Written on January 31st, 2013:
Shortly before I learned about dry eyes, I experienced a PVD. PVD was extremely traumatic for me. But every doctor I spoke with reassured me that it “was nothing.” It was common and something I’d adjust to.
PVD stands for Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Here is what I wrote after it happened to my first eye three years ago:
Two weeks ago, something unexpected was thrown at me. It was insidious that it happened just as I was feeling better about life in general.
I was distraught because my left eye annoyed me every second of my day. It felt like gray gossamer webs were inside my eye. My brain screamed loudly, “You cannot see and this is intolerable!”
Three ophthalmologists examined me since my “incident.” What happened was that the vitreous gel in my eye shrunk and pulled away from the eye wall. It did not tear my retina (for which I am thankful), but there was blood involved. I was told that this was a normal part of the aging process and I would adjust to my large new floater. The blurriness was a result of the blood that would eventually be reabsorbed.
I was calm at all of my appointments except the third one. That day, I saw the eye surgeon who performed my cataract surgeries. I cried to him. He probably felt he was comforting me when he said my condition would eventually improve. But he said that I wouldn’t notice improvement for months and it would take a year before the grayness and blurriness diminished.
I put on sunglasses and cried as I drove home. My eye surgeon had made many optimistic statements, which I wanted to hold onto.
My condition was normal.
I didn’t need eye surgery for a retinal detachment.
Eventually, things would improve.
But at that moment, my vision was cloudy, so I wanted to close my eyes. I dreamed I’d awaken with decent eyesight. I couldn’t stop crying. Suddenly, I had entered a new tunnel of grief.
I plodded through each day and suffered more than I had in a long time. I wasn’t sure how I could overcome this!
I decided to write something that would utilize tenants from hypnotherapy. It was about ways that I could look at my situation. I began with simple sentences that I heard in my mind. I thought of ways I could reshuffle the words in order to help myself feel better.
My blurry gray vision.
I hate it! It hurts to open both my eyes and look at the world. I can’t stop crying. I want to curl up and go back to sleep. I pray I’ll wake up and it will be better.
Can I live with
my blurry gray vision?
My answer is, “NO! I cannot live with this.” But, I have no choice about it and nothing can change it. Yet, it is so annoying and distracting. It screams over every other thought in my brain. Why do I have to live with this? I have too many questions, and none of them are helpful.
can I live with
my blurry gray vision?
I have no idea how I can function with this. I am struggling. I want to cry and complain, but since I hate to do that – it’s best that I hide from the world. Too much patience is required for this. I want the time to pass so I can see again.
how I can live with
my blurry gray vision.
There are many people in the world who have adjusted to a loss of eyesight – my own mother has macular degeneration. If they could adjust, then I could also. How fortunate I am that I have a condition that is likely to heal and improve.
All my self-talk wasn’t helping and I was still miserable. I listened for my inner voice. When I heard that voice, I received quite a lecture from my inner critic. I write with complete honesty – knowing full well that this approach wasn’t kind or compassionate.
My inner critic said:
You keep telling grieving people to “hold on to hope” and “hang on.” Listen to your own words about how it will get better someday.
Your misery is a reminder that you did not have adequate empathy.
Healing from grief detached you from the suffering. Therefore, this is a lesson for you.
When someone is suffering, knowing that the pain might get better some day scarcely alleviates the agony in the moment.
Remember when you wrote that healing is about acceptance and change?
That is exactly what you need to do! The aging process is about accepting that our bodies will never be young again.
Stop looking at the gray and find color in a different way. Close your eyes if you have to!
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