After a short night of sleep, I woke up with incredibly blurred vision in my left eye. At first, I thought I'd forgotten to take my contacts out last night...that's how it felt. Still groggy, I actually went in the bathroom and checked my lens case. Yep. The contacts were in there. Thus, they were not in my eye. Looking at my eye, it seemed completely normal. No redness or crustiness or goo that might indicate a problem. Just the blurriness, like someone had put a big fingerprint right in the center of my field of vision. I admit, I started freaking out a little because this didn't seem good.
My mom worked as an optometrist assistant for about 20 years, thus it would seem fortuitous that I am at her house. It would seem that way, but no. She is not a good person to go to about weird eye issues because she immediately informs you of the worst possible scenario. "Detached retina!" she posited when I explained my blurriness. I then did what I do and got on the Internet and Googled. The symptoms kind of matched, though it said detached retinas usually have no pain associated with them, and I was having a tiny bit of discomfort in one area. I went up a notch on the freak-out-o-meter nonetheless.
On the upside, my mom works right next door to the local hospital, so it was very convenient for her to drop me off at the ER on her way to work, which she did. She even came in long enough to go to triage with me and have the nurse ask me how much I weighed. I do not talk weight issues with my mom. Ever. It has taken me YEARS to get her to stop harping on me about my weight, to get her to understand that not everyone in this world can subsist on a cup of yogurt and an apple to get them through the day, to get her to understand I have bonafide medical issues, not simply a lack of will power, that make my weight difficult to control.
And it has taken me years to come to terms with the fact that no matter what I do, no matter how zealously I watch my calories or carbs or fat grams, no matter how many minutes of exercise I get in a week, I am never going to be thin. It has only been in the past two years that I've honestly come to accept myself for who I am regardless of what the outer package looks like and to not let my mom's judgmental attitude depress me and make me feel bad about myself. (It's helped that in the past two year period, my mother has lived 15 hours away from me for the first time ever.)
Yes, I've made these strides, but as of this moment, they had not been tested in any up front way. And now I had to verbalize my weight to this nurse in front of my mother? (And it was a male nurse, to add insult to injury, for Pete's sake.)
Had I been thinking more rationally, I'd have written the number on a slip of paper, but I was still on my vision-related freak out, so I took a deep breath and said it out loud hoping my mother would give me a pass on this one, due to the nature of why I was in a position to be saying that number to begin with at that time. But no. She sighed, loudly, audibly, accompanied by her patented head shake of disappointment with grimaced jaw of repulsion. Fortunately, she had to leave and go to work shortly after that, so I was spared any more visible signs of incredulity, let alone the possibility that she was going to start lecturing me.
On the upside, I was in and out of the ER in record time, about an hour, and the issue causing my problems was a scratched cornea, not a detached retina...much less scary and far easier to cure.
Already my vision is far less blurry than it was first thing this morning, and it seems that today of all days -- the morning after, so to speak -- this is a pretty symbolic thing. Last night, my ability to see an optimistic future for our country over the next four years was severely blurred. Inside I knew God was bigger than the outcome of our election, as he would have been bigger than it had it gone the other way. But when you're faced with disappointment borne out of a blow to your strongly held, viscerally felt convictions, it is hard to not come across a little bitter. Or maybe a lot of bitter. Or at least angry and snipe-y.
I gave in to all of that in the hours before I went to sleep, but even in the midst of it, I knew I would greet today with the decision to accept what has happened and move on. As the Obama campaign said over and over, it is time for change. And I know that is true for us as individuals as well as a country. We each have the responsibility to really live our convictions, to question what is presented as truth and weigh it against the absolutes that guide each of our lives. If they do not align, it is our responsibility to do something about it in a constructive way. Over the next few weeks, I intent to make it a priority to figure out just how that might look for me.
Here's to new vision for us all.