Scary Stuff! Why I Had to Visit the E.R. on Monday

Scary Stuff! Why I Had to Visit the E.R. on Monday

I first want to thank everyone who wrote in to say they were praying for little Jack! Bless you!! He is still coughing but he is doing SO much better!! His mama, 10 days after losing her senses of smell and taste, started having upper respiratory issues, and running a fever last weekend. She, too, is feeling much better today, thank God!

I was in the E.R. on Monday night myself, but not from anything Covid-related. I started having issues with my left eye on Sunday and they got progressively worse.

If you’ll excuse my horrific handwriting (I was freaking out when I drew this) and my non-artist skills, here is a picture I drew for doctors since nobody seemed to understand what I was describing:

MY SYMPTOMS

Sunday night: A weird lightning flash to the far, far left of my vision field. in my left eye. I could only see it when I moved my eye left or right. I thought I was about to get a migraine. I did not.

Monday morning: Same thing.

Monday night: The lightning was then arcing all the way in a perfect circle over the top of my eye, and a small (it looks like the size of a pea to me), grayish, donut-shaped blob had appeared just to the left of my line of vision. When that happened, I said to Brian, “Get your coat. We’re going to the hospital NOW!” It was 11:30 p.m.

Google had told me that my retina might be detaching, which is an emergency. Once it completely detaches, you will never have normal vision again. You would need surgery to prevent total blindness in that eye. Symptoms of impending detachment are, according to the doctor, a storm” of floaters and/or seeing “a curtain closing across your eye.”

We spent six hours in the E.R. surrounded by people with Covid symptoms, and one poor young guy who had a horrible stomach virus. Remember how funny I was able to make my last E.R. trip sound? Well, not this one. There is NOTHING funny about spending hours sitting next to a poor stranger who is repeatedly puking his guts up.

I told the triage nurse that we’d had Covid back in June. He said that was good and I guess that meant we didn’t need to be separated from the people in there who were coughing, and had shortness of breath. They had fake “walls” on wheels between each chair that were about 5 feet high and 4 feet wide. But, nothing that would protect anyone in any way whatsoever from all the coughing going on.

When they finally were able to see me, I was given a CT Scan, which came out clean, and they put dye in my eye, and pulled out a ginormous light, to look for any exterior eyeball injuries. The doctor told us the story of a woman who dreamed that something had stabbed her in the eyeball. Turns out she’d injured herself while sleeping, and had scratched her cornea. Ouch!!

The hospital also gave me a vision test, which I passed with flying colors, despite the gray donut swimming around in my line of sight. Based on all of the results, even if my retina was detaching, it was happening slowly so surgery could wait a few hours. They sent us away after telling us to call a specific nearby ophthalmologist at 8:00 the next morning, and to get the earlier possible appointment. It was already 6:00 a.m.. We drove home, got 90 minutes of sleep, and then made the phone call. That doc already had a surgery scheduled that day so he referred me to a local retina place that was able to see me at 2:30. I was freaking out, still thinking my retina was going to detach at any moment. It did not.

Once there, they dilated my eyes, did a battery of tests, and took lots of pictures. They were VERY friendly, and really put me at ease. I do NOT have a torn or detaching retina. I am experiencing Vitreous Detachment, which is very common for people my age. I’m not sure why nobody ever mentioned this to or around me anytime in my lifetime. It would have saved me two days of extreme stress. It’s not dangerous but the symptoms can be very disconcerting.

Today (Thursday), the lightning is still there when I move my eyeball but it looks smaller. It no longer arcs all the way over the top of my field of vision. The donut is still there but it’s still slightly to the left so it’s not that big a deal. The doctor said, “Your donut is going to be there for several weeks or even months so you should just go ahead and name it.” Funny guy! And, I did. Donny the Donut is happily camped out in my eyeball. I could think of far worse things to be happening in there so Donny can stay for awhile.

One additional symptom IS bother me. Donny the Donut seems to be dragging something behind him. When I’m looking at my computer, and when my eyes move back and forth, Donny floats by, but he leaves a trail of something opaque behind him that makes the screen fuzzy for several seconds at a time. My brain keeps making my eyeball blink, thinking there’s something in there. Yesterday morning, it was driving me NUTS! I was in a very bad mood, thinking I’d have to deal with this for months! I work all day long every day looking a screen!!

After a couple of hours of torture, I put my left hand in front of my eye to give it a break. I left my fingers slightly apart. I could still mostly seen the screen with my left eye, while relying on my right eye to do most of the work. For some reason, I could then no longer see Donny or the trail of slug juice he was leaving behind. Amazing!!

We just so happened to have some eyepatches in our medical supplies. Brian sat in front of me with one. I put my left hand over my eye with the fingers slightly apart so he could see what I was doing. He then cut strips out of the eyepatch that were the same distance apart as my fingers and, guess what? IT WORKS!! I can work with the eyepatch on, and still see the screen (mostly) with my left eye, but with no problems. How weird is that?? If anyone can explain that phenomenon to me, please do!!

I can’t work with my entire left eye covered because the vision in my right eye is not great for computer work. My left eye is my dominant one for looking at something 18 inches from my face. I do not wear reading or computer glasses. Only ones for long distance.

The best part (NOT!) of this entire crazy experience is that my right eye will have the exact same thing happen to it in the next few months or couple of years. Awesome……

Some people experiencing this never have vision issues so don’t freak out if you’ve also never heard of this happening. If it HAS happened to you, I’d love to hear from you because I am seriously the only person I’ve never know who has gone through this. And, I’m feeling very special….but NOT in a good way.

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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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