The Time I Almost Went Blind

Writing

I think back to this horrific memory as a result of having incredibly dry and itchy eyes for what felt like every living second of work today. If you’re familiar with my other post about an unwelcomed eye infection I had last year, then you’ll be familiar with the fact that I’ve had some nasty little issues with my eyes at certain points in my life.

 

Today in work, as I sat cross-eyed, with the tears streaming down my face trying to type ‘how to cook egg fried rice’ into my google search I think back to the following event involving my eyes which left me scarred for life:

 

About 7 years ago I was in the garden of my family home in Northern Ireland, hanging out the washing as any enslaved child would do for the enjoyment of their parents, when all of a sudden I started to lose my peripheral vision.

 

Initially it began in the rims of my sight but soon before I knew it my whole vision was blurry. The only way I could describe it would be like if you were to open your eyes in the ocean’s salty water and everything appears ‘fizzy’ if that makes sense. I can only use this example because I being the idiot that I am have tried this. So with my vision suddenly disintegrating I scream to my sister who is too busy hanging up my dad’s tighty whities that I couldn’t see.

 

Thinking it was a joke she continued pegging the odd socks to the clothes line. I was adamant I was losing my vision, my parents were out of the house at this stage so it was just me and my younger sister in the garden. I continued to shriek with panic until finally she knew that I wasn’t joking for once.

 

The two of us ran inside and I scrambled to reach for the phone as my vision was getting ‘fizzier’ and ‘fizzier’, I couldn’t see the numbers by this stage, I think only 2 minutes had went by since my vision was normal. My sister rand my dad who consequently sped home so fast I could smell the burning rubber on his tyres. By the time he got back which was approx 15 minutes after we alerted him,  my sight had returned to me. I should’ve probably rang an ambulance but being a kid I didn’t know what to do, I just panicked.

 

At the opticians a few days later they found no real reasoning for it but I have one of my own.

 

My phone.

 

It just so happens that a few weeks prior to this scare I had just gotten my first touch screen phone. I felt like the bee’s knees and loved looking at everything from the latest music videos to social media all within 5 millimetres if my face. I literally never sat it down, this dangerous recipe of being continuously on my phone coupled with holding it so close to my eyes, led to major strain being put on my eyes as a result in my opinion. I believe overuse of the device led to my temporary blindness.

 

I think back to the event and part of me finds it humourous but another part of me is genuinely cautious of eye strain. It’s so easy for us to spend copious amounts of times on our electronic devices and although opticians may feel that it’s the biology of the eye and age that make it deteriorate overtime, part of me still feels overworking the eye plays a part.

 

Even if I’m wrong, we all know that using our phones and laptops for sustained periods of time does cause discomfort to our eyes, even if only on a temporary basis.

 

I actively think about the amount if time I spend on my devices. And put in effort to ensure I don’t spend too long. I think we all should, what use is getting a high score on candy crush when you’re damaging your body in the process?

What Does It Mean To Be Human?

Writing

As I sit with a cold bag of peas smooshed against the left cheek of my painfully windburned face (Northern Ireland’s coastlines are blustery af), I gasp in awe at the astoundingly graphic yet oddly fascinating scenes of ‘Surgeons – At The Edge Of Life’, a show guaranteed to have you on the edge of your seat grappling for the sick bucket I can assure you. From close-up camera angles highlighting the magnificent ability of the surgeons to intentionally stop a 3 year old child’s heart on the operating table in order to conduct surgery on the respiratory system, to the scenes of pneumatic drills screwing in metal rods vertically down the spinal cord of a 63 year old man. All I can say is it’ll put you right off your TV dinner and straight onto Google to investigate all types of weird questions about your very own body.

Mesmerised by every filmed intricate movement the hospital staff make in their efforts to save the lives of patients in life-threatening conditions to vastly improving the quality of life in others. To being in awe of the recovery and the adaptability to which the human body is capable of, I ask myself, are we all just bags of flesh and bone, or are we something more than that? Having a ‘personality’, the ability to empathize and rationalize, are these not qualities spared only for humanity or are we all just an experiment of evolution? Evolution going so far as to grant us with the brain to body ratio necessary to think logically and imaginatively and perhaps to think that there is more to us than maybe there really is?

What does it mean to be human?

Eye

Writing

I haven’t worn glasses since the age of 10 and you can tell, my eye’s lazier than the cleaners who play candy crush in the cubicles at work. I had to wear an eye patch till the age of 8, and once they told me I couldn’t be saved, I chucked the glasses and with that came the awkward family photos. There you’d have my two normal siblings and me, the spawn of Satan on the end with the turned in eye. But it wasn’t always doom and gloom, I wasn’t always told ‘could you look at the camera please’ as I squinted as hard as I could begging my left eye to stay straight! Only to find my efforts were in vain as my right would surely play copy cat to its feeble counterpart. Sometimes it was fun making others laugh at my deep deep insecurities.

Anyway to cut a long story short, my quick ditching of thine spectacles many moons ago has resulted in a quick case of panic as I find myself having blurry moments while staring at the screen in work. And it’s not just because I don’t have the foggiest about what I’m doing, I really do take moments of blindness. Sh*t. Also if you’ve heard of floaters (not that kind) then I feel for you, I had the shock of a lifetime when I reached out to grab a spider web only to come to the stark realisation that it was infact in my eyeball (Google it).

With enough of these harsh realities  ( in addition to my whole eye infection malarkey) I figured I’d get myself down to the local optician before they diagnose me with a cataract aged 23 and 3/4.

So off I go, print off the voucher from work to get a free pair (key word free) afterall it is work that’s caused this mess (not my meaningless efforts to look cool without glasses during my teenage years). Their harsh if not illegible ‘vdu’ (visual display units) mean I’ll never see a bee again or be able to  read the small print of my life insurance policy without depending on a monocle or as its getting, a telescope. Yes, office life I do indeed BLAME YOU!!!

So there I am in the opticians, chin on a pedestal, forehead in a vice, eye getting a pelting with the conditions not uncanny to that of the northern hemispheric jet stream. Why was air being projected into my willingly open eyeball? To test the pressure. Next! The actual eye test…….

After being asked every question under the sun apart from what my favourite colour was, the optometrist proceeded to try his hardest to permanently blind me with his torchlight in the hope that I’d not leave the shop without the non-discounted Gucci frames. But oh no! I was undeterred by his tiny light saber. Next came reading the writing off of the back of a postage stamp before rolling my eyeballs back and singing kum ba yah. Kidding! The eye test was normal, he said I had 20/20 vision. Comedian much?

Anyway, with the test (torture) over, I picked out a pair of the finest (free) spectacles. Elton John eat your heart out! They really are a cross between hipster and geriatric and I f*cking love em’ Anyone who knocks glasses are probably the same people who are rushed off to A+E every 6-months for their ‘contact lense in the back of the eye’ stunt again. So P*sssssss offffff! Spectacles are officially cool again!