The day I thought I’d go blind

Yesterday afternoon, I was doing my work, staring hard at the figures on a spreadsheet, when I noticed little specks of light in my vision. At first they were negligible, but then there were more specks.
Soon, I could barely read the text on my screen because the specks of light blocked me from focusing on the centre of my vision.
Even more bizarrely, these specks of light were clustered into a zig-zag pattern. From the right side of my right eye, this pattern shifted until it seemed to be balanced between my right and left eyes. This is an illustration of what I saw:
My ocular migraine experience
I thought I had a detached retina! With what little vision I had left, I Googled for ‘detached retina’ and [learnt]( that I could very well be suffering from the first warning signs. If I did not seek treatment soon, I might go blind!!!!
But it could also be a false alarm. Maybe if I rested my eyes, the dazzling zig zag would go away. So I used eye drops to soothe my eyes, and leaned my head back, believing that (from my layman point of view) it might slow down the tearing of the retina. For a while, it didn’t seem to improve much.
So I sat there for a while, bracing myself in case I did lose my vision. Thoughts that came to mind as I sat there, with eyes closed:
1. How am I going to play the piano now? Would I have to be like Stevie Wonder? I pictured myself feeling for the right keys and turning to music to lift me out of my misery from being blind.
2. If I did go blind, I’d ironically be worse off than those who were born blind, or became blind early in their life, because their other senses were more heightened. Also, I’d have to live with the pangs of having been able to see in the past – knowing I’ve missed out on a good thing.
3. “God, is this happening to me for a purpose?”
4. How many people would still be my friends if I went blind? (I believe that being cast into a difficult situation is one way to find out who your true friends are)
5. How can I communicate with the rest of the world if I can’t see what’s on the Internet? Can I adapt to screen readers and dictate my blog posts? Plus, I’d probably have to give up my iPhone, because there are no keys to feel.
6. What kind of work could I do, if I was blind? Could I continue doing my current job?
I thought the retinal detachment was occuring in my right eye, since there appeared to be more specks of light on the right side. However, when I closed my right eye, I still saw specks of light through my left eye. So was there something wrong with my brain’s receptor instead? That didn’t sound good either.
The dazzling lights eventually faded, but I was persuaded to see a doctor anyway, to be safe. All this while, with whatever vision I had left, I texted my family, boyfriend and updated my Facebook profile so that at least, if I did go blind, all my friends would know what was happening.
I made it to hospital and had my blood pressure taken as well as various eye tests (verdict: my blood pressure is normal and eyesight is fine). Lastly I had my pupils dilated and a snapshot of each eye’s retina was taken. The good news is my retinas are normal. However, I most likely had a case of [ocular migraine]( The doctor asked if I have been working very hard lately, and I said yes. I also have not been getting much sleep and spend most of my time looking at a screen. Also, I didn’t have a headache, which I thought was usually associated with migraine.
So I’m monitoring the situation. If the problem recurs, I’ll see a neurologist. Maybe I need to take a nature walk or something, instead of looking at my screen all the time.
If you had to give up a sense, which would you pick? And if you had to give all of them up one by one, how would you prioritise them? I thought I could give up my sense of smell first. Then taste.
I may be hard pressed to give up touch, because it is dangerous not to know how things feel, especially if you’ve hurt yourself but can’t feel the pain. But it would probably be next. I would then have to give up either eyesight or hearing.