As some of you know, I went to see the ophthamologist on December 18th, after having procrastinated for a long time. I knew I wasn’t seeing right. I figured I needed a new prescription and also I was concerned about my peripheral vision.
I was wrong about the prescription. Yes, my vision is blurry, but no, it’s not the glasses. Dr. K did a number of tests and most, including the test for the rare side effect of Topamax, came out negative. It was the last test, the glaucoma test, that he was concerned about. He asked me a number of questions such as whether glaucoma runs in the family (it does, it turns out, as I found out from my mother later) and whether I get migraine headaches (thankfully not).
So I have another test in a couple of weeks that will tell more. This video is a demonstration of what I can see in my peripheral vision.
In a way, I’m relieved to find out that my vision deficiencies are not just another hypochondraical complaint. People notice that I strain to see things and have trouble seeing things that aren’t right in front of me. The problem has a label now.
But people become blind from glaucoma. The very word, “glaucoma,” implies blindness, and the word “blind” implies not only one who cannot see but who cannot or will not understand.
Many mental patients are relieved to find out that they have an illness that has a name. some, though, are mortified to discover they are one of us.
My very first diagnosis was as follows: “Bulimia, shyness, and family problems.” It’s an incorrect diagnosis, but the one that I was told. I wasn’t relieved at all.
More accurately, I was depressed and psychotic; I had binge eating disorder; I was agoraphobic, and my mother was being a wicked bitch.
But I think that most people are struck when they are diagnosed correctly for the first time. It seems unreal, and you don’t want to believe it, and then finally you do, because you have all the symptoms, and you have to accept it and follow through with the treatment; otherwise you’ll be ill again, or worse.