The Adventure of the Dexter Eye

by Diane Duane

I’d have preferred to call it The Adventure of the Sinister Eye because that sounds a lot cooler, but that eye’s not the problem today. (For a change.) I’ve been reading Arthur Conan Doyle this weekend, so let’s think of this as an Adventure for the time being.

The news is that I may or may not have developed a tear in the retina of my right eye. This being the case, one way or another life around here for the next week is about to get lively.

Some of you will have noted from previous posts over this year that I’ve had an ongoing problem with the retina in my left eye. This kind of thing is no surprise with someone who’s (a) over 60 and (b) very very nearsighted: the shape of the eyeball means the retina’s more likely to have trouble staying in place.

Well, this morning I woke up with a shadow in my right eye that has no business being there. It’s not a floater (of which I have plenty). This thing is holding still. (Cue irate fist-shaking at unresponsive ceiling. “THIS IS THE *GOOD(ish)* EYE, DAMMIT!!”)

Now, this being rural Ireland and relatively late on a Sunday, there is not a damn thing I can do that will do any good until tomorrow. I get to hold still until tomorrow morning and call my retinologist in Dublin first thing.

This is all insanely annoying because I’m presently doing the last work on INTERIM ERRANTRY 2, the completed version of which is supposed to launch tomorrow in the Ebooks Direct store to coincide with #CyberMonday. (And I’m still doing the work: sitting here and twitching isn’t going to help anything.)

We’ll see how that goes. But some folks have said they wish they could help. If you’d like to, then the best thing you can do right now is pop over to Ebooks Direct and buy some ebook that you like the look of… as with one thing and another, this is going to get to be an expensive week.

I think I may also have committed to livetweet the Journey To The Eye Doctor. (rolls eyes at self) (gingerly) My eye lady has an office full of nifty equipment, and I bet I can get her to at least give me a .jpg of the back of my retina to share with everybody.

Anyway, let’s all cross our fingers. It might just be something transient and not so bad as a tear. But if it *is* just a tear, there are ways to mend it that are actually office procedures these days. We’ll see how it goes…  Starting tomorrow morning, I’ll update this post as we go along. But for the time being I may as well get back to work.

(Oh, and if you’re interested in buying anything, here’s the store’s sale page’s URL. The entire store inventory will appear at the bottom of it: give it a moment to load and then scroll down. Also, if you know someone you think might be interested in the situation [or the sale!] and care to share this with them, please feel free. The sale will be continuing, at the 50%-off-everything level for a little while more.)…/our-2016-black-friday-cyber-monday…

ETA: And here’s a copy of the post at Facebook that tells what happened next.)

Part 1: What happened to me was (thank all Gods in the neighbourhood) NOT any kind of retinal detachment, vitreous detachment, or similar traumatic damage to the retina. So today’s teaching moment is: even if you are a health care professional (or former one) and expert at Googling For Symptoms, don’t be so sure you know what’s going on.
This means that I’ve dodged this bullet, only to find I’m standing in front of a bigger, slower one.*
Part 2: What seems to have happened to me is a small transient circulatory blockage in the retina. The signature of this event can be seen as what is called over here a “cotton wool spot”. When I scan the pic from the dye photography and post it here later, you’ll see it quite clearly. (This is why my retinologist was very definite with me that she wanted this test done today: this evidence, she says, would likely have vanished within a few weeks.)
This is a herald of other things that are likely going on elsewhere. So over the next couple of weeks I get to go to my GP here and have a full workup of bloods and various other diagnostic procedures, with an eye to ruling in/out a complex of possibilities: circulatory system problems, heart problems, incipient diabetes, plaque, sunspots, you name it. (There are way too many possible causes for this event…) (OKAY, maybe not sunspots.)
There will also need to be a detailed ultrasound of both eyes. Which I get to pay for. (Notwithstanding that the left eye, aka The Bad Wicked Naughty Eye, has been blissfully quiet through all this and is described by the retinologist as “behaving itself just fine”.)
So I’ll be leaving the Ebooks Direct store running in sale mode (50% off everything) for a little while. Thanks again HUGELY to those who by picking up an ebook or so assisted in the day’s events. I was thinking of you all the time. Well, maybe not when I was eating the scone. It was a REALLY GOOD SCONE.) Those who might like to continue to assist with all the other medical stuff that will need to be paid for over December, please feel to nip over to the store’s sale page, which shows our whole inventory, and grab something that you like the look of.
Part 3: So I’m recovering by eating a double portion of calamari at Gotham Cafe in South Anne Street, and sopping up a glass or two of white Cab Sauv. What I would LIKE to do now? Go over to Chez Max by Dublin Castle and MURDER a *steak frites*. What I am GOING to do now? Run over to Asia Market and buy a jug of soy sauce (seriously, how do we go through this shit so fast? I swear Peter drinks it the way he drinks maple syrup), then take the bus home and hug my honey.
Thank you all for accompanying me on this madness. 🙂 More bulletins from the front line as they become available.
(also: later I’ll tell you about how I missed the bus to the clinic. Not NSFW by any means, but possibly TMI. Never mind: if you read my posts you’ve probably signed up for that. Or should know that you have.)
*If you read my work, you know this anyway. But here I’m not speaking of the Slowest Bullet, which hits us all. …Hmm, what a great anthology title..

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Nicki November 27, 2016 - 8:32 pm

Feel better! As someone eagerly awaiting the next installment of Interim Errantry (so much so that I subscribed to this blog initially to get updates on when it would come out), I think I can probably speak for others, too, and let you know that we’d far prefer you to get some rest and not hurt your eye further, even if it means we get the book a week or a month later.

dianeduane November 28, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Thanks much. 🙂 Working on it.

P J Evans November 28, 2016 - 3:47 pm

Oh, not fun at all! (Very nearsighted person here. So was my father. He had some leaks that got laser-sealed.)

My fun eye story was being in a hardware store, in the checkout line, and suddenly having a quarter of one eye’s view being crisscrossed by black lines for a couple of minutes. No pain, no flashes, just lines. Which then disappeared – except for one very annoying floater, right in the middle of the view.
There ought to be some way to get hold of McCoy….

dianeduane November 28, 2016 - 9:31 pm

Don’t I wish. 🙂

P J Evans December 7, 2016 - 9:13 pm

And, having gone in and had my eyes checked today, it’s also visible in the photo of the interior. (Early cataracts, not yet a problem, and high blood pressure. And a mismatched set of optic nerves, for some reason.)

John Nemesh November 30, 2016 - 4:49 pm

So sorry to hear this news! I sincerely hope that treatment goes well and you are back to having full function in both eyes soon! Sending prayers to the various Powers to this effect. GET WELL SOON!

P J Evans December 1, 2016 - 4:56 pm

So…your eye had a stroke, in effect. Wonderful. Or not.

Comments are closed.

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