Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dilation

Last night Joel, husband/ophthalmologist, offered to refract me and give me a new glasses prescription which was very generous of him considering his usual work consists of removing cataracts and transplanting corneas, much more stimulating than the drudgery of, “Which is clearer, one or two? One or two…” As he explained to me, in order for him to get my true refraction, he had to paralyze my “ciliary muscle” (I didn’t know of its existence until last night) to prevent it from accommodating. I have an eye issue that I could bore you with by explaining, or at least by pretending to explain by using words I’ve heard Joel say such as, but not limited to, accommodation, hyperopia, spherical aberration, eye. In the end you’d still realize that I don’t really know what I’m talking about and I’d still be a latent hyperop!

So last night Joel had to put some dilating drops in my eyes. Before allowing this I of course asked the customary, “Will they hurt?” He just smiled really big, hesitated a moment and said, “Um, no, they hurt much less than the other dilating drops.” I think by “other dilating drops,” he meant, “red-hot iron poker.” The burning ensued. I had a good cry. Joel used a numbing drop before the next round of dilating drops. I was appreciative. I realize now why Joel thinks the ol’ putting-dilating-drops-in-someone’s-contact-solution-practical-joke is less funny than I do. It’s more of a mean joke than a practical one. I’d say it’s not very practical at all, wasting dilating drops, contact solution and a perfectly good friend all to celebrate the first day of April. So in the end, Joel had me seeing 20/20 which I had never experienced before. Usually I just cover my right eye to read books and squint to see people’s faces. It was an exhilarating experience for which I am most grateful.

10 HOURS LATER….

This morning, as is my custom in planning my day, I took a look at the old Mac weather widget to see what the temperature outside might be. To my delight it said it was 75 degrees outside in Tampa. That’s Fahrenheit. If it had been Celsius I’d worry I’d died in my sleep! *Bud-ump ching (punch-line drum sound)* But seriously folks, I was shocked to see the extreme drop in temperature from the side-ways eight degrees it was yesterday! Get it? Side-ways eight? Infinity?! I’ll be here all week.

I started planning my activities for the day: 1. Not sweat a lot, 2. Wear a shirt with sleeves, 3. Maybe walk to get the mail instead of drive… and the list went on. I decided to take Roxie (our dog) outside and experience the pleasant weather first-hand.

I leashed up the dog, walked out the door, traveled down two flights of stairs, sped up slightly when passing the apartment of neighbors who may or may not exchange “goods” for money between the hours of 12am and 4am, crossed the threshold of where apartment breezeway ends and sunshine begins and…..

Burning! Tears pouring from my eyes! I was staring down at the grass with my hands over my eyes but felt like I was staring directly into the sun while standing only inches from it. Why is everything so bright?! I frantically yelled “Potty Roxie! Potty!” to get her to finish her out-door business before blindness ensued and I was forced then to use her as a seeing-eye dog which would mean a lifetime of walking into coffee tables and the corners of doorways but honestly, it’s all we can really afford!!!

I crawled back up the stairs and into our apartment, turned out all the lights and am now waiting for night to fall. All I can really infer from that experience is that my eyes are still at least slightly dilated and hopefully my sudden aversion to garlic is merely coincidental. Also, that Mac widget is terribly inaccurate for it must have been at least 85 degrees outside.

As I spend the next couple of hours sympathizing with moles, the animals, which I just learned aren’t cute at all by seeing my first non-cartoon picture of one online, I’ll be thinking of what a wonderful gift sight is and feeling lucky that I am married to someone who can provide that which I’ve always been want of. I am very excited to see clearly. Perhaps I’ll pick up that book that’s been sitting on my nightstand. Perhaps I’ll understand why Joel always calls our dog, “homely.” Perhaps I’ll be able to notice those “No U-turn” signs that always seem to get put up immediately after I’ve made a U-turn. Perhaps I’ll figure out how to end this blog.