yea.
Here’s what my vision looks like in both eyes. You can see Donut on the left and Spider on the right. The crossed out portions are the “flappy flesh” that swims and moves whenever my eyes move:
If you need an artist for anything, let me know! 😉
Yes, I can still work. It’ll be more comfortable to do so once my brain gets used to Spider.
The doctor told me sometimes that flappy flesh (my words, not his) migrates lower in the eye over time but that never happened with Donut. He’s still right where he was on day one and his flappy flesh is still there, too. If Donut’s flappy flesh flops over to the right, in front of my vision, I can spin my eyes in circles, counter-clockwise, to make it flop back over to the left, out of my direct line of sight. No doctor taught me that. I figured it out on my own. You should see some of the looks I get a church sometimes when I do that…
A couple of days after Spider was born, he wove a web to the right of himself. There’s a vertical line way over there that I only notice when I’m looking at a blank wall or the sky. I only notice the flashing lights when the room is dark or if I’m outside after dark.
The worst part about Spider is that, when I’m not thinking about him, I see him to my right, and I keep thinking there’s a bug right next to my head. And, if I’m drinking something, I can see him in my cup. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve jumped in the past 8 days! On our way home on the trip, I looked at Moon (our dog) in the backseat and it looked like she had an insect bouncing above her head. I’m sure my brain will get used to that over time.
According to the Internet, this is not an uncommon thing. However, I was literally the only person I knew who’d ever experienced it…until I posted my article the first time it happened (link is below). Other people posted comments underneath the article and then I didn’t feel quite so alone. 🙂 And, one of those people also has a spider-shaped blob!
- Scary Stuff! Why I Had to Visit the E.R. on Monday
- The Eyeballs Stay In While the Boobs Fall Out…
- ANOTHER Falling-Off-the-Boat Accident Lands Me in the E.R.!
- Vacation Emergency Room Trip AGAIN!!!
- Another Vacation Emergency Room Trip (sigh)…
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