Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Eyes Have It....

The eyes are the window to the soul...
Love looks not with the eyes...
Close up his eyes and draw the curtain close...

And I could go on and on. There is an entire page of entries for Eyes in my tattered and torn Barlett's Familiar Quotations. And it is very tattered and torn and loved. Over 30 years old, the only reference book more abused is my Roget's Thesaurus, which I cannot find a decent replacement for. They just don't make reference books like they used to.

But I digress.

I haven't written for a month because I have been robbed of the normal use of my eyes. I scratched my corneas and they got infected. Then, after many visits to the doctor and many trial and error combinations of eyedrops and compresses and some gooey stuff I use at night, I have gradually regained my vision.


A bit of backstory here. I am terribly nearsighted. I've worn glasses or contact lenses since the age of 6. If I am somewhere unfamiliar, I can't go to the bathroom at night without my glasses. I am used to not seeing clearly without corrective lenses. I am not used to not seeing clearly when I have my glasses on. I am used to seeing the world differently. I am not used to seeing it out of focus. It has been agony for me. Not only has the pain been physical, but the frustration of being unable to read or write, unable to work...because I spend 8 hours a day in front of a computer...unable to be online with my daughter and my friends, and unable to drive comfortably, to walk in the sunshine (the light was painful) to do even the simplest of tasks without careful planning.

I have spent much of this time remembering moments of my life where eyes - my own or others - have been the focus...so to speak. When my daughter first heard my voice and her eyes searched around for a shape to focus on as the source of this sound so familiar to her. When I got my first glasses and I stepped out of the optometrist's office into a whole new world. When I got contact lenses and could now audition for plays and musicals (just try being an actor when you can't see the other actor's faces and react to their actions) When I first looked into a lover's eyes and knew that a kiss was imminent. When I first saw...Niagara Falls, the Rockie Mountains, Hawaii, a sunrise, a sunset, a rose, a violet, a dead cat, my father lying in a hospital bed, unconscious and dying. The moments never end. I can close my eyes and summon up any of these moments. And I am not ready to stop having them. I still need to see Paris, Rome, London, Shakespeare's resting place, the Mona Lisa, the David, the Sistine Chapel. There is so much more to see.

I am on the mend. My vision changes daily. So I may have one day where everything is nearly normal. Then the next where the blurriness and the dryness return. I am a patient person, with everyone but myself. And this has tried my patience to the very limit. I value my independence. I don't ask for help easily. I am frustrated with the process of aging...new aches and pains and limitations every day. I worry about becoming a burden to my daughter and my loved ones. And the financial aspects of even a minor illness can alter my plans unexpectedly. Already this year, I've had to cancel a trip because of a broken tooth. I will be miserable if this latest frustration means I have to cancel or change plans for weekend and day trips I am planning.

There are too many faces I have yet to memorize. Too many things to see. My eyes - still have the top vote with me.

1 comment:

Bridgete said...

It really is just like when I had that terrible case of pink eye followed by a mild allergic reaction to the antibiotics which also left my vision blurry for weeks. And the fact that I don't need glasses or anything didn't help matters much.

I'm sending healing thoughts. Love you.