I went back to the eye doctor last Thursday for a regular evaluation after my LASIK. He knew from the last time that I still wasn't seeing as well as I did with my glasses. I still can't read the closed captioning on the elliptical at the gym. It's hard to read flip charts in my own handwriting as the day goes on. The green streets signs are hard to read at night. It's worse at night.
Suddenly, I'm in a wash of medical terminology that I can't understand. A possible remedy: warm compresses on my eyes for fifteen or twenty minutes as soon as I wake up and then right before bed. What?! Warm compresses seem medieval, impossible as a potential solution for any dysfunction. Also, wiping my eyelids and more eye drops. Medicine is a science, isn't it? I want a shot to fix my gland dysfunction and/or another laser searing into my eyes again to make it all right. I also want to cry. Which I do later. With my sister, Caroline, over the phone.
I hang up with her and test the idea of a warm compress on my eyes even though I'm supposed to be at my office. Laying there for just five minutes, I realize:
I'd rather be in pain and/or medicated than adjust my schedule to accommodate an extra hour a day.
Good? Bad? I don't want to attach a value to it but just to examine that truth. What does it mean that I am so wedded to my calendar? Maybe nothing more than I have a good thing going each morning. And I do:
I get up at 5:00 to be at the gym by 5:30 before my daughter and husband wake up. I leave the gym at 6:15 so I'm home to make my daughter's lunch (and hopefully shower) before she wakes up around 7:00. The warm compress procedure means waking up closer to 4:45, then laying back down again for minimum fifteen minutes after the "goggles" are heated. Who would be able to stay awake through that? It sounds so relaxing and of all the times of the day I need to relax, 5:00 am is not one of them.
The crying on the phone, ironically, was good for my eyes. And even five minutes with the warm compress felt wonderful. I started to think about how I could make this work.
Five days later, I'm doing it. It's a total pain and major inconvenience but reluctantly apply warm compresses and wipe my eyelids obediently twice a day. In doing so, I'm noticing sometimes we just need to rant at someone about how shitty something is. Sometimes things can't be fixed immediately and someone trying to do so doesn't work. This is one of those things. Being upset about it gives me back some iota of power in a situation in which I feel powerless.
Nothing about this is okay. And I accept that knowing that this will be fixed at some point. But for now, I'm doing as I'm told and yelling about it when I need to.
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