And here I thought this post would be about how I sent all the contributions to Heifer and they sent a nice letter back and named the water buffalo "Jim" and sent him to Southeast Asia. Well, that's still going to happen (this week, I swear) but in the interim, Joan's having a new and exciting medical saga. For anybody who doesn't know what's going on, Joan woke up about a week ago mostly unable to see out of her "good" eye. She has a "bad" eye, too, where the visual field is limited, so to have the "good" eye poop out on her like this is not a good thing. Obviously this is causing all kinds of problems, like you would expect if you were suddenly struck about half blind. We've spent days in doctors' waiting rooms and testing facilities, and while we were at it, we hit Joan's out of pocket maximum. So at least everything's free from here.
At this point there is no news, except that things are not getting better. Nobody seems to be able to tell us if the eyesight will come back once they figure out what's causing the problem and start treating it. Oh, and what could be the problem ranges from papilloedema, a condition caused by diabetes but usually on a much older person (don't Google it, it's scary) to a brain tumor, which is--well, I'm not gonna say anything more about that. And all of that is incredibly sucky, but what I'm having the most trouble with now is just the sheer logistics of this thing.
By that I mean, how to cope with the world when you can't see most of it. I dunno if you've ever thought of that before, but it's a lot. I mean, for example I've had to go through the house, and will have to do it again on a regular basis because we have a kitten, looking for trip hazards and things below radar that Joan could get hung up on. (And our house is an OSHA nightmare in that respect. We're working on it, though.) There are some chores I've more or less taken over because I just don't think she can do them. And of course there's driving. When you can't see, you can't drive. So now, instead of just driving myself around, I actually need to think about it, sit down and make a schedule; where Joan has to be when, when I need to pick her up, how long it'll take to get to here from there, and therefore, what time I can expect to, say, arrive at work. Bonus, though; We're spending a lot of time together. Kristen was right; that part is actually pretty cool.
(And just incidentally, my work has been great about all this. No complaints about my lateitude or about my being gone on a semi-regular basis to take Joan someplace or other. Essentially, they don't have to pay me while I'm not here, but that aside, they've been really nice. And this may be coincidental, but one of the Downstairs Guys came upstairs to tell me he was running low on work and did I have anything for him. Oh, honey. Do I ever.)
And me? you ask. Has my head exploded from the stress yet? Well, actually no. This is very Buddhist-y of me, but I've just been taking it one day at a time. Say today is Thursday. What time do we both need to be at work? Any doctor's appointments? What time do I need to be at the library to pick Joan up? What's for dinner? And that's all I can really think about. I don't deal with the long term possibilities because they're just flat-out beyond me. We'll have news when we have news. It'll get better if it's going to get better.
(Of course, I can say that, right? It's not like it's my eyes, after all.)
But, seriously, this is a marriage. And in a marriage, things change all the time. You might not notice it, but if you take a look at yourself you'll realize you aren't the person you were ten years ago. Everything's different now. You're different now. If you're married, you're in a different marriage than you were in ten years ago, even if you're still married to the same person. You've plainly found a way, and many people don't, to navigate those changes with your partner. Now, this is a particularly sucky change, and it's a big ugly nasty one, but still, it's a change. The only way to handle change is to handle it together.
That's all I've got for now. Sorry, but I've been really tired. Those of you that are in good with any particular deity, if you wouldn't mind dropping him or her a line about Joan's eyes getting better, that would be great. And the checks go to Heifer tomorrow. All I need is an envelope. And a really good picture of a water buffalo.