Ok, so I live alone and I’m a writer. Those seemed two very good reasons to take it seriously when I noticed that the vision in my right eye had become noticeably cloudy and blurred over the last week or so.
My brain began its battle. One side was telling me, “You create your own reality, remember – so you can fix this. Just focus on getting rid of it.”
The other side was just as insistent: “This is your SIGHT we’re talking about here. Get it checked out. Get round to the doctor.”
After several days of mood swings and brain battles, I finally decided yesterday to make an appointment with my GP. To my amazement, he saw me that morning. I told him my symptoms and suddenly he looked very serious. Within seconds he was on the phone to the hospital, telling someone there about suspected retinal detachment.
Half an hour later, I was in my friend’s car as she skillfully negotiated her way around detours and diversions (Somerset still has some lakes where there used to be roads) and got me there for my emergency appointment.
Several hours of stinging eye drops, excruciatingly bright lights being shone into my eyes and even the insertion of a lens (which gave me great sympathy for all those Star Trek actors who had played Borg – it looked just like theirs and was very uncomfortable) I was given the diagnosis.
My retina was still firmly attached. The problem was a small but unfortunately placed cataract. Because of its position and type, removal would involve 2 or maybe 3 long operations under local anaesthetic. It might get worse or it might stay as it was for many years. I could opt for an operation there and then, or I could leave it until my sight was badly impaired. It would make no difference.
Then the doctor looked at me. “You know I deal with eyes all the time,” he said. “Compared to most people I see, you have excellent eyesight. I accept that you have noticed a deterioration, but it’s not huge.”
With that, he sent me away to decide what to do.
Last night I slept for 12 hours straight. I fell asleep almost as my head hit the pillow, but not before the battling sides of my brain finally reached a truce and gave me their joint response:
Stop trying to focus on what you can’t see. Celebrate and enjoy the vision you have. Put your focus there from now on.
Now I understand why I had this whole experience. So much of my life is spent wishing I could understand more, grasp ideas and find solutions for this and that problem. I’ve given relatively scant attention to what I HAVE learned and discovered; to what I now know and can do.
Time for a shift in emphasis, I feel.