Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Something, But Not Something Like This

The universe works in mysterious ways and when I wished in my heart that something would happen, something would be different, I was really thinking of a good different. But maybe I took it for granted that the universe knew what I meant. Apparently not.

Now, it wasn't a big thing, but a trip to the emergency room is definitely something different. While helping my mom with an outdoor fix-it job on Sunday afternoon, I stepped into the sunlight and found the vision in my left eye to be very white and cloudy. I thought that something was on my contact lens, but cleaning it didn't resolve the problem. I washed out my eye and put my glasses on, but the problem was still there. From the outside, it looked perfectly fine, like nothing was wrong with it, but something was causing light to difuse rather pass through my optical field.

I had been using vinyl cement and turpentine at the time and wondered if one or the other had gotten in my eye, but I thought surely I'd have felt that happen. So, I called an ophthalmologist friend who now lives out of town and asked what he thought was happening and what I should do. "Go to the ER," he said. It was the last thing I wanted to hear, as I have no health insurance. But go I did.

Turns out that I somehow I managed to acquire superficial punctate keratitis. It was described to me as little holes in the cornea and this site describes my case " fine, scattered areas of loss of epithelium from the cornea - the clear part of the surface of the eye. The lesions appear punctate (looking like dots or points)..." It can be caused by a number of things, such as overuse of contact lenses (but these days, I hardly ever wear my contacts because I just don't see very well with them - that's another story), by light injury (think of arc welders and UV tanning beds, neither to which I've been exposed, though I was playing around with magnifying optics in the sun the day before...but I was not focusing the light toward my own eyes), and by chemical injury (the vinyl cement or turpentine?). They said my case looked like what they see with arc welders. It's also the kind (when it's not severe) that resolves most quickly. We really have no idea what caused it. I was given an antibiotic ointment to prevent infection and sent home with instructions to see an ophthalmologist the following day, which, of course, I did not. But it was noticeably better the next on Monday and by Tuesday, there was hardly any residual cloudy haze in my visual field.

So, that's something different. Not exactly what I had in mind, but different.

Now, I said in the last post that there have been various and sundry things that I haven't posted about and you guys said tell it! So, here's a few of the things you missed:

  • March 31st marked the 18th anniversary of my status as home owner. We bought it that day and moved in on April 1st, 1988 so the forthcoming baby Alex would have a real home in which to grow up.
  • Renard hit the big 5-0 on April 4th, but shhhhh! Don't tell anyone. I've got to say he's in damned good shape for a 50 year-old. He's got the body of someone half his age, and if you ever perused my Flickr photos, you might have gleaned that from this shot or the other one on page 12 of my collection. These were from my one and only attempt of tasteful nude photography. (No, I've never attempted the tasteless kind.) One of us in this picture is considered black and the other white (except by the folks who don't consider my ethnicity to be legitimately white, a point previously touched on in this post), and I think it says a lot about society's need to characterize us by skin-color, given the fact that in this picture, you can't tell which of us is which.
  • Despite the fact that someone from the cable company solicited me for a contract job and I quickly forwarded to them all the information they requested, I have heard nothing else from them. An insider tells me that they really don't have their shit together over there, so now that becomes my continuing unemployment problem.
  • And speaking of employment, good news from UNO. My department chair contacted me about teaching classes again this fall. I should be able to teach a couple of classes as an adjunct and there is a possibility, though it may be a slim one, that I'll be able to be hired full-time. Full-time means real salary, not the per-class adjunct rate I've been earning while happily paying my dues in anticipation of a more permanent position. Yes, UNO is in an exigent state with post-Katrina enrollment down and a multi-million dollar budget shortfall, and yes, I've been down this road before and I got my hopes up for nothing, but I refuse to remain anything but optimistic about this.
  • Since I can't do anything on the house until the engineer comes, I decided to start scraping the old paint off the outside in anticipation of the new paint-job the house will someday get. Rachel, of course, wants in on the action. She's a good little helper.
  • Le rat est mort. Vive le chat! Yes, it's Ratilda, nevermore. I believe she must be dead because she hasn't been seen since the cat's last stakeout, and the cat hasn't bothered coming by to case the joint for her anymore. C'est la vie.
  • I'm typing these words on the illuminated keys of a new PowerBook. I finally broke down and bought one and okay, not exactly new, but refurbished. Actually, I bought two, because the first was DOA and had to be returned. The second was also defective, but I decided the problem was not major so I returned it to Apple to be serviced and now it's fine. (By the way, this is not the new Intel model.) I have not chronicled the computer problems I've had since The Storm, but they have been legion and no machine or peripheral has been spared of trouble. (I'm sure my house's unfriendly post-storm environment had a lot to do with this.) I hope this trend is over now that I have a working Mac again. Having this machine will definitely bring more of a feeling of normalcy to my life. Now I just have to sell that Windows laptop...
That's all for now. Exciting, huh?


Blogger muse said...

Lisa, do you think your eye problems might be linked to this?;_ylt=AhkwZV0LUWvamWv45kQak7rVJRIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA5aHJvMDdwBHNlYwN5bmNhdA--

10:59 AM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

I heard about this, but unless the same company is making the cheapo lens solution branded for Walmart that I use on those rare occasions that I wear the lenses, I think I'm safe. But thanks for thinking of me when you saw it.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Lisa, am am sorry to hear about the eye problems. I refuse to believe that the universe would continually kick a person while they are down. I my diagnosis is that it is temporary and will end up being just fine. Thank you for keeping us all up to date I hope that you feel as good telling us about what's going on as we do about hear it. Finally, I don't seem to have an up to date email for you, please email me at techrcg @ yahoo . com so I may get a recent email, and we can communicate more fluidly.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Addict said...

I was holding my breath while reading your post... I'm so glad that things are resolving! Things like that with eyes are soooo scarey!
Glad you're "looking" like yourself again!

11:09 PM  
Anonymous Ingrid said...

This eye problem on top of everything else going on?! Talk about adding insult to injury (or maybe it's more like injury to insult in this case?).

12:03 PM  
Blogger piu piu said...

look after your eyes! i have awful eyesight and it costs me a fortune...i lost my glasses about 2 yrs ago and have struggled on since. i went to the optician the other day (paid for by my boyfriend's mum) and they were shockedi could function at all. Gotta new pair of specs ....but they set us back somewhere in the region of 600 dollars....ew

12:05 PM  
Blogger LisaPal said...

Happily, the eye is better and I sincerely hope that this is the last post on aggravating mishaps and misfortunes.

1:05 AM  

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