My toddler brain

I’ve started to think of that part of my mind that stubbornly wants to make life according to my plans and desires as my “toddler brain.” Time and time again I’ve had to push past the “toddler brain” stage, to accept my life as it is and learn to deal with it from a place of reality.

When I went back for another glaucoma surgery in late September I had planned for my recovery stage to progress like the it did for the July procedure. That was not to be. The day after surgery when my bandage was removed I was horrified and shocked to see myself in the mirror. I looked like I had been beaten up. There was a lot of bruising, and my right eye was basically useless. There was only light and blurriness visible from it.

The pressure was non-existent, and that was a problem. There was a leak, which didn’t help the situation, either. The doctor prescribed eye drops that dilated the pupil in an attempt to force the pressure up and told me to return the next day. And the following business day, as well, because the situation required close monitoring.

The doctor also told me that I should plan to be out of work for a month. It’s a testament to my employer that there were no issues starting me on an unplanned medical leave of absence.

For the next few weeks I got very good at managing the public transit schedules between my home in Napa and the doctor’s office in San Francisco. Except for my unplanned drive into San Francisco to escape the wildfires in the area, I minimized my driving as much as possible because my vision was so poor.

It took about two weeks for the leak to heal and the pressure in my eye to elevate enough that the doctor told me I could stop the drops to dilate my pupil. He said it should take two more weeks for the affect to wear off and for my pupil to react normally. After three weeks, we gave up waiting.

So, here I am again at a point where I need to decide if I should have yet another procedure to try to fix my pupil. I’m now using drops to contract the pupil. That makes the vision better, but it’s still not that great.

I have a bunch of questions for the doctor, but I just couldn’t ask them during that visit. I was upset and crying. I told the doctor how I frustrated I was, though. That I had agreed to the surgeries to preserve my vision, but that it seemed worse now than before the surgery. He pointed out that my eye pressure was stabilized within the normal range without the help of any eye drops. I guess that’s supposed to be the mark of success.

The doctor told me that it should be OK for me to get new corrective lenses, so I made an appointment at the optometrist and started that process. The optometrist tried to find something that would work for my right eye, but he noted that with my pupil being distorted from the surgery, it was very challenging to correct. At least I’ll be getting a correction for my left lens, which will help me with my driving.

I started back to work last week. My anxiety meds are helping me deal with this potent combination of anger, grief, disappointment, and frustration, but it’s still been a challenge. That toddler brain starts kicking and screaming, insisting that this isn’t fair, and that somehow it should be made better. I wonder when it will stop.

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