A Couple of Rainbows, A Couple of Wrinkles

First, let's talk about something good and happy...something to make you smile. Like rainbows. Yesterday, when I came out of Speech Therapy, I was surprised to see that we had had a nice rain while I was in the rehab building at High Point Regional Hospital...in a room with no windows on the outside world. It was still sprinkling, but right at sunset, the sun was coming out...and you know what that meant: rainbow!

Imagine if you will: I'm driving home, north on Eastchester/Hwy 68, with my phone mounted to the top of my steering wheel, snapping as many shots as I could. For safety's sake, I pulled over to the side a couple of times...but stopping in the afternoon traffic in HP is almost as difficult as DWOOing (driving-while-otherwise-occupied, a la Lydel Sims, a writer for the Memphis Press-Scimitar, from the olden times. If you follow the link on his name to learn more about him, you can click through to one of his columns. And you will see one source of my writing style..:)

There are actually two rainbows in this picture...can you spot them? There's an "echo" rainbow to the left of the one you can clearly see in the middle of the photo.

OK, I'll be the first to admit that the pic itself isn't the best, clearest, crispest shot I've ever taken. Fuzzy would be a better description. And that leads me to the wrinkles.

Fuzzy is just the word I'd use to describe the way I see the world these days. And with good reason, too. You see, I got my new glasses' lens last week (same ol' frames), and I've been feeling sorta sick ever since.

I kept telling myself that I just needed to get used to these new specs...keep wearing them and grow into them. Blah, blah, blah. No matter what, though, I felt nauseated, off-balance, light-sensitive, disoriented...you get the picture, I'm sure. Kinda like having one long episode of vertigo, but without the spinning sensation. Yeah.

So, I rummaged through my dresser and finally found some really ancient glasses...at least 20-25 years old, I'm guessing. BBB glasses. You know: back before bifocals. I wore them to work in the garden on Saturday and Sunday, for light and debris protection more than to help my sight, but needed to switch to the new ones when I came indoors for "close work," like to see to cook, read, knit, etc. Just don't look up quickly toward the TV across the room! Ugh...

Big sigh. Time to head back to the eye dr. I wasn't sure if I could take any more bad news about my eyes, to tell the truth. You see, Dr. T had already said the my night vision problem was probably caused by a wrinkle in my new implant in my right eye, from the cataract surgery. "It happens sometimes. You're still healing, so it may 'resolve itself.'" It doesn't hurt, but it does cause me to see a "starburst" around lights after dark, or anytime my pupils are dilated...like when I look at headlights of oncoming cars, taillights, street lights, traffic signals etc. They all are distorted.

So what do they look like, you ask? Take a good look at that picture above. Notice the "beams" of light radiating downward from the oncoming headlights to the street at 6:00 (if the lights were all faces on clocks)? Take that effect, rotate it and lengthen it to 10:00 and 4:00 (on the "clock"), and you would be seeing exactly what I see.

That's Wrinkle Número Uno. The second Wrinkle is what is causing my issue with the "new" glasses. After a test or two, it seemed pretty evident at the eye doc's that I have a condition called anisometropia. Joy. Here's what Wikipedia says:
Anisometropia ( /ænˌaɪsəmɨˈtroʊpiə/ US dict: an·ī′·sə·mə·trō′·pē·ə) is the condition in which the two eyes have unequal refractive power; that is, are in different states of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or in the extreme, antimetropia (wherein one eye is myopic and the other is hyperopic), the unequal refractive states cause unequal rotations thus leading to diplopia and asthenopia. Gross anisometropia is the difference of more than 2 diopters between the eyes.

Anisometropia can adversely affect ... clarity between the two eyes. The brain will often suppress the vision of the blurrier eye in a condition called amblyopia, or lazy eye.

The name is from four Greek components: an- "not," iso- "same," metr- "measure," ops "eye."

And here's a link to some info from the UK: http://www.ouh.nhs.uk/patient-guide/leaflets/files%5C090427visionimbalance.pdf

So, what to do? Well, I doubt there is anything to do about Wrinkle #1, unless it resolves itself somehow. I won't choose another surgery (unless it gets a whole lot worse), so I'll have to adapt. That means limiting both nighttime driving as well as rainy-day trips.

Wrinkle #2 is a horse of a different color. The optician fiddled around with my prescription to get it to the point that I no longer have one eye 'a minus' (left eye) and one eye 'a plus' (right), giving me more balance to my unbalanced vision...a good temporary fix, at least until they do the cataract surgery on my left eye (which I do not need at present). The ophthalmologist readily agreed to the new scrip, saying only that I must remember that I won't be seeing as clearly out of the right eye. Actually it'll be better, since my only alternative was looking through these ancient specs...I could not continue to wear those new lens. So they have ordered me another set of lens with the new prescription. We shall soon see...we fervently hope!

So. Rainbows and Wrinkles. Such is life. Moving on...

Here's another picture of the Thursday rainbows. I'm going with "a sign of hope and good things to come;" how about you?


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