How do I feel? Well, what time is it?

Every night now I go to sleep hoping that the nerve that controls my eye will magically repair itself the same way it spontaneously broke sometime in the night. Each morning, I cling to sleep hoping that when I open my eyes the world will align in clear, crisp images once again – if a little fuzzy due to my nearsightedness. Each morning so far, I have been disappointed.

I looked up the medications the hospital gave me, translating the Japanese names as best as I could online. The main medications seem to be a steroid, for inflammation, and vitamin B12, which is supposed to help nerves repair themselves and their outer myelin sheathing. I find this information rather a big let down. Steroids sound hefty and all, but vitamin B12? I was taking a B complex vitamin every day for months before this happened. How is taking B12 now going to do a damn thing? And through translators, I was told that the steroid was actually just to keep my body from developing a resistance to the B12 medicine and would in fact lower my immunity. I was advised to wear a surgical mask when going outside, as is common amongst people here who are sick or fear catching a cold. Yet another thing that will not help me in my quest to avoid looking weird. Neither of these medicines inspires me with any strong hope for recovery. Perhaps I need to start believing in them though, probably they will work much better then. We’ve all heard of the placebo effect.

My emotions drift wildly throughout the course of the day.

Morning: Disappointed. I finally get up the nerve to take off my sleep mask and I find out that I’m still cross eyed.

1:00pm: Accepting. I have stuff to do around the house. If I cover my wobbly eye I can get things done and somewhat enjoy my weekend. I think of how wearing an eye patch could be a fun conversation starter at work.

3:00pm. Scared. I search for double vision as a symptom on the internet and do not find much good news. However nothing is conclusive. I have no other symptoms aside from the double vision to compare, after all.

6:00pm. Tired, confused. I don’t understand why this is happening. I’ve been surfing the net all day looking for answers, and though only one eye is doing all the work, the wonky eye feels strained. What gives?

10:00pm. Vain and self-conscious. I take pictures of myself with my eyes in their most exaggeratedly disparate positions. I envision sharing them with humorous captions on Facebook, but in reality they look alarmingly bad. I look crazy at times, and other times I just look like I haven’t bothered to shower or dress in 2 days (which is in fact the case). Confronting the visual evidence of this affliction is a sobering and deflating blow to my ego.

11pm. Introspective. I am rather proud of this unique and interesting experience I now have to blog about and I write about it prolifically.

1:30am. Shy. I wait until this late hour to run the simple errand of taking my garbage downstairs to the front of the building. I wear a jacket with the hood pulled up and hope and pray that I will not pass anyone, or God forbid, have to share the elevator, so that no one will see me in my slovenly and cock-eyed state.

2:00am. Annoyed. I’m not hungry, but have just realized i have to eat again so that I can take my evening meds.

2:30am. Sad. I just want to talk about this to anyone who will listen. I am mourning my perceived loss of good looks, loss of normalcy. I envision being the weird girl with the eye patch at the party, on the street. I imagine the looks on my kid students’ faces when they see my crossed eyes, or alternatively the eye patch I may have to wear. I recognize it is quite possible that they will laugh.

3:00am. Angry. I’ve always considered myself lucky, and I’ve always acknowledged this and felt that I was appropriately appreciative. I’ve always tried to be considerate of others and expected the natural by product of that would be that it kept my karma in tip top shape. So what is this bullshit now of having a spontaneous mystery medical problem attack one of my most precious senses? Not cool, karma. Not cool at all.

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4 responses to “How do I feel? Well, what time is it?

  1. you are beautiful no matter what. i know this may possibly be a serious matter but i laughed. the way you write/chronicle your experience is pure comedy. anyway, if things do get serious, i can get my dad or my aunt to help you if you need. they’re in tokyo area. let me know!

    • Thank you so much, Michi! I am ok – my coworkers are helping me with the doctor visits and whatnot…that’s part of the deal with my job, so I’m covered. So kind of you to offer, though!!!! And I’m glad you laughed…I wanted it to be funny 😉

  2. Hope it gets sorted out as it sounds pretty annoying. I am dreading the day that I have to visit a doctor here in Japan. Fingers crossed it won’t happen.

    I get pretty self-conscious for no reason, so heavens know how I would react if something like this happened. In the end though, I’m sure most people don’t even notice it. You have to examine people pretty close to notice the alignment of their eyes.

    • Thanks so much for the well wishes and words of support! I definitely hope you don’t have to see a doctor here for anything serious. Although I think I got very high quality care for a low price, I’m not sure I could ever have managed that hospital visit on my own without my Japanese coworker to help me.
      And don’t worry – if something like this happened to you, I’m sure you would get through it ok! We are all more resilient than we think we are.

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