When I began thinking about this post, the first image that popped into my mind was a one-frame cartoon in which a doctor and patient were discussing the many benefits of exercise. The caption read “which fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour per day or being dead for 24 hours per day?” At that moment, I thought I was going to write about the benefits of exercise.
However, while volunteering at a science center the next day, a child pointed at me and yelled, “mommy, mommy, look, a real pirate.” After the statement was repeated loudly several times, I had no doubt everybody in the building, and some people outside were looking forward to taking selfies next to Jack Sparrow. It was at that moment I knew the topic of this post would be my eye patch rather than the benefits of exercise.
Shortly after I became visually challenged, I scheduled an appointment with a neuro-ophthalmologist. On the day of the appointment, while waiting for the doctor to see me, I experienced what I think was a panic attack after I considered the possibility my name was called during one of my short, unplanned naps. Luckily, my name was called a few minutes later.
After 90 minutes of tests, the doctor could tell me everything about my eyes except why my vision was rapidly deteriorating or how to solve the problem. Even though he could not provide any basic information, he was certain surgery was my best option.
I could not pay attention after I heard the word “surgery,” but I think the doctor explained surgery required removal of both eyes, cutting of all eye muscles, reattachment of eye muscles in ideal locations, and replacement of my eyes into their sockets. Upon hearing the details, I could not help thinking about the complications that might occur. For example, my eyes might:
- Be used in a ping pong match or foosball tournament while I slept soundly;
- Fall on the floor and be too slippery to pick up with anything other than a fork;
- Eject from their sockets when I sneeze;
- Expand so much that they no longer fit their sockets;
- Deflate as a beach ball might when left in a garage a few years too long.
Although the surgery sounded absolutely delightful, I asked the doctor if there was any option other than surgery. He mentioned an eye patch might work. Thankfully, my local pharmacy carried a $2.99 eye patch.