I’m on day four of my mysterious double vision adventure, and so far the problem shows no indications of either improving or worsening. I have 3 consecutive days off to rest, so I’ve been getting copious amounts of sleep and generally staying in the house. I’ve found that I can type (obviously), read, and watch movies without too much discomfort, so I spend most of my day on the computer, bad eye covered with a sock stuck inside the lens of my glasses, and legs tucked under my cozy little heated kotatsu table.
I don’t entirely know how to feel about this. So far my eye doesn’t show signs of getting better. So, what if it doesn’t get better? What if I just have sort of a lazy eye now. Forever. Tuesday, come hell or high water, I have to go back to work. I have to get on with the business of living. I can still teach English with one good eye. I can still get to work, still read, still write on the board, and most of all, can still hear and talk. So tomorrow I will probably venture out to the drug store and pick up an eye-patch. (Keeping one eye covered eliminates the double images so that I can function somewhat normally). I’ve already thought of lots of witty comments I can make about it on Facebook. I have, of course, given some thought to how strange I will look as the tall, curly-haired, blatantly non-asian foreigner in the fire-engine red coat who will now also be wearing an eye patch. I’m not looking forward to being the weird girl with the eye patch, but what can you do, really?
I may be more upset about it later if I am forced to accept this rebellious eye as my new normal. This will make dating more challenging. Future job interviews could be difficult. I don’t want to even consider what would happen if I were to lose all sight completely, or have some devastating medical condition. How will I work then? What of my plans to see the world? “Hearing” the world doesn’t have the same ring to it, and with good reason. At any rate, that’s definitely a bridge that I should wait to cross until I come to it. What I am worried about right now, is what this random surprise affliction means in the big picture. On the one hand, perhaps I just coughed too hard in the middle of the night and just shook something loose. But, more than likely, it is an indicator – a symptom of something much bigger. Having lost proper function in one eye is bad enough on its own, but this strange eye problem was caused by something. and that something could turn out to be horrible.
Fortunately, a tumor and diabetes have both been ruled out. I was relieved not to have diabetes, because I really want to continue to have the luxury of eating like crap and not exercising. But, right now I think maybe it would have been more of a relief to have been given that diagnosis. Because then, at least, I would know why. I would have a concrete problem that we more or less understand and that could be fixed, or at least managed. The not knowing is fairly scary. I’ve been reading a fair number of articles about autoimmune diseases where the body’s immune system randomly attacks its own nerves. Probably not a good idea, but I’m eager to find answers.
Not knowing what caused this also means I do not know if there will be more problems to come. If I don’t know what made one eye wonky, how do I know my other, precious eye is safe? I am more appreciative than ever of what vision I have. Naturally, I am sometimes a little angry with God. Am I being punished for taking my eyesight for granted? That thought makes me a little indignant. After all, it was just 6 months ago that I moved to a foreign country in a major effort to “see” some of the world. That’s got to count for something, right? I’m anxious to find an explanation, be it scientific, medical, philosophical, or spiritual. However, should this problem go away on its own, just as suddenly as it came, I will happily let it go unexplained forever and just celebrate by going out every day to enjoy ‘looking at stuff.’