The Ghost of Vision PRKsent

I have never been so terrified in my life.  No, I am not in pain.  Nor is my life in any danger.  My eyes are not even particularly light-sensitive, although I understand that it is better to wear my sunshades when I go outside to protect them from the glare.  I am a little bit worried about my eyes drying out, but not because PRK puts me at any particular risk for dry-eye in the way that LASIK does.  And yet, my nervous system is freaking out because I can't see.

Actually, that is not quite true.  The world has edges now, preternaturally sharp ones, even fairly close up.  But it has too many.  It is all edges, repeating over and over and over again.  PRK-survivors call it "ghosting," but it's worse than being haunted.  At least with a real ghost, it is something outside of oneself that is distorting one's vision.  This is one's vision--and there is no escape.  Not, in any case, as there was with ordinary myopia: take the lenses off, the world goes soft and fuzzy; put the lenses back on, it springs into focus.  Now there are no lenses that can help, only time.  At least, time had better help.  I may go insane otherwise.  Or blind.

At the moment, the thought of blindness seems quite restful (I should be careful what I wish for, eh?).  I haven't slept properly in days.  Okay, so there was that paper to write and all those applications to read, not to mention a five-hour long admissions committee meeting on Wednesday afternoon and a full day and a half sitting listening to papers at the conference yesterday and today.  It may simply be that my inner introvert is a bit overstimulated and that I just need some time to relax.  Except that I couldn't sleep even last night, after I had given my paper and all I needed to do was wake up in time this morning to get to the first session of talks.  Instead, I spent the night with my iPod on, halfway between waking and sleeping, listening to a story about, I think, somewhere in France.  With comedy.  P.G. Wodehouse, at a guess.

You may ask, if I can't see, how I am typing this post.  I have to hope that it is making sense.  Who knows?  Every letter is doubled, tripled, even at maximum type-size.  Good thing I am at my desk typing on my iMac; I couldn't make the image this big on my Macbook.  Maybe this is going to be the way I have to write from now on, into a haze of edges and more edges.  Talk about changing your vision of the world.  Maybe this is really all just in my head, not my corneas at all.  Maybe it is just my mind freaking out at the thought of the world's having edges, when for decades all it has had is shapes.  Or maybe it is the optical center of my brain having to make new synapses to cope with all the edges that the world now has.  And that it can no longer escape by telling my hand to take off my glasses.

Happily, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet, I know that I am not alone.  Others seem to have had similar problems with not healing quite as fast as their doctors made it sound like they would.  But nowhere in all of those papers that I signed a week ago last Thursday was there any mention that I remember that this might be the case.  Haloing around lights, sensitivity to light, itchiness, dryness--yes.  But NOT GHOSTING.  Not losing your ability to focus clearly on anything, whether near or far, for as long as a month, on average more like two weeks.  Nor that it would, in fact, take up to three months before your vision fully healed.

Not that there is anything I can do about it now.  Ironic, eh?  I wanted to be able to see more clearly than I could with glasses and now I can't see at all.  Not, at least, without concentrating really, really hard.

And I thought stopping smoking was the ultimate recipe for anxiety.


  1. Hang in there, Bear! You and I both know you can't dictate how fast you heal. More's the pity.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my blog post. I look forward to hearing what you think!


Popular posts from this blog

Chivalry Our Lord's-Style, ca. A.D. 33

Talking Points: Three Cheers for White Men

Make the Middle Ages Dark Again

Free Speech Fundamentals: Building a Platform

God's Fools