I Thought I Was Going Blind

Writing

Sitting at my desk in the office yesterday morning, everything was just peachy (or so I thought). Despite my eyelids occasionally closing over due to boredom, for the rare moments I decided to forcefully will them open, I could see as clear as day.

 

But for some reason or other I decided to wink at my morning array of spreadsheets and in doing so came to the stark realisation that my vision in my left eye was completely blurry.

 

 My vision through my right eye only was fine, through both eyes combined  it was fine, yet when solely using my left eye to look at the screen I was met with a blurred mess. It was as if someone had just poked my cornea with a vaseline blobbed finger and then proceeded to hold my head over a spoiled scrabble board. 

 

Feeling like I was about to give the game up on my sight I started panicking. Quietly. With the blurriness becoming progressively stronger I speedily sent my manager an email emphasising that my vision was weakening and that I needed to go to the opticians straight away. So sprinting into the store in an unshakeable panic I begged for an immediate eye test. My fear was less about my actual eye health to be honest and more about the condition of my brain. The earliest eye test to my dismay was to be a one hour wait. 

 

Advised to head to A&E if it got worse, I  instead chose to wait it out. Waiting out the time felt like a lifetime. Back to the opticians an hour later and I’m getting air shot into my eye and asked if I could read outloud a love letter that had been etched onto the back of a postage stamp. 

 

What were the results? 

 

Following an array of tests, I was put out of my misery as the optometrist declared that my eyes and corresponding vessels were all healthy. 

 

So what was causing the blurriness? And why was it only in one eye? 

 

The glasses. 😦

 

The bloody things which were meant to better my eyesight ironically played a crucial part in its deterioration. 

 

It’s because of the following explanation that I urge you to ensure that you get your eyes tested frequently and make sure your prescription is the most accurate  and updated one tailored for your sight. 

 

It starts with the fact that no two eyes are ever going to be the same strength, and for me my right eye is stronger than my left. So in theory I would need different lens strengths in my glasses, with each lens being specifically made for each eye. What happened in this situation was that this was not the case. Instead, the lens magnification which best suited my stronger right eye was placed into both the left and right eye section of the glasses. As a result my left eye was being put under constant strain every time I wore my glasses, to the point where the muscles were overworking so much it resulted in what felt like a remaining partial blindness in the left eye. 

 

Examples to describe giving the wrong glasses may be along the lines of:

 

-Giving chocolate to a dog. It poisons them. 

-Pouring salt on a slug. It does them no favours

-Giving someone a chocolate teapot. It’s useless. 

 

The bottom line is the glasses were not helping my eyes, they were hindering them, hence not fulfilling their purpose!

 

So Now I’m met with the choice of either not wearing glasses at all while I’m doing computer work or paying between £39 – £69 per pair (I have two pairs with these incorrectly fitted lenses). Do you think they should pay for the lens change? Or should I?

 

**This frightful momentary state of panic made me appreciate how complex we are as humans. It made me realise how important it is to look after yourself. We are human beings, made up of such complex biology. It’s astonishing how every cell in our bodies serves a purpose. And how easy it is for part of this harmony to be abruptly thrown out of sync.

 

Take care of yourself!

Question Time

Writing

Although some may argue that my elevator doesn’t quite reach the top floor, I do have my sporadic occasional moments of wishful thinking I’ll have you know.

And in those moments of synaptic wildfire, curiosities and peculiarities roam the plains of my mind like migrating wildlife of the African Savannah. Just some of the questions plucked from the deluge of my mind dumping are listed below. Based off of ofcourse  my very long listed Google history vs. my very small amount of ‘sent’ work emails:

 

  • What’s a gizzard?

Off of the back of my sister’s erratic commentary yesterday claiming that she would ‘bite your gizzard off’ if you dared try to snatch her chinese takeaway from her iron grip last night during her dazed state of pure starvation after a long day of doing absolutely nothing.

 

  • Why are male suicide rates higher than female?

           It’s inclusion week at work, which means various talks are being held around the building, one talk in particular that I wanted to attend was one inwhich the speaker shared his personal story on masculinity, suicide and bi-sexuality. 

 

  • What does it mean to be masculine?

This question was emphasised again in the talk above, a question which interests me in general.

 

  • What does the cerebral cortex do?

I listened to a podcast recently on the Ted App and found it really insightful, the cerebral cortex is pretty much the reason we can conduct ‘higher order’ tasks which are primate cousins cannot. And why is this so – because of fire. That’s all I’ll say, if you can’t figure out the answer then either you’re an ape or you just need to listen to this podcast. 

 

The Unknown Brain

https://www.ted.com/read/ted-podcasts/ted-radio-hour 

 

  • Does being a good dancer show that you aren’t neurologically dysfunctional, and vice versa?

Watching Strictly Come Dancing/ Dancing With The Stars really gets me in the mood to take up a few ballroom dance lessons. After watching  mere minutes of the jive or salsa I’m flabbergasted at how they can remember so many steps and keep it in rhythm (most of the time), is this trained, do some people have natural ability when it comes to dancing? And if so, why is this so?

 

  • Why are cats afraid of cucumbers?

Cruel but undeniably funny how cat owners across the globe tease their furry pussies with a big ole’ cucumber. Someone needs to call animal welfare. 

 

  • How to get a job.

It is what it says on the tin, finding a job is fast becoming one!

 

  • ‘Miscellaneous’

I find this difficult to spell if I don’t write it quick enough, like ‘embarrassing’ and ‘daffodil’. Does this happen to you with certain words, if you pause to think of how to spell it you actually find yourself grappling for the correct spelling of the word?!

 

Have you ever had a look back through your google history for the day and thought – wtf am I doing with my life? Today was my day, maybe it was yours too?

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?

Is Being An Introvert Wrong?

Writing

introvert

noun

/ˈɪntrəvəːt/


                                                               a shy, reticent person.

Truth be told, I’m a naturally shy person. But should I be annoyed at this? I use to think so. Slowly I’ve come to realise that being shy doesn’t mean I’m in any way  less capable of doing something than someone who isn’t. It just means I may need more time.

I think we put too much pressure on ourselves to live up to a ‘bubbly, out there’ persona, to a personality that we ‘think’ others will like, but infact don’t really know.

To be shy doesn’t directly correlate to being boring and unwilling to try new things, it just means you may be curious yet cautious of trying new things. To be cautious of something isn’t  a bad thing right? So long as you don’t let shyness stop you from trying then you should never feel bad for being careful about things.

Another assumption surrounding introverted people is that they don’t show much emotion, that they can seem quite cold and poker-faced. To control your emotions is a skill, it’s an individual’s choice whether to give away their feelings freely or not.

We can’t all be extroverts and we shouldn’t all be. Don’t be ashamed of who you are, whether extraverted or indeed introverted. For a long time I was angry at myself for being shy, I didn’t want to accept it, but now I see it as part of who I am and so I’ve addressed and learned techniques to help me succeed in situations where shyness may not help me.

Being shy can help in certain moments but not all. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t be angry at myself for being the way I am, instead I should work with what I have, noone knows you aswell as you know you. Therefore you are in control of your emotions and so can shape our success by being emotionally in control. It also means that those you choose to share your emotions with are trusted by you.

Whether introverted or extraverted, or somewhere inbetween, society needs us all, imagine if we were all of one and none of the other 2? That really wouldn’t be a fun party!

Some Introverts you may recognise:

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?

Want To Live Longer – Get Yourself Outdoors

Writing

I think I’ve cracked it, Italian folk aren’t the longest living people because of their diet, they spend longest on the planet compared to any other nationality because of their beautiful weather! Who wouldn’t want to stick around and bask in the glorious sunshine?

Whether it’s key to a long life or not, one thing’s for sure, sunlight must be a contributing factor to people’s overall mood and so quality of life, and this must indeed lead back to  life longevity, no?

I ponder over this point as I dip one toe into the pneumonia-inducing waters of the English Channel, while the other remains firmly on the shingled beach of Brighton this bank holiday.  Temperatures soar into the twenties (degrees celsius) as sweltered sweaty bodies lie down soaking up the sunrays like cold-blooded reptiles.

The sun boosts everyone’s mood, there’s just something so comforting about the (picking off your sunburnt peely skin the day after) smell of suncream and the sounds of waves crashing against the seashore. Sunlight is my version of rose-tinted glasses.

 
The Benefits Of A Sunny Day

Vitamin D – Your skin produces vitamin D whenever you are exposed to UVB sunlight rays. Vitamin D helps maintain the health of the bones and teeth, playing an essential role in regulating the amount of phosphate and calcium in  the body in addition to numerous other health regulatory roles.

T-Cells – The T-cell is a type of white blood cell which is essential to human immunity. Recent research into the body’s reaction to sunlight has quite literally shed new light on its effect on the body’s immune system in particular. Some studies conducted have highlighted the effect of low levels of blue light (present in the sun rays) exposure on T-Cells. The blue light is believed to trigger the release of hydrogen peroxide by the T- cells, a reaction produced in response to an infection normally. This release of hydrogen peroxide thus leads to the increased mobilisation of the cells throughout the body. Thus an increase in mobilisation would mean the cells could get to sites of infection more quickly.

Mood Booster – The winter blues are no doubt a real thing. And so is SAD – ‘Seasonal Affective Disorder’, which links seasonal changes with patterns of depression. With a lack of sunlight resulting in lower serotonin levels, a rise in sunlight thereby boosts serotonin in the body, serotonin is the chemical neurotransmitter that boosts our mood. Sunlight triggers special areas of your eye – the retina to produce serotonin.

Lowers Pollution Levels – Your descendents will thank you as they aren’t left permanently attached to an oxygen tank.Reducing the need to burn fossil fuels should surely be something that brings a smile to our faces? That is, ofcourse, if you feel the planet is worth saving. If you don’t then wake up now! Sunshine is unlimited, fossil fuels are not. Although solar power is not completely waste free, it’s still doing a better job than the waste produced from oil and coal burning.

What more reasons could you need for the sun to put a smile on your face? Get outdoors now! Your T-cells will thank you!

Poem: Climate Change

Writing

 

My limbs gnarl, sap suffocates my lungs as I gasp for another breath of the smog.

I’m losing my fight for life.

For centuries I have supplied oxygen to your veins, now you remove it from mine?

In times before you uprooted me, and spoiled the very soil I laid upon.

Now you turn to decapitation,

Intoxication.

Of the very  air I rely upon.

 

You think only of the immediacy and  not of the future.

Thinking only of your own benefit, and not even that of your own mother’s.

Why are you blinded to what you are doing to this planet?

You wouldn’t walk into your own house and quite simply trash it?

Would you?

 

You think it’s cushy, that to try and save the environment is some sort of tree huggers eulogy?

That in their last breath they begged for an epiphany from humanity.

With irony, perhaps that really is what life is all about.

Death.

Why bother carrying on the life of your genes,

By having children when you leave,

Them a planet which will just get weak week after week?

You teach them your petty practices of pumping out pollution and pompously wasting.

For what? So they can have instant electricity to cook their microwave meals while watching TV.

 

You don’t see the problem, because you purposely don’t look for it.

You don’t see the wood for the trees.

For you basically cleared most of it.

You only care about the you and the now.

 

When you are laying 6ft under and the soil around you is toxic.

When your toxic thoughts have played out in the lives of others just for profit.

I guess then the state of the planet means nothing to you.

Just make sure instead of one child, you double up and have two.

For mortality rates will likely rise,

As the planet gets sicker too.

So yes, be as selfish as they come,

Isn’t that what life means to you?

Poem: Disability

Writing

 

Disability

It’s all about perspective.

To you, I’m Dissed.

Disadvantaged.

Dismissed, before I even get a chance to.

 

Whether I’m ‘weak’ in the mind,

Or ‘weak’ at the knees.

Your mind’s made up,

Before I even get a chance to plead.

 

You judge me on appearances.

Refuse to look beyond my disability.

Take no time to read between the lines.

You think you are better than me.

 

I am a disabled person.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t have ability.

I am a disabled person.

Who has a different ability.

 

To Dad, thank you for teaching me how to see the world differently, through your eyes.

See The Signs

Writing

I write to you with one eye open this Monday morning, not two, one. if any of you recount the good old game of Animal Crossings, you’ll remember fondly the big ass ballooned eye your little character would receive from a bee sting (Google it). I, my friends am that character. But it wasn’t a bee that caused this. It was myself. In what seemed like an unknowing attempt of self-sabotage! But How?

The workplace

Sh*t always goes down in the office and obviously some must’ve got into my damn eye.  I distinctly remember my left eye being quite itchy while at the desk, as there was no sandpaper handy to really scratch that itch my dirty fingernail had to suffice. My nail had probably minorly cut my lower eyelid and dirt must’ve got in and had a field day, atleast that’s what I think caused it!

But not to jump ahead let me show you the experience through my eyes (right eye only) on how the infection developed  so you are aware if you’re ever in a similar situation, hopefully not!

The Symptoms

It’s Saturday morning, the penetrating sunlight from my blinds interjects the constant buzz of the outdoor traffic. I wake up well rested and ready for the day. That is, until I peer into the mirror at my left eye with my right eye, I look like I’ve  just done 12 rounds with Tyson. It’s swollen, it’s red, but not yet to an extent where I feel I should get something for it. And this was my mistake! Prevention is better than cure folks, know that! Act early.

So the day goes on, I just float around like a bad smell not knowing internally the rot that was starting to fester! Bit dramatic – the infection was beginning to worsen. I go to sleep that night after trying a home remedy of warm compression and black tea bags on my left eye.

Waking up Sunday, I feel an irregular tightness where I’d normally get my frequent dark circles! The infection had spread. Before it was near my tearduct now it’s making its way down my f*cking face! My cheekbone is beginning to hurt. I immediately start freaking out and do what any sane person would do and that’s jump straight on to Google. Looking at symptoms and reasons, I come across the goriest sh*te known to man, woman and child. Word of advice, don’t Google a symptom too much and certainly don’t look in Google Images!

From what my research had shown me, I had anything from mild Conjunctivitis to ‘you’re going blind b*tch’. And with this shock horror on a Sunday I rushed my ass half way across the city to visit an out of hours doctor. And this is where the fun really begins….

 

Part 1 – The Symptoms

Part 2 – The Treatment

Part 3 – The Aftermath