7.09.2014

Blindness revisited, or how MS can spring up and mess with you just when you thought you were coping...


Okay, MS, I've got your number. I know you will make me tired, you'll give me muscle spasms, you'll eat away at my concentration like a deranged rodent. I know some days I'll feel so good people will look at my disabled sticker and mumble and gesture. I'll spring gaily along, overcommitting and overdoing because on good days I am almost manic, trying to crowd in as much as I can.

I know other days kids will offer to help me  as I bend over my rollator. Kids. Of six and seven. And old people will hold open the door for me, offer to carry stuff, fret about me. And I'll spend half the day lying on my couch with the cat kneading me anxiously.

But Cheesus Murphy, as the excellent Kitchener restaurant would say, DON'T TAKE ME F-ing EYES!

It's bad enough about the brain. I spent years and countless thousands educating it and for what? So I can misunderstand simple knitting patterns and never find my glasses? Honestly. If I had that tuition money back I'd spend it travelling the world while I still could, going to Africa and Madagascar and New Zealand and everywhere. Of course, hindsight is 20-20, unlike current sight.

Which brings me to yesterday. I've been having problems seeing for a while now - blurring vision, glasses don't work, etc, etc. I've become used to seeing things with furry edges. I now can no longer read small things without glasses - I'd blame it on age, but it's been a sudden transition, over the past few weeks.

Yesterday, though, I had a recurrence of what sent me to the hospital the first time five years ago - a creeping in of goo from the right side of my head, covering my vision, enclosing me in a swampy impenetrable fog.
Last time, it swept across both eyes, giving me intense claustrophobia. It came, lingered, left. Came back. Sent me to the hospital. Hung around a bit more, left me again.

Last evening, it crept in again, like a migraine aura, oozing in from the upper right corner of my eye, creeping ever so slowly until half my right eye vision was obliterated.

I thought I handled it well. I mentioned it to my companion, quickly, not lingering, in case I was having a stroke and he'd have to spring into action and do something with me. Like a distant foghorn. We continued chatting and working, and I quelled my panic. As with most MS things, there is little that can be done, when it comes right down to it. If I lose my vision, that's it. There's treatment with steroids, which shortens attacks, but really doesn't help with progression. If the bottom drops out of 'er, as they say, it drops out.

It came back, thank heavens and the gods above and all that is good and right in this world.

But it leaves me a little bit more frightened, a little bit more wary, a little bit in dread.
Sometimes I forget I have a progressive disease. I adjust to my current function, think it will always be thus. And then...

And then...

It's fucking terrifying.