If an eye offend thee

So over the past week or so I've learned a lot more than I ever really wanted to know about how the human eye functions.

It's like this -- your eye is basically a big sack of vitreous jelly. Inside this sack are various things like the cornea, the pupil, the lens, the iris, the conjuctiva, and many other really funny sounding words. Most of these things take in light and then beam it onto the retina, which is not, as I had thought, the center of your eye, but is, in fact, this lining at the back of your eye that essentially acts like film in a camera... the light image that is taken in and focused by all the other whatnot gets beamed onto this film at the back of your eye, where the image is then passed on through your optic nerve to the cells of your brain that interpret this data.

Now, when you're young, your vitreous jelly is, in fact, jelly, and that works really well. But as you get older, and especially if you are very nearsighted, your vitreous jelly becomes less solid and more of a fluid. And this doesn't work so well, because when it's a fluid, it doesn't press so firmly against the retina, and in fact, it kind of falls away from the retina. And when this happens, all sorts of little fuck things that were always suspended in the vitreous jelly, but which were held firmly there by the vitreous jelly and which didn't move around, start to float around.

So you start seeing flashing lights and a lot of great big hairy floaters, pretty much all the time, or, at least, half to a third of the time, and this gets very fucking annoying and makes it hard to see and you think "Jesus fucking Christ I'm going blind". Which is terrifying to any member of our species that has enjoyed functional vision for 47 years, but is especially terrifying to me, among whose greatest joys in life are reading and writing, which I will no longer be able to do if I'm suddenly fucking Matt goddam Murdock without the goddam radar sense.

Anyway, last Tuesday I started seeing flashing lights and a lot of great big hairy floaters and these phenomena persisted until they were very nearly driving me batshit and I did some internet research and found a lot of interesting phrases like retinal detachment and macular degeneration and "You too can be just like Stevie Wonder without the musical talent or dreadlocks" and so we scheduled me an eye exam. And as soon as we scheduled me an eye exam the fucking floaters and flashing lights went away so I canceled it and said "Hurray!" And then the floaters came back like gangbusters so I scheduled me another eye exam and went to that yesterday.

The eye doctor who examined me was a bona fide sonofabitch. His bedside manor was, er, brisk and robust, to say the least. When my head was not where he wanted it to be in the apparatus that holds your head where the doctor wants it to be, he would grab me by the face and move my head until it was where he wanted it to be. His fiendish assistants put nasty stinging shit in my eyes that dilated the fuck out of them, and then the doctor beamed gigantic laser photon particle rays into my dilated eyes which caused me the closest thing to pain I have ever experienced without actually experiencing pain. And he did this for hours. And when I did not look exactly where he needed me to look at any given time he would snap "No, no, down to the RIGHT" and when I finally got it correct (it was hard, due to the photonic particle death ray shit), he sneered "That's better, little learning curve there". Which made my wife kind of gasp at his rudeness.

But then he said "Well, you're fine, there are no retinal tears or detachments, this is just the sort of thing that occurs to people at your age, especially very nearsighted people. It will happen to your left eye at some point, too." So that was kind of a... relief? Although I wanted to ask him if his first name was puh-Rick. But I didn't.

Then he said "However, you're at risk for a retinal tear for the next three weeks, so I'd like to see you again at that time for another exam". Then he led us back out to the front where another of his evil assistants put more stingie shit in my eyes to undilate them (it didn't work, I was pretty much blind the rest of the day) and then yet another evil assistant charged us $140, as I am unemployed and have no insurance.

Then we left, and I made an appointment with the Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic, which is much, much less expensive and has a sliding scale for unemployed people with no insurance, for my follow up. Which I should have done before I went to Dr. puh-Rick, but I tried and they couldn't get me in for a couple of weeks.

So, anyway, I'm kind of relieved that I'm not going blind at the moment, but, on the other hand, this whole "your vitreous jelly turns into snot and collapses inside your eye when you're approaching 50" thing seems like a design flaw. I'd like to sue someone, please.

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