Finally. After 3 months of chronic eye pain, my vision insurance renewed, and I am on the path (hopefully) of resolving whatever has been causing 3 months of chronic eye pain.
It all started in February, when the onset of severe pain in my right eye caused such swelling and inflammation that I thought I had an eye infection. I went to my regular doctor, who prescribed me antibiotics and told me to stay out of my contact lenses for 7 days. Done. It was tough, because I rely 130% on my contacts for vision correction… the pair of glasses I have buried in the back of the medicine cabinet are pushing 20 years old at this point. I haven’t gotten new glasses in the past two decades because my vision is so poor, the eye docs can only correct it now in hard contact lenses. So my contacts = my vision. Without them, I stumble around more blind than Mr. Magoo.
All that said, I managed to survive those 7 days back in February. I discovered podcasts, and fell in love with them, and I went back to taking long walks for exercise, since riding Artemis is definitely out of the question. I wouldn’t make it 2 blocks on a street I know like the back of my hand in my glasses.
Put the contacts back in on Day 8, and within a few days, my right eye is swollen and inflamed again. Forget the primary care doc – time to bust out the big guns and head straight for the optometrist. Who takes a look and sees that my corneas are bulging and shifting and rubbing against my contact lenses. Nice. But okay, what can we do about it? Well, nothing at that point. This was late February, and my vision insurance had been exhausted for the fiscal year. I couldn’t get any treatment for this problem until June 1.
So I went home with instructions to wear my contacts as minimally as possible and to put lubricating eye drops in both eyes several times a day.
Now, three long months later, and endless hours of pain and swelling in both eyes (yay – the problem started in my left eye too) endured, I was in the eye doctor’s office this past Monday. And what is the recommendation? Go 7 days without contact lenses and put antibiotic eye drops in my eyes 4 times a day!
For the love of Persephone….
This recommendation does come because the three months of wearing lenses that aren’t fitting properly has caused multiple abrasions on both corneas. My eyes need the rest from the lenses to heal. Then, the eye doctors are (hopefully) going to figure this out once and for all. That is the plan anyway.
In the meantime, I’m on Day 2 of No Contacts. Which isn’t all bad. I mean, my eyes feel so much better with the lenses off. No pain. No swelling. No ultra sensitivity to glare (another ongoing problem the past few months). I can’t see my hand in front of my face, but I know how to type by touch, which is how I am able to compose this blog entry in English and not gibberish, and I have a Kindle Fire, so when I’m reading, I can increase the font size to 8,000 point. So it really isn’t all bad. And my eyes are feeling better.
But that did leave the question of exercise. I am so happy to have a new dog in my life – Charlie – and walking him has been a twice daily activity for the two of us the past few days. But taking a dog on a walk, even a long one, just doesn’t feel quite like enough. And I miss Artemis something fierce. She stands in our kitchen now just begging to be taken out for a ride…. oh, that is definitely the worst part about going without contacts. That, and not being able to see past the end of my nose.
Yesterday, I did have a flash of brilliance though.
Yes, yoga. I am not a big yoga fanatic. In fact, I was anti-yoga for years!! I thought it was bourgeois and snobby, and some of the pictures I saw made me question how it was even physically possible to get into those positions… but then a friend of mine literally dragged me to a yoga class one night, and I realized how incredibly stupid I am. That class kicked my @$$ all the way to next Tuesday, and I loved every minute of it. Sure, I couldn’t hold the poses for longer than 2.3 seconds. Sure, I couldn’t even get into some of the poses at all because my sense of balance is even worse than my current sense of sight. But I left that class feeling like molten butter – my whole body was so fluid and warm and relaxed. I couldn’t remember the last time I felt so serene…
And I have practiced yoga sporadically ever since. My boss purchased me a one-month pass to a studio, which I used dutifully the entire four weeks. I attended a few more free sessions here and there with friends. But I never signed up for a membership myself because of cost. I know myself too well – I’ll pay $100 per month for a membership I’ll never use. Instead, I paid $20 for a yoga book I never use except when I have to go 7 days without contact lenses and I am trying to find an alternative form of exercise which doesn’t require that I can actually see.
So last night, I did it. I pulled the yoga mat out of the guest bedroom closet, found some soothing music on my Kindle Fire radio app, lit the candles, and yoga-ed. It was delightful – especially when Charlie interrupted me – and I realized how much I’ve missed yoga. How soothing and relaxing it is. Not just having the candles and the music, which does help, but the stretching and the balance (which I couldn’t maintain for longer than the standard 2.3 seconds but I thoroughly enjoyed anyway). I don’t stretch enough after biking, so it felt realllllllly good to go all Gumby last night.
So, I have found a way to exercise blind, and to make it these 7 days without Artemis. Whew! I guess going contact-less for 7 days really isn’t all bad.