Flashing and Dashing

‘And this,’ the A&E doctor tells us showing us into a treatment room at the end of a corridor, ‘is also our ebola room!’ There’s comfort of a sort to be had in the fact that I’m not actually surrounded by staff in protective clothing, and also that I’ve been fast-tracked through casualty … although that in itself is rather worrying. I’ve had to seek emergency treatment for a flashing light show in my right eye which could be a posterior vitreous detachment – like the one I experienced in my left eye – or it might be the start of something more sinister like a retinal detachment and the only way to know is to seek expert medical help. Fast.

The ebola room, it turns out, usually serves as The Eye Room, and after a couple of basic eyes tests, further help is summoned. After a nervous wait, I’m thoroughly and efficiently examined by the on-call ophthalmologist who declares my eyes to be in surprisingly good shape for someone so short-sighted but to seek help immediately if the symptoms get worse … and breathe. Except, of course, I now have a few more anxious weeks hoping everything will settle down. I am, however, hugely grateful to the A&E staff at Aberystwyth's
 Bronglais General Hospital who showed me such kindness and dealt with me so efficiently.

With all the excitement of the Cardiff Half Marathon, Tom starting his PhD, my poor mother-in-law facing a round of medical treatment and a whole heap of Romantic Novelists’ Association committee work, we’ve barely stood still. And although I’m disinclined to agree with a couple of lay opinions that Too Much Running and Too Much Looking have contributed to my eye problems, I think I probably have been squeezing quarts of activity into a pint pot and it may well be time to take a bit of a rest.  On a more cheery note this arrived today – a very pretty sight for both my eyes!

The painting is Sea Monoprint by Tom Tomos.


Chanpreet said…
Oh boy! That is quite a scare Chris! I have progressive myopia and have had glasses since I was in the second or third grade. I've had floaters for over a decade and was warned I was in danger of having retinal detachment. I've had flashes of light before, but they've never been anything more than auras for migraines, which in a sense I'm glad that's all they were.

You should try to rest your eyes a bit. I know that's difficult with everything you have going on, but you still have to make it a priority.
Flowerpot said…
Blimey -so glad your eyes are OK Chris. And as someone who's got a degree in overdoing things, yes perhaps yuou should have a break! Take care xx
Jane Lovering said…
You should stop Looking immediately. Only See when it's absolutely necessary, and don't Gaze at all. I'm glad the eyes are holding up, but don't take any chances...
kate johnson said…
Yikes, scary stuff! I freaked out the first time I got flashy lights but they went away after twenty minutes or so and turned out to be my first migraine (joy!). I don't know if it would do you any good to wear sunglasses to cut down on glare, etc, especially whilst using computers? Its not the same as resting your eyes but it might help.
Sally Townsend said…
Oh dear, seems like we are both being told to 'slow down', take care of yourself x
Teresa said…
Now, listen to your Aunt Teresa.
You have an amazing body. No, don't go and take a bow and call Tom to read. It's not that! ;)
The body knows where it hurts more and more deeply, and when it (the body) wants someone to calm down and:
1) sleep a nap
2) rest
3) have a cup of coffee and do nothing the all day for days
what happens? He aims where it hurts.
Your body, Dear Chris, is talking. Are you going to listen? Really listen?
I'm sorry for the scare but you were probably needing it. My husband had a vitreous detachement before our wedding and it wasn't a walk in the park. He was young but only has 20% of sight on that eye and he's considered lucky. Take care!
PS - (more) Flashing and Dashing only when a huge SUV passes through you on the road during your endless runs. And he's doing the Flash and Dash. Not you! Don't make me go there and make you. Love U.
Guernsey Girl said…
I am very myopic: when I'm not wearing my glasses I'd rather look at the pavement than ignore someone I know. But I don't need glasses to read the menu, unlike most of my contemporaries, and I do really value my (somewhat limited) vision. Good luck, Chris. Let's hope your're over the worst... :)
Liz Harris said…
How terrifying, Chris!!

You must TAKE CARE. If things pile up, ask for help. You, your sight, your feeling of well being - these are what matter and you must look after yourself.

Clare Chase said…
So sorry, Chris – that sounds really scary. I do hope you get some rest and everything settles down without further problems. I love the painting, by the way! x
Chris Stovell said…
It's scary, isn't it, Chanpreet, having that retinal detachment warning hanging over you? The perils of being a myope, eh? Let's hope it doesn't happen to either of us.

Hmm, yes, I recognise a kindred spirit, Sue! Thank you.

Jane - the 'too much looking' bit does make me smile. I've noticed my heart works very hard too, but I've decided not to give that a rest!

Thanks, Kate - I do get migraines too and I'd try anything when it gets to that stage to ease the pain. All in all I'd like the flashing lights to go away now.

Many thanks, Sally. You too! x
Chris Stovell said…
Aw, Teresa, you are very kind. Yes, I think it probably is a sign I need to fill the well before it's completely dry. Especially after your husband's experience, poor man. Thank you for your kind concern. x

Many thanks, Guernsey Girl. It is scary being so short-sighted, isn't it? My sight (touch wood) is quite correctable but I could really do without the worry until the flashing lights settle down. All best to you.

Liz, thank you for the hugs and your concern. I think I probably should stop behaving as if a starting pistol has just fired every morning - before my body orders me to take to a break. x

Clare, thank you for your kind comments about Tom's painting. Fingers crossed, I hope all will be well.
Frances said…
Chris, it's taken me a while to get around to reading this post, perhaps because I am also trying to slow it all down a bit.

Like you, I really value my eyesight and know that a great part of what joy I find in life depends on my vision. (I smiled a bit this week to learn that fellow that sings with the band, Bono, shares glaucoma with me. Just keep up with the eye drops Mr B. All will be well.)

Your description of the visit to the E ward shows me again what a fine writer you are. I felt as if I was there with you. What a relief you must now feel to have been able to have the exam and to receive the advice to slow it down a bit. I know you will.

Tom's picture is perfect for your "seafaring" novel. I recommend this book to all!

Lots of love to you and Tom. xo
Chris Stovell said…
Lovely to hear from you, Frances - and also to hear that you're trying to find ways to take life more easily. It's not easy when you're someone used to packing every minute! I'm glad you take notice of your glaucoma and treat it properly (another eye problem which requires expert diagnosis and underlines the importance of regular eye examinations. I also value your eyes which provide us with such wonderful pictures of your life - please keep looking after them and yourself! And thank you very much for your support of my novel and Tom's paintings. Love, Chrisx
Irish Eyes said…
So, go on admit it, wasn't that wonderfully reassuring to be told this is the ebola room? For a moment I thought you were attending our local hospital! As has been said elsewhere - take it easy and mind your most valuable asset lady, which I mention from totally selfish reasons. If anything happens to your sight, how are you to see me waving from our hill to your hill across the Irish sea???
You have just had an injection of Irish humour...terms and conditions do not apply ;-)
Keep well lady, i.e., xx
Liane Spicer said…
Glad to hear the prognosis is good, and yes, some R&R might be a good idea. I think I know how you feel, having seen way too much of doctors and hospitals over the past month or so. I'm a craven coward at heart, don't handle medical things well at all. And the mention of ebola would not have helped!

Ooh! Audiobook! How cool is that? And I love your hubby's work.
Chris Stovell said…
Dear I.E. I would be very sorry not to spot you arriving on our shore having swum that 'drop of water' between us so I shall take great care of myself! X

I'm sorry to hear you've been in the wars, Liane. Like you, I'd much rather avoid hospitals - I hope you're on the mend now. Thanks for your kind comment about Tom's painting and yes, pretty chuffed to add a third audiobook to the shelf. Look after yourself. x

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