Thursday, April 30, 2020

Becoming a "Sleeping Beauty"!

My last posting appeared on Sunday, March 22. Since that time I’ve neither posted nor read any of your blogs because four health concerns have modified my life. Of these, only one kept me from writing: my compromised vision due to Glaucoma. 

In past postings, I’ve explained that on December 9, 2015, the pressure in my eyes went into the danger zone of the high fifties: 56 in the left eye, 59 in the right. The acceptable pressure is usually 15-17. At 20, most ophthalmologists prescribe Glaucoma drops for their patients. 

On that December day, the high pressure so alarmed the ophthalmologist I saw regularly that he immediately sent me to a specialist an hour away. I was told that I had to be seen within five hours or possibly lose the vision in both eyes.

The specialist saw me immediately even though that meant that several really “patient” patients had to wait an hour or more for their scheduled appointments. Working with extremely thin needles on my numbed eyes, she brought the pressure down into the forties, then scheduled procedures for the following week. During that week, my vision dimmed dramatically.

Since then I’ve twice had stents placed in both eyes and been on the following regimen: Glaucoma drops 3x a day; anti-inflammatory drops 2x a day in my right eye; lubricant drops 6x a day in both eyes.

That’s been the routine until a few weeks ago. My vision is always somewhat blurry—as if a sheer curtain or a smear of Vaseline covers my eye. However, when I’ve worn reading glasses there’s been no blurriness with e-books. That changed in the final days of March. The iPad type—no matter the size—was too blurry to read. (I haven’t been able to read the type of paper books since 2015.)

I called the specialist’s office and spoke with the tech I’ve come to trust for her clear explanations and discerning questions. Because of the Corona virus, the specialist was taking only emergencies, however, my vision concerns did not meet the emergency standards. Instead the tech wanted me to rest my eyes. I was to stop watching television, reading e-books, and using a computer. In other words, I had to cease any prolonged focusing.

Thus, no writing of blog postings. No reading of blogs.  No writing of memoir.

For much of April, I closed my eyes and listened to audio books; cooked soups and casseroles and froze individual servings; listened to PBS Newshour with eyes closed; visited with family members and friends by phone; and quickly scanned e-mails and Facebook in the ten minutes I used the computer each day. Also, I napped, dozed, and slept often.

That continued until the blurriness with reading subsided. When I called and reported this to the tech, she asked me to go on another regimen: I could focus again on the computer, television, and iPad, but for no longer than 20-30 minutes at a time. Then I was to put lubricant drops in my eyes and keep them closed for twenty minutes. 

So for doing any prolonged focusing, here’s the routine: 30 minutes of television, computer, or iPad use followed by 5 minutes doing drops, 20 minutes listening to an audio with eyes closed, and 5 minutes for whatever. Half-hour on/ half-hour off for a chosen focus session—morning, afternoon, or evening.

I’ve been doing this now for about ten days, trying to get used to it. I haven’t blogged because I’m also trying to get caught up a little on the memoir writing.  But now I’m ready to re-enter the virtual world that awaits me in your blogs! So “read” you soon.

Peace. And I so hope that all of you are well.
 FYI: This regimen will continue until I see the Glaucoma specialist on May 22. Then we'll go from there.

Thanks to Wikipedia for the illustration for Tennyson’s 1830 Sleeping Beauty poem.