Ow! My Eye!

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I had two appointments today, one with my new college advisor and one with my ophthalmologist. First one first.

The appointment with my advisor was fairly straightforward. We looked at the application checklist for the degree program that I’m trying to get into, we figured out that I’ve got two years’ worth of pre- and co-requisites before the calendar will allow me to apply for the program. (While they haven’t released the 2018-2019 application deadline yet, this year it was June 1, and there’s no way I can get everything done in time for next year’s deadline if it’s similarly scheduled.) The good thing is that all this coursework will count toward the degree, and getting it done prior to applying to the program will favorably effect my application when I do. We mapped out a plan to get everything done, and so I feel a little better about that.

The ophthalmologist appointment was a little rough, however. Because I’m diabetic, I get a more thorough annual exam than I would otherwise, and one of those procedures checks my ocular pressure. (They may do this in regular exams as well, I honestly don’t remember.) They put a drop of a numbing agent in each eye to mitigate the effects of the drop of dye that they use to check your pressure. The dye stings without the numbing agent. After they checked my pressure, they gave me the usual dilation agent drops and asked me to wait for a few minutes in a darkened room while it had a chance to kick in.

A few minutes later, the doctor called me back and said that he wanted to re-check my pressure. Mine came up high the first time, and since the test is very sensitive to outside influences, up to and including holding one’s breath, he wanted to be sure nothing was effecting the result. So I got another round of numbing agent, and another round of dye, and this time the result came back normal.

We finished the exam, I said farewell to the doctor, who’s leaving the practice later this month, and went out to pay my co-pay and get my appointment set for next year. I also grabbed a pair of the rolled-up plastic sunglasses that fit behind regular glasses – to which I had affixed my own clip-on sunglasses. So I had two layers of protection over my eyes before walking outside in the bright central Texas sun.

Driving home was challenging. I couldn’t see my dashboard very well, so I drove keeping pace with other drivers rather than by watching the speedometer. Even with the two pairs of sunglasses, it was too bright outside, so I made liberal use of the sunshade in the car, and opted to avoid interstate highways to get back home in favor of slower surface roads.

I made it home, rested for a bit, and then went to pick my wife up from work, again driving with both pairs of sunglasses on. By this time the fatigue of everything they’d been put through during my appointment was catching up with me, and we switched drivers once she got off work.

We got home and I started in on trying to program my radio show for the evening. By this time my eyes were downright hurting, and looking at the computer was hard to do. Between the brightness of the screen and the brightness of the sun pouring in through the closed blinds I decided that I couldn’t do my show tonight, and so I asked my wife to let proper channels know while I went to go lie down and rest my eyes.

A few minutes later, I got an idea, and got back up to ask my wife if she’d be willing to program the show on her laptop and give me an assist with song names during talk breaks. She was willing to do that, so we threw a show together and went on the air, with me doing the lion’s share of the talking while she managed the actual broadcast. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it worked out very well.

And now I’m winding down for bed. Even well after sundown, there’s only two lights on in the entire apartment, where there would usually be a lot more. My eyes are beginning to feel better, and I anticipate they’ll be back to normal in the morning. But for now, I think that finally giving my eyes the rest they’ve been wanting all afternoon and evening is wise.

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