Slice of Life

So My Brain Might Explode?

February 5, I went to the optometrist for a regular, perfectly normal yearly check in. My plan was to get contacts as my glasses annoyed me in the gym. That was the plan, anyways. When the doctor came around to examine me, he… lingered. I couldn’t tell if the dilation process changed how the exam would go as I’d never done it before, but the doctor definitely lingered behind the white light and magnifying glass.

He finally pulled away from me and carefully selected his words. “The nerves in the back of your eyes are… abnormal.”

“Okay?”

“The nerves in the backof your eyes are raised.” After confirming “we don’t know anything, and that “this is most common in younger females,” I just sat there.

“Okay, so what causes this?”

“It could be connected to intra-cranial pressure.” I considered this and reacted in the only manner I knew how:

“So you’re saying my brain might explode and ooze out my ears? That’s unfortunate.” Dead pan. The doctor hesitated. He wasn’t ready for me.

“This could be tied to BMI.”

God bless him, he tried to be as tactful and considerate as possible as he said this, almost ashamed of himself. It was painful to witness. Again, I responded in my natural manner:

“So you’re telling me I have perfect colesteral and I’ve never experienced issues with blood pressure, but I could go blind because I’m fat?” The desperate look on this man’s face! I almost felt bad for him, but I was processing in my own way and to hell with his feelings.

We scheduled another appointment two weeks later to run some other tests and get a better understanding of what’s going on. The second visit yielding nothing. The doctor said my peripheral vision is excellent and there’d been no deterioration or changes in my vision. However, he explained that the nerves were still “raised” and that they were “thin.”

“I’m guessing that’s not good,” I concluded. “No,” he agreed. Especially as it’s the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. That scared me. Scared me so much, in fact, I didn’t have a joke this time. Yeah, he got me.

He referred me to a neurologist at Vanderbilt for a second opinion. The first available appointment is early April. So until them, I refuse to google any details. I don’t want to freak out more than I already am. Oh yes, I’m silently freaking out on a daily basis at this point.

In an emotional blur (and literal blur as I was crying at this point), I couldn’t break my mind from how poor my quality of life would be if I woke up blind one day. Everything I enjoy is visual: reading, crafting, movies, comics, art, plays, writing.

I’ve been in a low swing the month of February, primarily due to this development. I stopped going to the gym altogether, I’ve pulled away from my job, and I’ve been distracted and depressed in general. This is the second heaviest reality I’ve had to deal with. I’m not completely settled with my new reality, but I am coming over the emotional hump of acceptance. The way I figure it, my left eye is perfectly healthy at this time. If I were to lose sight in my right eye, I could still live a full life and continue to enjoy the things I love (minus driving, I guess). I’m slowly settling on this, though the Vandy doctor may bring other anxieties.

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