Birthday in the Swamps

So my 46th birthday has come and gone. As per usual, I took the week off and played video games. The primary focus of this time was spent on Armored Core 6, a mech-focused game by FromSoftware of Dark Souls fame. It’s an excellent pastime, and even though I suck at it, I’m having a blast (pun intended) blowing stuff up with mechs.

Unfortunately during my second playthrough in pursuit of the second of three possible endings, I noticed a lot more eye floaters than usual and a weird squiggle of bright light in the periphery of my right eye. I’ve been warned to call my ophthalmologist the second I see something like that because it’s a potential sign of retinal detachment. It’s always the first thing they warn me about with my extremely high myopia, so I’m constantly on guard.

Unfortunately it was Saturday, and as as a bonus, my ophthalmologist was out of town. So I called the retina specialist that’s been treating my macular bleeds. It turns out that was the right move, because he told me to make an immediate appointment Monday morning and they’d work me in. There was a chance I had experienced a retinal tear and I’d need surgery.

If that was the case, I wouldn’t be able to drive myself, so that meant eliciting the aid of Jim and Linda. They graciously drove the hour and a half to pick me up, and since their street is being entirely redone and it’s not really easy to get into their house, we stayed at a hotel. The appointment on Monday revealed that I hadn’t torn my retina by some miracle, but had developed Posterior Vitreous Detachment.

Basically it means the gel in my right eye is pulling away from the back of my eye where it attaches to the retina. This tugging creates a lot of new floaters and also causes flashes of light due to mixed nerve impulses. The doctor noted that there’s literally nothing he can do about this, and in fact it’s a semi-common development with age. Unfortunately for me, I get to experience it 30-40 years early.

Now the inside of my right eye resembles dirty pond water, and that’s basically permanent. My brain will eventually compensate for this to an extent—just as it has with the distortions caused by my past macular bleeds—but it’s pretty clear where this road is leading. There’s a reason I bought a 55-inch TV and turned it into a giant monitor, and it’s looking like I’ll need it for its intended purpose sooner rather than later.

Not exactly what I wanted for my birthday, but I’ll take it over retina surgery any day. And hey, I can still work on Amored Core 6 to take my mind off of slowly going blind.

Until Tomorrow