A SPIDER IS BORN! Sudden Vitreous Detachment in Eyeball #2

A SPIDER IS BORN! Sudden Vitreous Detachment in Eyeball #2

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!


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Angela Hoy lives on a mountain in North Georgia. She is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the President and CEO of BookLocker.com and AbuzzPress, and the author of 24 books.

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6 Responses to "A SPIDER IS BORN! Sudden Vitreous Detachment in Eyeball #2"

  1. Oscar Robinson  June 20, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    Angela: I was really interested to read your comments about spiders and donuts. I’ve just been diagnosed with cataracts which will have to be addressed so I feel your stress all the best in coping with your problem. God bless, Oscar Robinson.

  2. By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  June 16, 2023 at 1:01 pm


    Hi Angela,

    I liked your article about this. I thought I must be the only one too, nobody else my age ever talks about this.

    I had cataract surgery on both eyes about two years ago, and now I am reading that this surgery can prompt detachments.

    Anyway, the first was my right eye, the second, like you, we were at the airport flying to our condo in Florida for the winter, so
    it was not a good time to go see a retinal specialist!

    Combined, these are pretty bothersome, although I know there are worse things to have. My main issue is in playing golf,
    many times I cannot see the ball flight since when I move my eyes to see the ball, both blobs move right into my main vision!
    I find myself hitting a drive and yelling ‘Did anyone see that?’

    Cannot believe that science has not found a solution for these, but I guess we just have to adjust!


  3. Linda G  June 16, 2023 at 12:35 pm

    Hi Angela,

    That swimmy stuff is vitreous humor although it certainly is not funny. Can it be cleared off like they do with cataracts? I wonder if that is caused in part by eye strain? I hope you are okay.

    Linda G

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  June 16, 2023 at 1:00 pm

      Surgery usually does not work (according to my ophthalmologist) and, in fact, can make it worse.

      It’s not from eye strain. It’s a normal part of aging.


  4. Dianne Lininger  June 16, 2023 at 9:58 am

    I have vitreous detachment in both eyes as well. Mine happened at the same time shortly after cataract surgery. I have big black floaters, small brown ones, & jelly ones, plus light flashes. My vision is akin to looking thru a glass of swamp water during an electrical storm.

    • By Angela Hoy - Publisher of WritersWeekly.com  June 16, 2023 at 10:10 am

      Oh no!! I am so sorry, Dianne! 🙁

      My doc said the ones that aren’t clear still have blood in them, and should get more clear over time. I could actually see spots of blood floating around in my left eye after it happened. That occurred for months. No blood spots in my right eye yet.