Yes, I’ve given up on the daily prompt suggestions from I Saw You Dancing. Some of the prompts delve into areas that are a little too, oh, what’s the word I’m looking for? Real, at the moment. They scratch at sores better left alone. I don’t want to answer them in a half-assed, less than honest way. But, I also can’t answer them in the honest way that I’d like to do here in my rambling world. So, I’ve left that behind.
One of the things I’m struggling with this week is my feeling that my body is breaking down.
One of the books we read our kids when they were younger is Parts by Tedd Arnold. It’s a great book for the younger set, all about a kid who is convinced his body is coming apart. The lint in his navel must be his stuffing coming out. The snot coming out of his nose must be his brains making an escape. My kids loved it. That kid had nothing on me though.
At least that’s how I feel. My body is rebelling and I’m sick of it.
About five or six years ago, I was at work. I noticed these odd flashes in the periphery of my vision. By 3:00 I was at my regular eye doc. He dilated my eyes, took a look and sent me off to an ophthmalogist because he thought I had a detached retina and an opthmalogist had better, stronger lights to see in all of the nooks and crannies of my eyeball. Off to Kaiser I went. Saw the eye doc there. He said “yep, you’ve got a problem. You need to see the retina specialist. Now.” So, at 5:30 one weekday evening, I had to cross town to see the retina specialist who was waiting for me. That night I had the most horrible procedure I could imagine. And then, over the course of the next week or so, had it done three more times. I’ll leave out the details, but will just say this … the laser process of fixing a detached retina would work way better than waterboarding if we wanted information from suspected terrorists. What I’ve been told since by several of my eye docs is that if I hadn’t gone in when I did, I likely would have lost the vision in that eye.
I also asked the eye doc who repaired my retina what caused it. Don’t know, he shrugged. It’s just one of those things that happens to some people. I had no head trauma that might have knocked it lose. It just was. Maybe it’s genetic. My dad had a detached retina about 15 years ago — at the age of 65 or so. Who knows? Such is the marvel of medical “science.”
The process of fixing my detached retina left me with two side effects. A cataract and a macular pucker — the fancy term for a wrinkle on the surface of my retina. The effect of the wrinkle was initially the equivalent of a smudge in the center of my vision. If you wear glasses, imagine somebody touched the lens and left a smudge on it — that’s what it was like. Initially, it wasn’t that bad. I could re-focus my vision around it. As the wrinkle grew, which was basically inevitable according to the retina specialist, the smudge grew and became something I couldn’t work around. The retina guru told me what needed to be done to fix the wrinkle. If you’re squeamish, look away for a moment … it involves three needles in the ol’ eyeball, sucking the fluid out of the eyeball, fixing the wrinkle, re-injecting the fluid, and ta-da! All fixed.
After the torture of the retina repair, I wasn’t interested. I put it off as long as I possibly could. At some point, though, I grew tired of looking through a half-smudged world. I gave the g0-ahead. First, I had to have the cataract fixed. I got the “twilight drugs” for that. Best damn experience of my life. I need more of those drugs. I waited a bit and waited some more for the wrinkle repair, however. Finally getting it done earlier this year. The smudge is gone, but there is still something that is just fundamentally wrong with the vision in that eye.
And, now, well, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve had this gigantic blurry floater in my other eye. Oh, wait, I forgot to mention. A week after I had the wrinkle repair done, I was at one of my kid’s soccer games, helping coach. This is indoor. I was over at the bench where the kids are. One of the kids on the other team, from about five feet away kicked the ball and instead if it going down the field, it went straight at me, hitting me right in my un-damaged eye. 🙂 Flashes, floaters, everything. Trip to the emergency room. Trip to the retina specialist the next day. Everything looked fine. “But,” says the retina specialist, “it could take a year for the retina to detach from trauma.”
Bite me, retina specialist.
So, here I sit, about ten months later, and there’s this big floater that goes back and forth when I move my “un-damaged” eye and there’s still that something weird going on with the other eye.
A few years ago, I went to the regular doc because of pain in my shoulders and upper chest. No known cause. The doc took an x-ray of my neck. Turns out everything really is connected to the neck bone. If you’ve got a problem with one of your vertebrae, it might affect the nerves housed there and send pain signals to other parts of your body. It’s good ol’ c-4 that houses the nerves that go to your shoulders and upper body. What the x-ray showed was that the little gap there was a little narrower than the my other vertebrae, but there was no arthritis or any other problem with the vertebrae. So, why is this happening, doc? Can’t tell you that. Some people have perfectly fine vertebrae and have pain, other have totally screwed up vertebrae and feel nothing.
This past spring, I went through a few months of major pain in my shoulders. Enough pain that it disrupted my sleep. It’s not as bad now, but it’s still there. Pain in my shoulders. There’s nothing to be done apparently.
When I started running, I developed plantar fascitis. It’s actually better when I run, I think. Because of my groin injury, I don’t run anymore, but when I do anything remotely resembling it, my right foot kills me. How does this make sense? I’ve completely failed to engage in much physical activity for almost a year now, and my right foot is still damaged? How can this be?
And, then there’s the groin injury. The last couple of weeks have been the worst in months.
This week’s capper. The reason I write this. The reason I am just at my wit’s end with what my body is doing to me … well, I now have carpal tunnel syndrome in not one of my wrists, but both. Why doc? Don’t know. It’s just one of those things.
So that’s where I’m at physically. From my eyes to my feet, one mass of physical ailments. That kid in Parts needs to wait until he’s 48.
I’m ready for this to be over with. I’m ready to be able to get out there and start running again. I’m ready to stop worrying about the vision in my eyes. I’m ready to be physically whole and healthy. I’m tired of walking like an old man because my foot hurts and my groin keeps tightening up. (I could have said “my groin stiffens” but you’d get the wrong idea — hey, that’s one good thing! That’s not broken yet.)