My office at the Courthouse has no windows. For that matter, none of the halls on the entire floor of the Courthouse where I am located have windows.
Thus, I didn’t think it was too altogether odd when I walked past a window in someone else’s office, and the after-image from the bright Texas sky took almost 40 minutes longer to clear my left eye than it did the right.
At first I figured that the lack of sunlight in my office had triggered some latent Morlock genes, but then I noticed that my field of vision when both eyes were open was … odd.
When I covered one eye — didn’t matter which one — my vision was fine. It was just when both eyes were open that something undefinable was wrong.
This was enough, and I hie’d myself over to my local ophthalmologist for a professional opinion.
Now, the local place is pretty high-tech, and the County optical plan is rather good, so they did the full work-up on me; and I’m sitting in the exam room when the doctor walks in. He’s one of those chatty types, and we’re having a nice talk up until the following point:
“Well, Mr ‘Dog,” he says, glancing at a three-dimensional picture of the back of my eyeball, “I’m willing to bet from the symptoms that what you have is an optical migraine. We’re not exactly … sure …”
And his sentence just kind of stops right there, with him blinking furiously at the afore-mentioned three-dee picture.
“Doc?” I ask, rather firmly, I do admit.
I’m here to tell you: this is not the kind of thing you want to hear from a medical professional. Kind of sends the old heart rate up a bit.
Next thing I know, the doctor has leapt at me like a leopard on a gazelle, and spends the next fifteen minutes staring intently into my eyes through what looked like a jeweler’s loupe and with the aid of what felt like a 5000-lumen flashlight, all the while muttering excitedly to himself.
The denouement of this whole wretched performance was when he turned off the flashlight, and sat back with an expectant air … and I discovered that I was completely blind in my left eye.
“Doc,” I said, with what I believe to have been commendable restraint, “I can’t see anything out of my left eye.”
The rapid sound of clicking on a keyboard.
“Doctor. I have several weapons on my person, and you have just blinded me.”
The startlement in his voice is almost palpable. “Oh! I’m sorry! It’s just that I’ve never seen this in progress before! I don’t think anyone has! We only see it after the train wrecks … so to speak!”
He finally explains, phone calls are made and I am scheduled to see a retina specialist first thing in the AM.
Next day my Lady Love is helping me from station to station in an even more high-tech office, until I wind up lying in a futuristic recliner when the retina doc walks in and shakes my hand.
“Well, I’ve got good news and bad news.”
I sigh, “Well, what’s the bad news?”
He grins, “You’re getting an injection in your eye.”
“Ok, what’s the good news?”
He points at my sweetheart, “She’s not going to feel a thing!”
Not to be outdone, Herself asks, “How many shots have you had in the eye?”
“None! Never had a baby, either, but I’ve delivered a bunch!”
Hyuk. Hyuk. Hyuk.
For the record, getting a shot in the eyeball is every bit as bad as you might think it is.
Back to see the retina guy next week.
postscript: My bad, I left something out. Turns out it wasn’t an optical migraine, it was a developing Retinal Vein Occlusion, which — from various reactions — is Not Good after it’s full-blown (so to speak), but entirely treatable, with excellent prognosis, if caught early.
Mine wasn’t just caught early, it was caught while still developing. Which apparently doesn’t ever happen in my neck of the woods.