Thursday, April 4, 2013

Another lousy night of sleep last night. I even took a Sominex, and so this morning feel like a casualty of a Keith Richards after-gig party. I swear all the grandiose origin stories about the onset of a zombie apocalypse got it all wrong. If we all turn into the walking dead it will be because of a collective addiction to over the counter sleep medication. The. Worst.

I tried lots of relaxation exercises and such, and reinforced the truth I already knew about myself, in that I totally suck at quieting my mind. I don't even realize it when I'm wandering off my mantra until I'm half a mile down some mental digression wondering "how the heck did I get here?" I think meditation would be a good thing to work on. I've long wanted to, but always leaned on running and yoga to help me get square in my mind. I think I might try again to work on meditation. It would be good for me, especially at a time of mental upheaval like now.

In thinking about it, I chalk up my sleeplessness to a caustic cocktail of the following:

1) excitement in my brain about all the recent changes, plus my anxiety about wanting depth so badly (and tying it to a good night's sleep in my mind)
2) hangover from general anaesthesia
3) hangover from 5 nights of sweet juicy percosets post-surgery
4) lack of exercise

I will strive to work on 1 and 4, accepting that 2 and 3 will pass.

The presence of depth in my vision does indeed seem to be related to sleep. I only had it for a little while yesterday, and have not had it yet today. Yesterday, I was waiting for the bus, noting that I had no depth, and all it took was to look at someone's quirky yellow hat for a surge of nausea to take over. I then noted that the woman standing behind the yellow hat wearer was looming in that special way. I then enjoyed depth during my bus ride, and it went away by lunch. Oh well. I am getting better about my anxiety related to depth, especially upon reflection on what my surgeon said regarding further mental adjustments happening after I resume wearing my contact lenses. Even my super-snazzy Zeiss lens glasses distort my view, so I imagine that exacerbates my brain's confusion about its changing input.  It is what it is - the motto of the two thousand teens. I think if depth does go away I will seek out vision therapy to help bring it back. It's too wonderful to let go forever, and from what I've read there is plenty of evidence that vision therapy has helped people retain / regain depth perception. Here's to hoping.

But I am REALLY enjoying my lack of double vision. There is sometimes a teensy HINT of it still, but it's fleeting and most prominent when staring at a bright light, but most of the time my experience is of a single view. Since my left eye is still worse than my right, there is an area on the left side that is still a bit of a mystery compared to the right, but it is utterly GLORIOUS to be relieved of that constant annoying secondary image.

In an effort to jump-start better sleep tonight, I resumed my routine of running in to work today. Since my eyes are more light sensitive, that means I couldn't wear my glasses. Yes, I went commando. I've done it before so wasn't worried about it, and generally did fine. As I sit here, I feel INFINITELY better, and I will run home as well, and try to lift some weights tonight. Since I didn't have depth on the way in, running was a familiar experience, though I tried to take the lessons learned from having depth and imagine objects and people as discrete things the way I saw them with depth, and this actually helped. Also, now that I have more or less a single view, I found I could focus less on the details and more on the overall landscape. This made navigating the sidewalks actually easier, but I also found I reverted to my old methods at crosswalks and such. Given that I need to be super cautious, that's probably ok. But on one straight-away I tried to really zone out on my vision and cast a wide gaze, and was feeling good about it...

...until I turned my ankle. D'oh!

I was able to walk it off, and I note it is not swollen. I have a trick left ankle and have turned it countless times. But here I was trying to cast a wide view and getting tripped up by NOT focusing on the details in front of me. Oh irony, you mischievous strumpet.

So, the period of adjustment continues, and will continue to do so for a while. My follow-up appointment with my surgeon is next tuesday, and I look forward to hearing about progress. The eye is a little less pink today.

I should add that people continue to be incredibly kind and supportive to me through this whole process in a way that is quite remarkable and wonderful. At work, at home and online. This part of the experience is one I came very close to avoiding altogether, as I was tempted for whatever reason not to be open about this experience. Probably self-consciousness. But I'm so glad I decided to be open about it, as it is shaping my worldview in a wonderful way, on top of everything else that is happening. Thank you all for your kindness and support. I'm really enjoying sharing this journey.

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