“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.”
-1 Corinthians 13:12, ESV
Sometime in mid-January, my vision changed.
I don’t remember a moment of noticing because I had been due for an eye exam for a few months – a fact made more obvious because my daily use of these glasses amongst a small herd of toddlers had resulted in damaged frames and scratched lenses. I could tip my head down and my glasses would slide off the tip of my nose. My glasses often crashed to the floor as I turned suddenly to discover a mess-in-progress. I believed that my glasses were the casualty; the only issue I had was that I needed a new set of frames.
Then I noticed that if I closed my left eye, a grey cloud appeared right in the center of my vision. I noticed I could see around it just fine – my peripheral vision seemed exactly the same in my right eye. And the vision in my left eye was the same as it had always been since I first needed glasses in the eighth grade.
I tested it for a few days before I said anything, even before I allowed myself any judgments about it – because, surely, it was a fluke. Maybe a cloud appeared in my right eye only if I stared at a light just before covering my left eye. Or maybe it just happened before bed, when my eyes were tired. Or maybe it just happened if I stared at my image in the bathroom mirror. Or maybe it just happened as I stared at a close object, like my daughter’s face across the table as she ate her hot dog for lunch.
Each time I shut my left eye to test my right vision, I assumed to see as I always had: near-sighted, but whole images. And each time, I saw instead a clear peripheral image and a blank grey cloud in the center and distortion at its edges, through which no light passed. I could not read out of my right eye; I could not study my children’s faces; I could not see the names of street signs.
After a few days of silent tests, I mentioned it to my husband after the kids had gone to bed.
“I think maybe there’s a hole in the vision in my right eye,” I said.
“Really?” he said.
“I’m not sure,” I said. “But I’m a bit worried about it.”
He sighed, knowing that anxiety can make me a bit of a hypochondriac. “Make an eye appointment,” he said. “Today or tomorrow. It’s not worth worrying about for no reason.”
I nodded, sat down on the basement stair, pulled up the Groupon app on my phone, and right then purchased a Groupon to an optometrist in Arvada – one who had special imaging software that could take photos of the back of your eye. I knew I would need all the information I could get – at the very least, to satisfy my own anxious wonderings.
The next day, I made an appointment online for the next week. I gave my husband the dates, a Monday or Wednesday, and he suggested Wednesday because it worked best with his work schedule – after all, he’d be the one to come home early or go into work late in order to watch our four- and two-year-old so I could go to the appointment.
“But I’m wondering, would Monday be doable?” I texted. “It’s just I’d rather get in sooner rather than later.”
He agreed: I’d find out more on Monday, and in the meantime, I’d try to ignore my symptoms. After all, it might be nothing.
More to come in this series documenting a recent diagnosis I received: I’m calling this “Through A Mirror Dimly.” (It will be less polished than my falling-in-love story posts, but just as raw, I hope.)
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