i've got good news and bad news. if you've been around me for the past 3-4 months, you know that i've been having trouble reading the fine print. any small print, for that matter. i've had 20/10 vision my whole life, so it was a little weird to start dealing with it. it came on pretty quickly, too. no gradual adjustment...just sort of one week everything was all good...then, bam...blurry vision for reading up close.
i used to tease my mom and dad about walking across the room with a menu so they could read it. my mom always told me that what you tease people about will happen to you. (talk about a vengeful God complex!) i told her i'd start teasing millionaires and brad pitt. i guess i could just tease brad pitt, eh? anyway, i teased them and suddenly it became my problem.
so today on my way home i saw an eyeglasses place advertising 2 pairs of glasses for 69 bucks. it included a free eye exam. since the reading glasses i had checked out online were priced about the same for one pair i figured i'd check it out.
they had me fill out a bunch of questions, all of which were printed in extremely small lettering. kind of rude, i thought. i mean, nobody goes in there to prove how great their vision is, right? i just answered no to everything, hoping they hadn't asked me if i had any problems with donating my kidneys.
next came the eye exam...the first eye exam, as it turned out. i ripped through the letters except for the bottom row, which used to be my proudest moment. then i had to look at some farm scene that kept going in and out of focus. and finally i had to look at a red light, during which, at a random point, a puff of air was blown at my eye. maybe they needed to test how fast i blinked.
that girl compiled all the information and i went in to see the eye doctor. based on the data from the first eye exam she put the little focus thingy in front of me and off we went to figure out my prescription. things did not go as planned. after a bit, she said "are you trying to fool me?" i am a prankster at heart, but i draw the line at doctors. after a little while, she decided i needed a little more in depth exam.
i was a little concerned at this point. because of how quickly it my reading vision seemed to blur didn't make it any better. the thing that kept me cool was that other than my reading vision, i had no other issues. so...on we went to the new tests. read this...read that...can you see this...can you see that....blah, blah, blah. then she put this ubermagnification system in front of me, complete with a very bright light, and proceeded to look deep into my eyes. somehow, i always thought i'd feel different if a woman was to do that. it was a big letdown.
after a couple of minutes of that, she kept the uber thing in place...and added a big lens that she held in front of each eye while shining said light in there. apparently she was looking at the back of my eye..yon retina. and then she told me i have something. i have central serous retinopathy. i gulped. she heard it...or i imagine so. then she asked me if i've been under a lot of stress. my first answer was no. but then i started thinking about how i've been feeling...stressed...because of the increase in CURE work (and the corresponding lack of support dollars that mean i nearly work for free), the increase in my workload at my part-time job (and the desire to be able to move solely into my CURE work), and trying to get my i58 site and business launched (which will help with both of the first two issues. i remembered having a couple of friendships that were near and dear to me change pretty rapidly. not necessarly badly...just drastically. i remembered that i was stressed about a wedding i thought was happening (see the friend/bmw entry below). i remembered the stress of loving another friend and the opportunity to be in his wedding, but hating that i missed his out of town bachelor party because of money, and stressing some over the cost of standing up out of town. i rememberd the stress of planning events and having the guests of honor suddenly unable to make it, with me not knowing how to shut it down.
and add to the the different life my body ended up going through with becoming a vegetarian and with working out. i lost a good amount of weight pretty quickly. and while that's great for me, it probably didn't help the overall "deal with this" level i put myself through. so...yeah...i guess i was stressed. it's weird because i never thought of myself as stressed.
so you may be asking...what's the good news? well, central serous retinopathy is a temporary condition. it's stress-related. it's most commonly noticed by people who have extraordinary vision (i was always 20/10). it usually affects men between 20 and 50 (i fall in that range :-) ). and while there's not really a treatment, it almost always goes away on its own.
i got my reading glasses prescription...two pairs for 69 bucks...and they'll be in in a week or so. and while i was preparing for life with glasses, thinking into every life a little eyesight degeneration must fall, it seems i can expect things to return to normal. i guess i just need to finish my website and launch my business, drum up a little more CURE support, get through the end of the wedding season, spend some time with friends, start eating meat again (just kidding), get used to working out, and quit planning parties.
and maybe a few months in the french riviera will help...