A couple of weeks ago I wrote about some weirdness with my eye that required further investigation. After two optometrist appointments, one set of imaging tests, one field vision assessment, and a referral to an ophthalmologist, I have been pronounced normal. I actually received the Official Kindergarten Cop Diagnosis out loud from the ophthalmologist, which brought some levity to the exam room.
On some level, I knew that I was likely just fine. I’m a pretty healthy 37 year old woman who works out, eats pretty well (albeit more than I should if I ever want to reach my goal weight), feels pretty good most of the time, and stays on top of things like getting regular physicals. Of all the possible diagnoses that my symptoms could be tied to, Absolutely Nothing was the most likely.
And yet, I spent over a week really, really freaking out. I was terrified that I would *not* receive the Official Kindergarten Cop Diagnosis – that I actually had a tumor (or something just as bad). Which just goes to show that even though it’s usually a better bet to look for horses than to look for zebras when you hear hoofbeats, a person can be dramatically impacted by the health crises of others. See, for the last several years, there have been far, far too many tumors making appearances in the skulls of my loved ones. My husband was killed by one at 40, my sweet friend Wayne was killed by one that spread all over his body at 75, and my husband’s aunt got a nasty one at…well, let’s call it 29 and holding.
Just like people who have their houses broken into fear another robbery will happen to them, or people whose romantic partners cheat on them fear that the next boyfriend or girlfriend will do the same, I fear that the same type of serious ailment that has taken people I love will befall me. I spent far too much of my time during the period where I was visiting so many eye doctor types Busy Being Frightened instead of Busy Being Awesome. I’m normally a rational human being, and this is decidedly Not Rational, but there you go. I’ve been trying to convince myself for a long time that I understand How The World Works and that This Is Unlikely To Happen To Me, and yet when the slightest possibility presented itself, I was unable to sleep, write my blog posts, motivate myself at work, or go to the gym regularly, and I couldn’t quit eating junk.
My asymmetrical pupil may be Totally Benign, but the events of my past clearly are not, at least where my heart and my psyche are concerned.