I’m misbehaving again. I shouldn’t be writing this but the idleness was killing me. I feel like I’m sneakily scribbling a cry for help on the back of a cigarette box I found hidden behind the bunk. I’m being melodramatic but you would be, too, if you weren’t allowed to a) look up except to administer drops and b) housebound for 3 weeks because you literally can’t see where you’re going.
I’m on day 15. I’ve listened to dozens of podcasts, two Audiobooks (Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman & Theft by Finding by David Sedaris), and watched 2 seasons of Fringe. I spend 90% of my time in the prostrate position, face to the carpet. It’s gotten to the point that I am seeing faces in every and all patterns in my apartment. What’s that condition called? Pareidolia. I’ve seen monkeys, Zeus, a Scottish terrier, and Jesus pops up a lot.
This must be what house arrest looks like, I thought, as I sipped the Mexican hot chocolate my neighbour brought me, wrapping myself in an Afghan throw. At least there are flowers to brighten up the place, I thought another time, warmed by the fact that there were mini roses on my counter brought by a friend. When people visit I make them take me for a walk. I’m like an elderly shut-in with my stooped posture, head lowered and cocked to one side, in order to hear them clearly. Sometimes I hold their arm, and sometimes I just get them to walk close enough to me so I won’t wander into a rosebush or traffic, by accident.
My neck is killing me. I was given over 25 pages in literature about what to expect post-surgery, but there’s not one mention about the back, neck, and shoulder pain that one must endure when keeping the head in a lowered position for 12 hours or more. I sleep a lot. On my right side or on my stomach with my head hanging over the edge of the bed, which doesn’t help the neck pain.
I’m legally blind in my left eye for the foreseeable future. I see amorphous shapes when I close my right eye; it’s like looking at the world through frosted glass. When I look down it appears as If there’s a full glass of water in my left eye and it sloshes around when I move my head slightly. It’s quite odd. My gait is unsteady because my depth perception is way off. My sole companion is a docile fly that I call...’Fly’. When I opt to lay in silence, face to the floor, I hear Fly banging against the window screen repeatedly, buzzing frantically. I attempted to swipe at it with a pillow but my centre of gravity is crap; I don’t know what I was thinking. I fell two weeks ago when, unable to sleep facedown, as instructed, I got up at 4 am, thinking blearily, “I’ll sleep in the face-forward positioning chair’. I got onto the chair, rested my head on the headrest, and somehow, tipped the whole damn thing over. I was unhurt, but scolded myself that I should never make decisions while sleep deprived.
Complete vision will return, hopefully, in 6 weeks. I don’t look as cock-eyed as I did last week. Upon examining the eye, which still had a big splotch of blood in the white area, I noticed that my pupil was looking in another direction. Ah great, I thought, now I’m going to need to point people to my ‘good’ eye and say, ‘This one! Look here!’. But this morning I looked much better and no longer in possession of a lazy eye. The vision will clear as the C3F8 air gas bubble gets absorbed in the eye and when it does, the image will resolve top down, incrementally. Think of downloading an image in the 1990’s with dial-up: that’s my vision until mid-September. My check-up with the surgeon is on Monday, where I’ll be given the all clear to look up (I hope), sleep on my back like a vampire, and go for long walks in my neighbourhood without a seeing-eye person.
I have been treated with so much love from various friends and family who have brought me treats, nuts, bendy straws, fruit, flowers; I've also loved the texts and phone calls. These things have helped make this draconian recovery process bearable. I'll see you later, if you don't see me first.