Back in E day . . . my husband and I had Philadelphia Flyers’ season tickets.
Back in E day . . . we would make the two-plus hour round trip to the arena a couple times each week to attend games, arriving home after midnight.
Back in E day . . . I lived and died with every win and every loss.
Back in E day . . . I bled orange and black.
Back in E day . . . I was in my 20s and 30s.
Back in E day . . . I knew nothing more fun or powerful or exciting than this:
Congratulations, Eric Lindros. The announcement of your appointment into the Hockey Hall of Fame has reminded this 50-year-old woman, who is now in bed before NHL night games are over, what a wonderful, huge part of my life your sport once was. I am grateful that your hockey years were my hockey years, back in E day.
Especially on a Monday, my daily ride on my exercise bike feels like a representation of my life in general: working hard, pedaling through the pain and fatigue, sweating, trying to think about ANYTHING except what is happening, wishing I was somewhere else, pushing myself to beat the competition that exists only in my head, wanting to go back to the bed that is only 2′ away from my bike . . .
. . . only to find that I have gone nowhere fast.
My husband is very supportive of me. He was when I travelled and worked long hours for my career and has been by my side from the moment I told him I couldn’t see out of my right eye.
But today I saw his most demonstrative encouragement, when he stood up and cheered for our 10-year-old nephew as he arrived “safe”-ly on second base after his third awesome hit of the game.
We all have heard that a vegan lifestyle is a far healthier choice when it comes to what we put in our bodies. Of course, there are multiple arguments to despute this, but I have made an unsolicited discovery: Peeling and chopping vegetables is a cardio workout!
While prepping the produce for tonight’s dinner, I found myself sweating, my brow furrowed in concentration (one must be extra careful when peeling and cutting with limited vision), my feet planted shoulder width apart, my core tight, my arms doing the brunt of the work. Turns out it’s not just what we put in our bodies, but what it takes to get it there!
When eating, my visual challenge is like a game. Depending on the dish, it can be a total surprise as to what is going in my mouth. Salads are the best example of this. I know what is in the salad but I have no idea what each forkful brings until the tastes explode on my tongue and I feel the texture as I begin to chew. One of my favorite salads consists of lettuce, mandarin oranges, almond slivers and chicken. I never know what I’m getting each time I load the utensil until It arrives in my mouth. After three years of this, it’s still a bit unsettling but I try to get into the spirit of the reveal.
Tonight I was serving myself the pot roast I prepared this morning (as I shared above), and was trying to find and transfer the carrots from the crock-pot to my plate. I could tell the potatoes by the feel of them when the spoon touched them, but the carrots blended with the meat and the resulting juice from slow cooking all day. After continuing to spoon and up close viewing to try to identify the orange carrot that looked the same color as the rest of the crock-pot’s contents, it struck me that once again this meal was burning me some calories. By the end of the endeavor, I was sure that my right bicep was twice the size it was this morning.
I am happy to report it was all worth it. The potatoes and carrots and roast – oh my! – were delicious. And if the connection between carrots and eyesight is true, then I can add that to the top of the list of the health benefits of this meal that started 12 hours before sitting down to eat.
I’m thinking tomorrow I get Siri moving. “Hey, Siri. Call Nino’s Pizza.”
Every few months it works out that I go directly from seeing my therapist to a hair appointment. The therapy I refer to here is someone I talk to about all that has happened over the last three years. She helps me sort through my thoughts and feelings about my life and she keeps me moving forward in this new, foreign world I find myself living in without my mom and without my full sight (the loss of both occurred five months apart, to the day). She gives me different ways to think about things and approaching upcoming events.
As for my hair appointment, what woman doesn’t look forward to getting her gray covered and her split ends cut away? There’s nothing like styling your ‘do the day after you’ve had it refreshed. As silly as it may sound, it’s like you’re starting anew, with confidence and the slight inkling that anything is possible.
It’s a good day when your head gets a makeover, both inside and out. Although I can’t see myself too well in the mirror, I know the sprucing up of my hair looks good. Therapy reboots my psyche and shores me up for the coming weeks. I may still have a down day every so often,and that’s ok. One of the things I have learned in therapy is that some days you just have to sit with your circumstances. I just hope that those days come soon after a hair appointment. If things are going to get ugly on the inside, at least the outside will look good!
I always have my calendar in order and always on time for things. If you’re not early, you’re late. But for some reason, I keep mixing up my physical therapy appointments for my knee. I go twice a week and the times are not the same for each session and so today, for example, I arrived at 5 p.m. for a 6 o’clock appointment. And since I can’t drive, it’s not as if I could hop in my car and head home or run some errands for the hour.
I don’t have an explanation for this. I don’t especially dread the time spent strengthening and coaxing my leg bender back into submission. I like working hard to (hopefully) bring it back around. I just can’t seem to get a handle on when I need to be where the effort gets put in.
For someone whose job it once was to get hundreds of people to cities via plane, to hotels and meeting rooms, to off-site events and dinners, my inability to get myself where I need to be at the correct time is kinda crazy. The dichotomy of my pre-vision loss and current life is infinite which is good because if it had a timetable to it, I might just miss it.
After over a year’s search for someone to assist me, my baby, my blog (not my baby, my bird, Piper), has undergone multiple operations. She came through them all like a champ. There is still some swelling and some home care needed, but she is resting comfortably in her new location.
As she heals, she and I will continue on our journey together, and we hope that you will join us. Like her mama, SisterRain.net is a work in progress, but today I could not be more proud of either of us. I didn’t give up on her when, time and time again, I was unable to find experts to do the heavy lifting that I, being self-taught and a friends-and-husband-proclaimed techie, could not do myself. And I haven’t given up on myself, either, since my vision loss, even though some days it may have seemed the easiest option. I don’t toot my horn often but right here, right now, I say good job, me, and I celebrate this blog, which returned creativity, artistic expression and my love of technology to my life. But the most important thing SisterRain.net has given back to me? Me.
They don’t know what caused my optic neuritis even though I was tested for every malady the doctors have ever heard of. It’s nice to know that other than severe visual impairment, I’m perfectly healthy.
I don’t think I will ever know how this happened and honestly, at this point, I am not especially concerned about the how, just the fix. If you look at it objectively, if they don’t know the source of the swelling of my optic nerves, there is no way to put treatments in place to prevent the same thing from occurring. But day-to-day, I suppose because I have been poked and prodded to all negative results, I don’t worry about it happening again.
Until my eyes ache. For you see, this was the only symptom I had with my vision loss.
My current eye soreness can be explained. My seasonal allergies make my peepers itch badly, and although I know you aren’t supposed to, I rub them. Hard. And though I know the cause is self-inflicted by way of histamines, I experience that pain and my stomach does a flip.
The scary part isn’t so much Is it happening again? as it is the memory of the worst days of my life. That ache behind my eyes reminds me of a time that I just want to forget.
Our senses transport us to our past all the time. I walk into a CVS and with my first inhale of its unique smell I think of my mom who loved that store. How is it that all locations, in different states, have that same odor??? Big & Rich’s Lost In This Moment puts me in our rental car in Arizona, in 2007, during our first vacation to the state. The taste of New England clam chowder makes me crave the best version I’ve ever had, at a marina cafe in California.
I never knew, though, that a physical hurt could return you to a place and time until I lost my vision. I may no longer have my full sight, but once there, I see it all so clearly.