I know this, because I remember looking at the clock right after it happened.
I'd had a great morning. I'd bounded through my house filled with early morning energy and just about everything was tidied, washed, and picked up by the time the little hand hit the 10.
I was ready for a full wonderful day of writing.
And then, suddenly there was this heavy pressure over my left eye. It didn't hurt. It was just a, "What the hell is that?" kind of feeling.
I looked in the mirror and stared at my pupils. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
But within minutes, I was seeing double everything and my depth perception made everything close and far and big and little. It was what I can only imagine the beginning of an LSD trip feels like.
Being the type of girl who never wants to be a bother to anyone, not even my husband, I figured I could take care of this myself. I did what I always do when I have any ailment, big or small. I took a hot bubble bath.
It is my Big Fat Greek Wedding Windex for all ailments.
I put a cold compress over my eyes and let Calgon or actually, Philosophy's, "Falling in Love", take me away.
After soaking for awhile, I got out of the tub. When it took me three tries to grab my towel off its holder, I knew I had to call my Hubby.
I told him, "Something's wrong. You have to come home."
He raced home because I never fuss. I never bother anyone else with my hypochondria.
We went to my eye doctor who after finding nothing of significance and conferring with my primary care doctor, decided that a little trip to the ER was in order.
As soon as we got there, a full workup was ordered for me. Dan the Medic who is an awesome guy by the way, came into my room with another dude full of straight white teeth and green eyes, who I'm pretty sure, is one of the high school kids of Glee in his other life. His name was Shane and he was training to become an EMT. And Dan said, "If you don't mind, it's Shane's first day on the job and since we're doing a full workup, I'd like to let him . . . "
I stopped him in his tracks and said, "Please tell me you're not going to let Shane draw my blood for the first time in his life. Because, I'm down with a lot of things, but not that."
And Dan laughed and told me that no, he was wondering if Dan could observe me getting an EKG.
I was all, "As long as Shane is not poking around my veins, I'm cool."
Then Dan said, "But I'll have to attach a disc to your breast, so if you prefer a female medic, Shane and I can leave and I'll be glad to get you one."
I waved him off and then told my two new man friends of the time I had just had my first baby. Of course, at a teaching hospital. I delivered her around 2:00 a.m.. And by mid morning, I felt like the entire hospital including the janitorial staff had been in to take a peek. I'm pretty sure they were shipping in the wide eyed med students by the busloads, just to take a look at my goods. So, when the next slim, bespectacled doctor walked through my doors, I smiled hello and then just threw back my sheets and lifted up my gown and was all, "Pull up a chair and take a gander, everyone else has."
He nervously adjusted his spectacles and said, "Mrs. Mannix, I'm your new baby's pediatrician.
Dan and Shane got a kick out of my mortifying tale and I think they both felt a lot more comfortable as Shane fumbled around his first EKG boob. I'm always glad to help out.
A cat scan, blood work, an EKG and several other basic tests showed nothing. The ER told us to call my doctor in the morning or come back if it got worse.
I went home miserable, frustrated, and walking like a drunk.
I did discover that if I covered one eye, it didn't matter which one, the blurry, double vision went away. So, I patched one eye and walked around like a drunk pirate.
The next morning my doctor had me follow her pencil with my eyes. She decided my eyes were not good followers and sent me to an opthamologist.
The opthamologist ran a litany of tests and then pulled out his pencil.
In my humble non medical opinion, these doctors should all forgo the fancy equipment and imaging machines and just focus on collecting pencils. It certainly seems like they put all their stock in the pencil rather than all of the other fancy schmancy. It sure would be more economical all around.
And there you have my answer to the health care crisis. Pencils. You're welcome America.
My opthamologist decided my corneas and retinas were all snappy but he, too, didn't like the way my eyes were following that dang pencil.
So, he sent me on to the neurologist with the typical, it could be anything, like . . . and then dropping scary terms I don't even want to put into writing, terms that were like radioactive bombs on my fragile hypochondriac heart.
For the rest of the day, I felt like I was going to vomit from the thought of all the big and little things, all the scary unknowns waiting for me out there in the blackness of "What now?"
And here's where I tell you about that man of mine. He owns an insurance agency. But he knows nothing, not one darn thing, about OUR insurance. It's like he's so busy all day taking care of everyone else's insurance needs, he doesn't have time to keep up on us.
And so I take care of all of that business. In fact, I take care of all the medical business round here. The kids, my own. I am very well versed in everything doctorly about us. I'm not even sure he knows our pediatrician's name, in fact. He's too busy to worry about our details. He's got to keep us in shoes.
From the moment he walked in this door, he took charge. He checked on coverages. He called doctors. He worked his usual magic and got us in to the very best doctors immediately with a few well placed phone calls and a lot of charm. He even stood with the opthamologist and observed my wonked up eyes not following the pencil.
And two days ago, he had some major business happening at his agency. Things and big cases that required his presence but instead, he was with me and my wonky eyes all day and I know how frustrated he must have been. Even though, he never said a word about it.
While we were waiting for the opthamologist, he was on the phone, trying his best to attend to business. I was watching the TV in our examining room with my one eye. The news was reporting on this dude who just nabbed a reality show, a reality show featuring him and his FOUR wives. And I'm telling you, I MUST watch this show. The man's big, poofy blow dried mullet is only one of the reasons I know I'm going to love it.
Which, by the way, all examining rooms should come equipped with TV's. Because there is no more unendurable stretch of time than when you're waiting for the doc, sitting on that crinkly paper while clothed only in a paper gown.
Luckily, eyes do not require disrobing.
As my Hubby tried to manage a problem with one of his biggest clients while sitting in an examining room with me, I turned to him and said, "I'm sorry for all of this."
And he said, "Stop. I can get new cases. I only have one wife."
After I smiled and winked at him with my one eye, I pointed at the TV and said, "Apparently, you're no longer limited to one." Wife that is.
The neurologist, the opthamologist referred us to, was able to see us that day. Dr. A is the head of Neurology for our Big Deal hospital in the city, so in all this nonsense, I was grateful for these little tender mercies— doors that easily opened when I needed them the most.
And not only was he a Big Cheese, he was quite handsome, too. Both of him.
See, there is an upside to double vision.
And guess what this handsome, noted doctor with tons of letters after his name did? That's right. Dr. A used a pencil. After I failed my 3rd pencil test, he said, "I don't understand what's going on and I don't like it when that happens. So we need to get to the bottom of this fast and if I can't get you all the tests you need today, then I'm going to hospitalize you, so we can get those tests done asap."
My hubby and I looked at each other and said in unison. "Fine."
It gave me great comfort to know I had a man, or two, in this case, who liked to get things done.
Luckily, I slept in my own big, comfy bed. My twin neurologists were able to schedule all my tests for the very same day. Tender mercies.
And I'll only say this about my tests. Right before my MRI, Brian the tech, stressed the importance of staying perfectly still during the MRI. Now, I'm one of those folks whose eyelids will start to flutter like butterfly wings if you tell me not to blink. So, I was worried about the fidgeting. He told me not to worry, he was going to pipe music through my headphones to keep me from thinking about wiggling.
Before I could protest, he slapped on my headphones and sent me down the MRI conveyor belt.
And I just knew I'd be squeezing that emergency button in my hand, if Justin Bieber's prepubescent squeak of "Baby, Baby, Baby, Ohhh . . . " came over my headphones.
Thankfully, I think Brian forgot about the music and for a good part of the MRI, I just listened to the Clacky Clack noises which for me, is still 100% better than having to listen to Rihanna.
And when he did finally remember my music halfway through, I was relieved to hear Chris Martin of Coldplay, singing to me. But then I thought about how Chris Martin is married to the insufferable Gwyneth Paltrow and for the one and only time during my MRI, I flinched.
Fast Forward to yesterday, where we trekked back to the big city to see Dr. A for results.
I am happy to say, most of the big, scary things have been ruled out. MRI's and scans of carotid arteries and all the other tests show everything is as it should be.
I do have some soaring blood pressure and some high cholesterol and some vitamin deficiencies— luckily all things that are small and fixable.
But my eyes still don't want to work together.
When Dr. A heralded me with the good news that my brain looked beautiful, (his words not mine) and that my tests showed me to be in very good health, I immediately said or perhaps, I don't know, yelled in frustration, "But why can't I see? That's all great and all, but I CAN'T SEE!"
He told me to calm myself and first and foremost, celebrate the good news that all my tests came back perfect. And in that moment, I thought about his waiting room and all of the folks sitting around me, with obvious impairments and shaved heads and an inability to speak or walk and so I took a big sigh and nodded. And then I said, "But I CAN'T SEE STRAIGHT!"
And that's when he said, "We'll figure this out. I'm not leaving you until we get to the bottom of this, but just be thankful for what it's not."
And I said, "Yes. I am so very grateful, but now what are we going to do, because I SEE TWO OF YOU!"
And he said, "Okay, the first thing you need to do is RELAX."
And with that, my hubby nearly fell off his chair with laughter as he told Dr. A, he's been telling me to do that every single day now for over 20 years now.
So, I'm not a relaxable type of girl. There are worse things I could be.
I began Tuesday with a primary care doctor I saw maybe once a year and of course, my girlie doctor. I took no medications except for the occasional antibiotic. I sit here today with a neurologist, a neuro opthamologist and a handful of lifelong meds. And still, my eye is wonky.
Right now, their best guess is an inflammation of vessels surrounding the eye and a mild hope that my medicines may do the trick. But next week, I see an opthamologist who specializes in muscular disorders of the eye and also a cardiologist, because, what the heck, we've checked out every other organ, might as well, check out the heart, too. Heck, there's always room for more medication.
I got home last night after a journey of far too many doctors' offices and hospital beds. I fell asleep at 7:30 into a hard, dreamless sleep. My daughter said I didn't even move the 1001 times the phone rang, all the wonderful folks checking on me.
Who knows what will come. All I want is my EYESIGHT back, those regular old eyes of mine that just see one of everything. And I'm not a patient girl, nor, as it has been pointed out to me, have I ever been able to relax. Whatever.
I apologize for the length of this post. I just wanted to explain my absence. I won't be around for a few days. I'm supposed to rest my eyes. And I'm not very good at resting . . . anything. But my Hubby is acting like a Nazi soldier, constantly monitoring me. He's allowed me one post, but then I'm supposed to step away from the *sob* computer. Also, I woke up this morning to an Internet outage in our area. I think my Nazi hubby is behind it.
I'll be back, hopefully next week. I apologize for my lack of response to all of you. But know, that I appreciate each and every one of you.
And if I may ask for prayers or good wishes or anything that might help me get MY VISION BACK, I would be most appreciative. Until we see each other again, Love and Kisses guys.
Today's Definite Download: Coldplay's "Fix You." Chris Martin wrote this for his Gwyneth when her father died. A song most assuredly written by a man who stood by and helplessly watched his wife grieve. I've always loved this song, because it came out right after my own father died and I could relate to his words through my own broken heart.
It was the first song to play during my MRI. Ironic, huh?
"Fix You" for Dr. A. Please, Dr. A, fix me and stop telling me to RELAX!
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you