Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga

Monday, September 10, 2012

I'm seeing things. Again.

But they aren't mice. And they aren't real.

First, there were a few lightning bolts. I blinked. It was storming outside, after all. But then I went into our dark bedroom and continued to see the bolts. I hit the sack, hoping that the streaks would disappear and not return.

The next morning, they were there, but remained fleeting. And then another issue came to the forefront. I biked around the block. As my feet pumped and my face caught the wind, I spotted a web of branches in the corner of my left eye--disconcerting, to say the least. I couldn't help but shake my head in reflex. The web remained.

I called the eye doctor. The message I received: Don't mess with this; come in immediately.

After a brief exam and a photo of confirmation, the verdict was straightforward. I have a floater, and it's not floating anywhere.

I liked my doctor's explanation. The eye, made up of collagen, vitreous, and water, usually acts as plastic wrap. It's nice and taut and can be easily seen through. But, once in awhile, plastic wrap wrinkles. And once the wrinkle's there, good luck on getting it out.

No one tells you about this aspect of aging. When my doctor asked my age, she nodded sagely. Sixty-one? You have a sixty-one percent chance of this happening, and you probably haven't seen the last of it. Lightning bolts? Common. Webs or branches? Also common. This floater is part of you now, and you'll get used to it after a month or two. If you start seeing jellyfish, though, worry.

She also pressed home the fact that eye issues shouldn't go unaddressed. If a retina becomes detached, the longer you wait to see the doc, the harder it becomes to correct.

So the way I'm going to look at this is . . . I'm still growing and changing.

That can't be all bad, can it?

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