May 17th, 2014

art, collage

Adapting to a brave new world of not being able to read without glasses

Today's Tylenol+Codeine Usage
1/2 Tylenol #4 at 9:00 a.m.
1 Tylenol #4 at 8:35 p.m.
planning to take 1/2 Tylenol #4 at bedtime

Looking good, right? Yep. The headaches yesterday and today have often been more like eye strain and tiredness, rather than the deep, muscley headaches I've been getting regularly over the past months. I've gotten those headaches a couple times, too, but they've gone away more easily than before. Also, I wore a hair cip for maybe 15 minutes this afternoon & wore the front of my hair french-braided for a half-hour or so in the evening, and both of these were causing headaches for me very quickly a week ago, so ... who knows ...

Again, these changes may be psychosomatic or somehow related to my different behavior of the past two days, or they may indicate an actual long-term change in the pattern (and existence) of the headaches. I, of course, am hoping for the latter explanation.

I went to CWC today, but my eyes & brain are having some trouble with the work of figuring out how to do this whole "vision" thing differently, and so I was simply exhausted by 1:30 or so & left. I stopped by Debbie's house briefly, but then went home to close my eyes & let my brain rest for a while. Still, it's nice to know that I can still do art, though I didn't do anything tremendously detailed and nit-picky today. I just sort of messed around with oil pastels, making pretty color combinations I can later chop up for collage.

After coming home & resting a bit, I spent much of the afternoon and evening brainstorming about how to deal with this whole new world of "having to carry reading glasses everywhere I go." I ended up deciding to buy two different items, the combination of which I think will make things easier on me:

1. I got a glasses case that can safely hold two pairs of glasses separated from each other to prevent scratching, and which can easily attach to my backpack straps, so I can carry both reading glasses and sunglasses around with me all the time without constantly searching for one or the other because I don't really have room to safely store them both in the same place. (This has already happened a dozen times or so in the past two days. It seems like I'm always rummaging in my backpack, and then often pulling out the wrong pair of glasses for the occasion.) Now I'll always know where they both are.

2. I also bought a really cool, crunchy-granola eyeglass chain on Etsy It's apparently intended for men, but I often like "men's" jewelry more than I like "women's." I'm not much for hearts and flowers and rhinestones and such ... and I find this distinction between men's jewelry and women's jewelry to be annoying and meaningless.

After I get a better feel for how I'm using the reading glasses, I may also buy a kinda funky magnetic thing that attaches to your shirt and lets you safely stash your glasses wherever you like, including a more out-of-the-way location than right under your chin. I'm not sure if I will always want my glasses hanging around my neck, or if it might be more convenient sometimes to clip the glasses up on my shirt front, or if I might sometimes prefer one and sometimes the other, depending on the situation. It's still early days for me to make that kind of judgment, so I'm waiting until I have both eyes' surgeries done & have gotten a better idea of how I'll be using the glasses before I decide whether I also want the shirt magnet thing. I'm quite certain that the case and the neck chain will be useful, but I'm less certain about the magnet thing.

Anyway, it's getting close to bedtime & I'm going to go take some more Tylenol & relax so I can sleep. I haven't been sleeping well these past three night—only 6 hours or so a night, instead of my preferred 8-9—so I'm beginning to feel the strain. It isn't helping with the adjustment to learning new ways of using my eyes and brain, so I'm hoping tonight is more successful.
me blue hair

(no subject)

I can't turn on the oven without reading glasses. I mean, sure, I can turn the knob, but I'd best go find my reading glasses if I want to set it to any particular temperature.

This is all a bit frustrating. There are many ways that I'm just going to have to adjust to seeing in a different way than I've ever done. I'm a total newbie at using this new vision. My whole life, if I couldn't see something clearly, I could just get my head 2 inches away from it & then I could see fine. Now, I don't have that. If something is small enough, then there's just no way I can see/read it without the reading glasses. I still often instinctively pull things closer to my face, but now it accomplishes nothing.

I haven't been feeling very comfortable with my art supplies these past couple days, either, but I remember that before the surgery I had several times tried to work with my left eye covered, figuring that I would be better able to do fine work if I eliminated the contaminated vision coming from that direction, but I found that—for some reason I really can't explain and don't understand—I still felt most adept and comfortable using both eyes. So I figure that how I'm feeling right now is very possibly no representation whatsoever of how I'll be feeling once the second surgery is done & I'm using both eyes simultaneously.

My intern at CWC looked all serious and asked me what that would mean for me, if—as I had been speculating—I might not be able to do the same kind of nitpicky detailed art anymore. But I just shrugged & said, "I'll figure out some other way to do art." I may not feel very certain about what my vision situation is going to be in the long term, but I am certain about my own ability to work with it and make things good. Things will just be different, probably in ways I still can't predict. I'll still make them good.

I've always been a very visual person, so messing with my eyes messes with all my primary ways of understanding and interacting with the world. It's disconcerting and a little distressing, but it isn't going to be this way permanently. To deal with my short-term issues, I might try to read up on Siri tonight, because I haven't been writing (even just emails) as much as I would like for quite some time now—due to the vision situation—and i've been mostly just avoiding the computer altogether these past few days for the same reason. If I were to conquer Siri, that might become nearly a non-issue.

But I don't feel too urgent about it, because right now I'm just in a very short-term situation that is awkward, with my new eye (clear for distance & blurry for close objects) trying to work in coordination with my old eye (blurry for everything except stuff 2 inches from my face). I need to get through these next 3 1/2 days of weirdness, and then have the surgery on my right eye ... and THEN I can start actually figuring out what things might be like in the long run & how I can deal with them. Right now things are just extra uniquely weird for a few days & I don't think I can make very accurate assessments of future possibilities based on the current data.

In any case, I've had very little headache today. It's 7 p.m. & I've only taken one Tylenol #4 tablet (in two half-tablet doses). I even wore clips in my hair part of the day. I also used the stinkiest art-fixative spray on the planet. And I'm still dragging with fatigue after 4 consecutive days of poor sleep. But this all has not added up to headaches, so that's a big YAY.