Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Uncontrollable- Part 1

I’ve lived my entire adult life believing that if I made all the right decisions, if I was responsible, if I worked hard, if I planned and I prepared that barring death, there really was nothing I couldn’t control,.  Every move calculated, every scenario worked out in my head.  Type A control freak all the way. 

I’m starting to realize now that for a long time I’ve been lucky, that’s all there is to it.  I always joke about the bullets I dodged in my college years.  How did I escape a DUI, pregnancy, arrest, teen marriage?  I didn't realize it until last year when Poochie died and Dar's sister got cancer, but that luck had extend well into my thirties.  Not to say that my hard work and good choices didn’t help me, but when it’s all said and done, there are so many things we have absolutely no control over. So many things we can’t plan for or foresee.  Things we don’t even think about.  These are the things I struggle with the most, the uncontrollable.
Since January 4th I’ve been in and out of doctor’s offices.  I’ve been completely fucked up, living in fear and feeling completely unsure of myself because of something that’s happened to me.  It makes me sick to my stomach and it brings tears to my eyes even writing those words, something that’s happened to me.  In my head, those words signify weakness and victimization.  There are no positive connotation.  I've conditioned myself into believing that things don't just happen to you. 
Let me backtrack.
Twenty fourteen was coming to an end!  Thank god!  A new year full of hope and promise.  An opportunity to right the wrong.  The bad juju from the previous year would somehow magically die on December 31st.  Four days into 2015 and BAM, I’m leaving work abruptly and am waiting in the waiting room at my eye doctors until they can see me. 
The night before I went to bed with tired eyes.  That's nothing new, I mean we all stare at our computers/phones/TV’s for far too long.  There were a few specs flying around my right eye that night but I brushed it off and went to sleep.  
If you haven't read this post, please read it now, Legally Blonde, I Mean Blind. 
The next day at around noon the spec reappeared, only this time it was huge.  I did what any normal person would do in this situation and I panicked.  I knew something wasn't right so I called D and then immediately drove myself to the doctors.  To give you an idea of just how huge this spec was, while driving myself to the doctor’s office I thought I hit a dog.  Thankfully I did not, but seriously that’s how big this thing was,

I won't bore you with all of the medical lingo but I will give you the gist of what's been going on.  All of our eyes are full of what's called "vitreous gel".  This gel helps our eyes keep their shape so that they don't collapse (scary).  Vitreous gel also helps hold our retinas in place, very important because if our retinas detach or tare and they're not treated immediately, we'll go blind.  The long and short is that in typical fashion my eyes are aging faster than normal and the vitreous gel started to separate from the back of my eye (posterior vitreous detachment) causing what is referred to as a vitreous floater.  I've also started to experiences flashes of light.  Imagine someone standing 6 inches from your face and taking pictures of your eye with a flash camera, fun. 

If you look closely, you probably have a floater or two.  Peek up at the sky or look at a white background, that's when they're most prominent.  The problem for me is that the vision in my left eye is so low that I rely very heavily on my right eye.  Anything in my sight line is incredibly distracting.  

In the last 4 months:
I haven't driven a car.
I've upped my eye meds which have left me feeling very sick.
I almost walked into traffic.  Thanks for the save M.
I've been swatting flies from my face only to realize that there's really no fly there.
I've cried myself to sleep.
I've been angry.
I've felt cheated.
I've isolated myself.
I've felt incredibly alone.
I've been shown unconditional love.
I've been told I'm strong and brave.
I've felt incredibly vulnerable.
I've seconded guessed all of my decisions when it comes to the treatment of my eye conditions.
I've called my doctors office in complete panic at least a dozen times.
I've sat in a dark house bothered by the light for weeks.
I inverted my computer screen and iphone so that I no longer had to stare at a white screen
Things have gotten better and then worse.

One last thought before I leave you today.  I promise there will be more to come but the subject matter is incredibly draining. 

So that final thought.  Over the course of the last 4 months there have been several time where I've experienced this false sense of acceptance.  Just when I think I'm out of the woods and adapting, it'll be time for another doctor's appointment or something new will arise (like the flashes of light).  It has never been lasting but I know deep, deep down that somehow someway everything is going to be ok.  With time I will find peace.

Thanks for reading.  


  1. Oh Shannon, I'm so very sorry. I was so excited to see a post from you, and then it's such a whammy. I want to say something uplifting, or wise, but I have no words. Just know that I'm thinking of you, and I wish you all the strength in the world to get through this and to find peace. Big, big hug!

  2. I'm so sorry. I was starting to get to know you/your blog before I left, and then I saw that you hadn't posted. You're also memorable to me because you seem genuine and you're from San Diego. Anyhow, I am sending good thoughts your way. You are so right about not being able to control everything despite making the best decisions and working hard. But we still set ourselves up for better things by being smart and working hard. Don't discount that! I hope to see more posts from you again. -Jessica L

  3. First of all, it's nice to see a post from you and second but more importantly, I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. Our eyesight is so important and it has to be so scary having to deal with this and knowing that it is all out of your hands. We like control and it sucks that you don't have it. I had a detached retina when I was in college and it was terrifying as it was (and thankfully fixable) so I really can't imagine what you are going through. Glad you got some good support from loved ones. Just keep on chugging along. Sometimes that's all we can do. Sending warm thoughts your way.

  4. I'm sorry to hear what you're going through Shannon. My BFF had a detached retina two months ago and it was a scary time. She lived alone and had no family around save for us. So that times a zillion is what you're dealing with and it's a lot. It's okay to not be okay with it!

    Big hugs to you.

  5. I've read this two other times, and I can't come up with something better to say other than sorry S. You have held it together incredibly well!! You really really have and still are. I'll give you a big hug Friday :)