Vision, Swimming, and Everything Else


I haven’t written in a while. I’ve wanted to write but frankly by the end of my workday, I’m tired. Yes, tired.

My brain is working overtime to see properly and it turns out this is very exhausting. I had my cataract surgery on October 22nd.

The double vision hit me hard on October 23rd. And now, almost four weeks later, I’m not a big fan of my new vision. The rampant double vision hasn’t really gone away. I spend most of the time seeing blurry, shadowed, moving, and hazy text on  my laptop, Kindle,  and in anything else I’m trying to read.

I saw my optometrist yesterday. Turns out this is because my brain is struggling to process the two images I’m seeing – the images from my left and right eyes. Complicating matters is that my right eye is  -4… And to make things even more challenging for my little old brain  – it’s extra hard to process two images when wearing glasses (lots of intense science but basically it’s hard for my brain to understand and communicate what it’s seeing because of the distance of my glasses from my eye). I know – fascinating.

So for now, I’m making do. I’ve learned how to cope with this crazy vision. I’m driving but only under ideal circumstances. I front load my workday to compensate for the fatigue.

I have a follow-up appointment on December 2nd. More tests will be done and then there might be a plan. Current ideas are: contact lenses (maybe fancy progressive lenses or maybe mono vision) and an end to wearing glasses. If the contacts don’t fix the problem then I’m off to the Eye Institute for lens replacement in my right eye.

Moral of this blurry story: get your vaccinations! Don’t get the shingles. This is all because of the damned shingles and uveitis that I ended up with last December.

Now for something shiny and bright….

I’ve started swimming! Yep, swimming. I had my ileostomy surgery in August 2016. I haven’t had a bath since. I really didn’t know what would happen with my pouch – would it still stick, would I get leaks, would disaster strike?

For the last few months I’ve had this nagging feeling about wanting to go swimming. I used to swim when I was in university (not on the swim team – just thrashing around in the pool) and when I worked downtown.

After some deep thinking, lots of question asking of my pals in the Ostomy Lifestyles Athletes Facebook group, and some chats with friends who swim – I decided to go for it. I figured the worst that could happen is my pouch would leak or I would drown.

So this past Monday, I did it. I went swimming. Wow – what a feeling. I’ve gone three times this week and have signed up for a technique improvement session with Technosport.

There is something special about swimming. It’s so different from everything else I do. I find it calming and challenging. I’m stoked to improve on my skills and to get better. And no, there are no triathlons in my future. This is purely for fun and another way to relax my brain and get some exercise.

That’s about it. I’ve started sketching again but this only happens when my brain is firing on all cylinders. I’m excited to read Ducks, Newburyport by Lucy Ellmann.  I listened to an interview with Lucy Ellmann on The Guardian books podcast and I found her to be a fascinating person. Apparently the book is very long – hard to know since I used a mega-large font on my Kindle…. Are you watching The Morning Show? It’s such smart television.

And well, that’s it. This eye/brain connection will get better. When I think back to how awful I felt this time last year – this vision shituation doesn’t feel that bad. It was right around this time that I ended up in the hospital with acute peritonitis, I was asked about my living will, Marc had to change his Belgium travel plans, I had to cancel my trip, and then I topped it off with the shingles and uveitis….

So all in all, wonky vision is frustrating but I feel like I’ve got lots of experience now with wonky and frustrating health challenges. Things can only get better from here.


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