If you’ve read my intro post or my post about retinopathy, you’ll already know that my left eye is currently a blobby, stringy, cloudy mess thanks to a retinal haemorrhage that occurred on the day my daughter was born (in May 2009) as well as the little leaky bleeds that have been occurring ever since.
I guess in many ways I’m lucky: it’s only in one eye, there are no new blood vessels developing, the mess has moved more toward the periphery than it used to be, my driving/reading/writing aren’t impeded too badly, etc. Plus, I don’t need a vitrectomy…yet…
It’s that “yet” that gets me, though – the unknown road ahead. Will it get better or will it get worse?
Sometimes it just feels like a waiting game.
On one hand, I’m waiting for it to get better. In theory, it was supposed to get better after the baby was out. The proliferation of new blood vessels was supposed to stop without the pregnancy-related growth hormones running rampant in my body – which it did. The bleeding was supposed to stop when my elevated blood pressure (from pre-eclampsia) went back to normal – which it didn’t. Let me rephrase: the blood pressure did go back to normal; the bleeding didn’t stop.
So I wait. The mess starts to clear. I get optimistic. It bleeds again. It’s a seemingly never-ending cycle. (Okay, I know it hasn’t even been a year yet, but it’s hard to be patient when it comes to your sight.)
On the other hand, I’m waiting for it to get worse. In theory this shouldn’t happen – the proliferation has stabilized, I’ve had lots of laser treatments, my right eye is stable, my blood sugar is good, my blood pressure is good, I’m taking care not to push/lift/strain in any way that could cause another bleed…
But the truth is that there’s nothing to say for sure that it’s ever going to stop or fully clear up, or that there’s not going to be a massive gusher of a bleed one day…
I try not to think about it too much, because a person could drive themselves crazy by dwelling on it – and trust me, I have. I used to examine the blobs in my eye multiple times a day to see if they seemed worse…rolling my eyes around like a lunatic while trying to get a clear view of my periphery. I used to avoid lifting anything remotely heavy – even staying at home with my daughter so that I wouldn’t have to lift her carseat or stroller in and out of the van.
For a while my life revolved around these oozy blobs. But I’m trying to change that.
It occurred to me that, when it comes right down to it, if it’s going to get worse, it’s going to get worse…very likely completely independently of anything I do or don’t do (other than careful diabetes control, which is a given). In the meantime, I’d like to just live my life outside of this fear (which does still exist).
So now I try not to pay so much attention to the blobs (easier said than done, of course) and I do take my daughter places even if it does mean lifting things…and I do lift and hoist and toss about all (almost) 20 lbs of her because I’m not willing to let my retinopathy take that from me.
It’s taken enough already.
Still, I can’t help but notice the tiny new spots appearing in my eyes these last few days – the typical precursor of a coming bleed. I can’t help but hold my breath every time I catch sight of an eyelash or stray hair in the periphery of my right eye – both of which look remarkably similar to the trickle of a small leak.
And I can’t help but feeling like I’m going to be playing this waiting game for a while yet.