Have you ever seen lightning up close?      Well I guess that’s not too uncommon, but let me go into detail. Last Thursday I was making an attempt to fish in the late afternoon. Weather was beautiful and clear, had Ringo by my side. Watched the herons come and go building their nests for the season. All was as usual till I kept thinking I saw crows way up high off to the left and  would glance over toward the left and nothing was there. Then I would notice again and again and there seemed to be black lines in the sky that when I tried to confirm were there, weren’t. Now most people might be freaked out, but I was in my fishing zone so only a heart attack on the spot stops someone who is fishing.
I was distracted but not enough to come in early on such a beautiful day! I watched the sunset and wondered, where’s that lightning coming from? Off to the far left, I thought I saw a bolt from the lower quadrant of my left eye. There was no lightning out in the open- I mean, it was cool so there was no heat lightning to present itself, so what had I seen?
After watching the sun setting, I went inside and noticed it again – what? How am I seeing lightning out of the corner of my eye sitting at the computer? My eyes must be strained and tired from editing photos, I do it for hours. Something was strange especially since I was still noticing blackbirds off to the left in small groups and I was sitting inside. I put my hand across my left eye and noticed nothing and then reversed,  I saw the lightning again with my left. By that time it was around 8pm. I was kind of freaked out because in the 70’s I worked for a ophthalmologist  and remembered people coming in with flashes and floaters and cobweb concerns.  I had no vision loss, but  I also remember retinal detachments which is big time scary and I was thinking, UT OH! But, bad girl that I am, I was not going to the emergency room.  Hell has to ravage my body before I go there. So I went to bed noticing a few flashes in the dark – how freaky to watch the production of body juices rear up and make their presence known through flashing and lines.
When I woke up last Friday, WHOA,  it was slowly storming in my eye and the black birds were back tormenting me. Was this a sort of karma for fishing? As much as I love fishing, I am the guiltiest fisher person whenever I actually catch a fish and have to drag it in. I see their mouths bloodied from the hook, I think what if I came back next life as a hungry fish and grabbed the bread off a hook and was being hauled in by the mouth? How would I feel? When I hook a damn turtle, you can see the panic as they try and escape. I hate dragging them by their wounded mouths up on shore to flip them on their backs and take a pliers to get the barb out and I use the smallest hooks so it’s a minimal process, but still, it makes me feel bad, guilty! And yet, I still fish, go figure. Though as I always quote Thoreau,  “Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not the fish they are after”… But enough of the Jewish guilt, the eye was misbehaving and here it was the day before a holiday weekend and I had to find an eye doctor to take me…
I called a few places and was rejected, they only were taking patients in essence they did not care if I went blind or not.  I called another, their nearby office wasn’t open, but one way the Hell over near Disney was, they would only take me if I had insurance or cash up front. In fact, they all asked up front if I had insurance. I called the office of Dr. Carol Logan OD in Lake Mary just by a fluke to see if maybe she could refer me. I got a recording so I did leave a message and moved on till I finally got The Sakowitz Eye Center (386-574-0700)  to see me in their Orange City office that morning. About ten minutes later, a caller identifying herself as Dr. Carol Logan said she got my message and was concerned that I did not know how serious my symptoms were and said she was on her way out of town, but could give me some names to call. I thanked her for being so kind as to return my call. I sure never expected personalized service from a doctor no less, this was not her assistant! I told her who I was seeing and she said I was in “good hands”. That gave me a boost.
Over I went to Orange City, about 8 miles away, you blink and you miss it! In my case I blinked and saw flashes. The Sakowitz Eye Center was hopping, the parking lot filled! I went into to a very nice building and saw the filled waiting room and thought, oh boy, I’ll be here all day. But it was less than 10 minutes and I was called. The assistant wrote the symptoms down and then I was dilated and they did retinal scans of both eyes. I sat in a another waiting room with several people who were also dilated and we laughed about how bright the overhead light was and why they bothered having magazines when none of us could see to read? Of course there was the chatter of why people were there, which had had hips, knees and shoulders replaced, glaucoma, high blood pressure, etc etc and all the medicines being used. WOW, I considered myself lucky after that! Well, I hoped I was lucky with my eye! About twenty minutes later I was given a room and Dr. Cohn came in and gave me a going over. MAN OH MAN, they could use this stuff instead of waterboarding because you are convinced you are going blind! The doctor looked at my eyes through the machine that takes your pressure and flashes a light into the eye to look inside. Then I put my head back and he took  a magnifying lens and a light and shined it all about the eye in many quadrants with this great banging of light blinding me! This must be the light patients talk about as they go into shock and the body is about to leave the soul and go after  the light – the  light was so bright it’s repelling, you want to look away, to close your eyes from this pneumatic intrusion of blindness! You fight it, blinking and squinting and yet there is this fascination by the colors and patterns that swirl about and imprint upon the brain – I am perplexed and intrigued about how a body works. Things blossomed and retracked, grew and shrunk with vivid and dull colors .Things got so hectic at  one point, I thought I might pass out! In all my life, I only once passed out and remember it so well as I had impacted wisdom teeth and the oral surgeon was changing the packing and I felt the room grow lighter and lighter until  I was bathed by a beautiful light when I heard the doc say, “Were losing her” at which time they made me sit up and come back from lala land. Now probably 40 + years later, here I was facing off with the brightness and the fascinating colors and auras. There was no pain associated with it, but a kind of very weird, trippy intensity as if  watching one of the old 60’s concerts where they have a large screen with crazy ongoing splashing colors. I included one just for effect:   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h2mJnvRbZ8&feature=related

The only thing missing was the music, so I have included some for your entertainment  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyzLd0Xtj7s
Great excuse to include Hair!
So you’re saying get on with it! What Happened? It felt like I was going to be blind when I was through, I sat up and my left eye had half its vision, the light had been cut to a dull shadow.  I wondered if doing this would cause a big old rip, so I asked if he ever had anyone that lost their sight from that, he said he had not lost a patient yet. He said the vision  would come back. Plus I was dilated and everything was uber bright. He told me the good news was that there were no holes or tears, that I had a retinal hemmorhage in the left eye. what was the cause? Sometimes it can be from underlying illness like diabetes, OR if you have strained and yes, I was guilty of moving a queen sized mattress from one room to another the day before. He told me he had patients who had strained from bowel movements could get them too, so be careful! There was nothing to do but wait it out and get another check up. But was also told that if I lost vision or it seemed like a veil had come over my eye, to get examined as that could mean a detachment.
WOO, I was relieved, though still light sensitive and with half the light gone in my left eye, I asked for those funky  dark inserts and shoved them inside my sunglasses and drove myself back home. Next time I will take someone with me,  I was squinting and flashing and when I got home I headed for my bedroom and took a nap. When I woke I had plenty of flashes, they are startling as you are continually looking to see what you might have missed to the blind side of your vision.
The flashers have quieted down since last week, though now I am seeing occasional cobwebs that float across looking like stretched fishing line that has then curled up and it taunts me and makes me aware of what the body is capable of doing especially as we age – Getting old is not for the weak! I still think I’m seeing birds every so often,  real and fake. Make sure to get eyes checked about once a year, make sure your eye pressure is good, your blood pressure too, glaucoma can be dangerous. I also have slow growing cataracts, bummer!
Now it’s already a week gone again. But a nice gesture was made by Dr. Logan who did call me on Monday and left a message wondering how things went. I was really touched by that. How many times does a doctor who doesn’t know you from diddly squat care enough about you to call and you aren’t even their patient? NONE except Dr. Logan. Here’s her website if you happen to live around the Lake Mary, Seminole county area.
Dr. Logan has been working with eyes for 20 years, is a Optometric Physician and it says she is sincere and cares about her patients, I can vouch for that and even top it since I am not her patient, yet she was concerned enough about me as a person, a rare rare quality today, rare rare indeed, thank you Dr. Logan.
Other than that the heron in my tree has been slow to mate and slow to finish the nest. She has been standing by it for a week. The males come and mate in early morning then leave, though one has been staying close by and leaves in late afternoon. As I went to fish last night, I noticed that she finally sat in the nest. I figured she must have laid her eggs, but this morning she was standing off to the side with the male so there can’t be eggs up there as it has been freezing the past few nights and those eggs would never make it without a warm body over them. Once the eggs are out, both parents are spending all their time on that nest. I am not seeing that as of this morning. Love hearing their prehistoric squawking as they males shuttle from nest to nest making their presence known.
So stay healthy, pay attention to your eyes – I would be lost as a photographer /artist without use of them, blindness for anyone after living in the light would be so difficult so get those eyes checked and the body vitals too because many diseases and conditions affect your sight! So, have a great weekend, look around and take it all into appreciation,  do what you love and make your life the best it can be!