I am currently reading my way through a long list of science fiction and fantasy titles. (http://www.npr.org/2011/08/07/138938145/science-fiction-and-fantasy-finalists if you are interested in the list).
So I had a big vision scare over the weekend. There's a strong history in my family of retinal tears and detachments--sometimes it's difficult not to get a bit paranoid. But I've been advised repeatedly of the symptoms and told to get to a doctor if they happen.
This past weekend was the long Labour Day weekend. While grocery shopping on Saturday, I had some cobwebby stuff show up in the upper right visual field of my right eye. By the time I got home, I had some new "twigs and tadpoles" happening in that upper right visual field, but things seemed stable. I decided to wait it out and see my optometrist on the Tuesday.
Things changed Monday morning, when I started to experience what I can only call "lightning bombs" in my right eye. Now, I've had petite little zigzags of light many times over the years. They worry me. But these were different. It was like the whole eyeball was lighting up on the inside, like a lightning strike. I brushed my hair, brushed my teeth, threw on some clothes, and called for a taxi. I went directly to the hospital that I knew was the best for eye problems and checked myself in at Emergency.
Of course, since it was a holiday, the Emerg was well populated. I told my story to the admitting nurse, to the triage nurse, to a tech, then to a doctor. While waiting, I heard one of the nurses tell another patient that it was an "Eyeball Day." Lots of people with eye problems and there's only one room fitted to assess these things. I sighed and resigned myself to a long wait.
Thankfully, I had taken my tablet, as the hospital blocks cell phones once you're inside. But they do provide wifi, so I was able to get on Facebook and communicate with my cousin. One sister (the one with the psycho ex-husband) refuses to join Facebook and the other has joined by never looks at it, so I asked my cousin to let them know what was going on. My youngest sister, who lives 1.5 hours away, immediately jumped in her car and insisted on coming to see what was happening. She arrived just after I had finally seen a doctor. (And I must say that I felt better when the doctor told me that I was the first "real" emergency eye that she had seen all day!)
So, my sister got me to the hospital's eye clinic, handed me an apple, then went to buy coffee for both of us, bless her. I hadn't thought I wanted her there until she arrived, when I was overjoyed to have her company (not to mention coffee). As she said, if you arrive at Emerg with a coffee in your hand, they may not take you all that seriously.
Finally, I saw the resident and the ophthalmologist. Pupils dilated, lots of bright lights shone in my eyes. Thankfully, the retina was undamaged. The gel inside the eye (that's vitreous humor if you're interested) had shifted. The movement of it rubbing on the retina was what was causing the visual lightning effects. The resulting shift in gel caused little bits to fold or break off, creating the "floaters" that are now annoying me. No surgery necessary, but I do have a follow up appointment with my own retinal specialist in early October (they recommended 4-6 weeks).
Needless to say, it was a scary weekend and I now have these annoying "objects" in the visual field of my right eye. However, I have had a large floater in my left eye, caused by a blow to the head back in 2010. It was so big & annoying that I gave it a nickname--The Seaweed. Here I am, nine years later, and I can't see The Seaweed anymore. That's a long time to wait, but I have hope that this situation will also correct itself given time.
My sister & I went out for dinner after all that excitement. After having only an apple & a cup of coffee all day, it was all I could do to refrain from eating like a cavewoman!
Thank goodness for sisters!