On July 25, 2008 I came back from my lunch break and as I was parking my car I noticed what seemed like a piece of hair in my right eye. I kept trying to brush it away but it didn’t help. It bugged me for the rest of the day and I kept rubbing it trying to make it go away. After work I went around the corner to pick up The Husband (who was then The Boyfriend) and I drove home even though my eye was still bugging me. We stopped at CVS for some saline to flush it out but it didn’t work. How frustrating!
The next day it was still bugging me and I covered my left eye and realized that I could only see out of half of my eye. I freaked out a little and thought that maybe I scratched my cornea or something. We had tickets to bring Red to see Walking With Dinosaurs that day so we left a little early and stopped by a Pearl Vision. The woman at the front desk told me to see an Ophthalmologist immediately and gave me some phone numbers. I had to bring Red to see Walking With Dinosaurs and couldn’t let him down like that so on the way I called one of the Ophthalmologists and he wanted to see me right away but I made a deal to be there in a few hours after the show.
Later that afternoon we get to the doctor’s office where I was diagnosed with a detached retina. I was stunned and had no idea how this could have happened. Then it dawned on me that about a month earlier I saw what seemed like a swarm of fruit flies a few times in my peripheral vision of my right eye. I thought that I had been looking at the computer for too long. I don’t even wear glasses so a problem with my eyes wasn’t even on my radar. Turns out that they were floaters and it was the beginning of the detachment. He referred me to a retina specialist who set up an appointment for to me to come in first thing the next morning, a Sunday. The retina doc confirmed that my retina was in fact detached and the detachment has reached my macula which meant that I could have lifelong vision impairment in that eye. They stuck a gas bubble in my eye to try to get it to flatten so that they could reattach it with laser. I also had strict instructions to look down 24 hours a day. No reading, no nothing, just stare at the floor. I had to go in every day to check the progress and look at the floor for a week.
Things improved a little, I had to do various other head positions to move the bubble around and finally, after one little spot wouldn’t flatten out I was scheduled for surgery. They did scleral buckle surgery and now, almost four years later I have pretty close to 20/20 vision again in that eye. When I look out of just my right eye things are slighly more narrow than my left but I can see and that’s all that matters. How or why this happened is still a big mystery. This doesn’t usually just happen for no reason without a family history to people in their thirties. When I go in for check ups I am quite the novelty in the waiting room since I am a good 30-40 years younger than everyone else.
And that, my friends, is my worst injury. I do not wish this experience on my worst enemy. So please, if you ever see “fruit flies” that aren’t really there or flashes of light that you can’t explain, go to an Ophthalmologist right away!