Six years ago, on Easter Sunday, the sight in my right eye dimmed and became gray and fuzzy. Frightened, I dropped our son off with my partner after Easter dinner at my mom's, and headed to the ER. After a long evening, I was referred to the ophthalmologist with a tentative diagnosis of optic neuritis. Optic Neuritis is an irritation of the optic nerve, caused by a deterioration of the myelin coating on the nerve. It can be a sign of Multiple Sclerosis.
After a few scary days and an MRI, the neurologist said I did not have MS, and I decided to forego the suggested steroid treatment as I was still breastfeeding the kiddo.
Last Tuesday, it came back, in the other eye.
My brain scan is still clear. My new neurologist has ordered some blood tests and some more MRI scans, to see if we can determine why I've had a recurrence. I started steroid treatment on Friday, and I'm cautiously noting a little improvement. Optic neuritis can take up to 8 weeks to resolve without treatment. With treatment, that can be cut down by 50-70%.
So the world is a little fuzzy. I have a pirate-style eyepatch to wear when driving gets hard -- my eyes sometimes have trouble working together right now. Colors are softer. I can sometimes read a little, I can see faces, but not features, with my left eye.
I'm really feeling okay, overall. Fatigued, but not overwhelmingly. My first three days of steroids were IV administered; now I get to switch to oral tablets. And I still don't know what causes this. My headaches, which actually started a few days before I lost vision, are getting better, so I'm hopeful.
With my fuzzy vision, I've been shying away from computer work, but I need to dive back in-- there is blogging to be done, and a new program to prepare for you, as well as my work on the curriculum project (our bread and butter these days). I'll have to be patient, take breaks, and work with more determination and less reliance on powering through.
Oh, and I turn 40 in 8 days.
Life is kind of fuzzy. We see things through so many lenses of experience and identity. It's good to be reminded of the effort it takes to see clearly, to peel off the glasses or wipe away the perspiration or blink away the tears... I can't blink this away, but I can be patient. I can take the medicine and be scanned and tested. And I can welcome every newly emerging color, every sharp line, every beautiful, familiar smile.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.