I have involuntarily added a new bit of raiment to my wardrobe: an eye patch. It doesn’t make me look dashing or mysterious or, absent a hat and sword, much like a pirate. It does suggest an injury.
Last week, about the same time I’m writing this on Monday afternoon, I suffered a burst blood vessel in my right eye. I don’t recall feeling it, only being shocked and alarmed the next time I looked in the mirror and noticed that my right eyeball was full of blood. It was not painful, and my eyesight did not seem to be affected, but it scared the whatever it is you think might be scared out of me.
I dropped into the Twisp Family Health Centers clinic for a quick consult, and then stopped off at Aero Methow Rescue Service, where I was advised that although it looked bad (you think?) it was likely more concerning than alarming. I remained concerned, worked on stifling alarm, but opted not to get an ambulance ride to somewhere I might be temporarily stranded without a way back to the valley.
After a night of mostly emotional agony, on Tuesday I managed to arrange an appointment with an eye doctor — but not until Wednesday, at the Confluence Health Regional Eye Center in Wenatchee, which was the best I could do on short notice. So, eye patch deployed for much of the way, I made the drive.
The doctor was, as I have come to expect at the Central Washington Hospital complex in Wenatchee, very friendly, professional and attentive. She confirmed that it was a broken vessel (technically, a “subconjunctival hemorrhage”), but then on examination pronounced it one of the most severe she has seen and described it as a “deep bleed” (which I immediately concluded, but did not say out loud, would be an excellent name for a 1970s heavy metal band).
That said, she advised that there is typically nothing to be done but let it heal — only in my case, it will take much longer to heal than most, so for the next couple of months I will continue to look scary to myself and others who peer a little closely at me. Eventually, the blood drains, and gravity is your friend so it’s a good idea to sleep upright if you can. Meanwhile, I should not poke or prod at it or use pain medications that could also act as blood thinners. The doctor has since phoned to see how I’m doing and assured me I could come back for another visit if I felt the need. I’m weighing my options.
I’ve given up on the concept of “bad timing,” because stuff just happens when it happens, but this latest health challenge doesn’t help. We’re already short-handed at the newspaper, now we’re short-eyed. Although my eyesight is still not noticeably impaired and I’m not experiencing pain, my eyes get fatigued quickly and I have to take frequent rest breaks so as not to overdo it. Everything takes more time. Long binges on Netflix are definitely out.
As usual, the staff and freelancers are stepping up to help make things happen. We also recently welcomed back to the fold our former news and advertising designer Ryan Edwards, who handled our design needs in the past but had to resign to attend to family matters. With the recent departure of Managing Editor Natalie Johnson and her variety of skills including design, Ryan agreed to again take on the design function in the interim and we are grateful to have him back on board while we look for long-term solutions. He’s working from Ellensburg, but thanks to modern technology that’s a feasible option. We’re cobbling our efforts together the rest as best we can, and I’m ever thankful for whatever assistance we can find.
So you might say, if you’re a bad punster like me, that we’re kind of a patch-work operation right now. But I’m confident we’ll see our way out of it, as we always do.