Thursday, October 15, 2009

Feel my pain

posted Sun, 10 Oct 2004

[NB I wrote this before I went to Italy, then forgot to post it. That's why some of this stuff might seem out of sequence.]

My colleagues are mocking me because of my disability. I want compensation.

Yesterday, I went to the optometrist to find out if there might be an optical reason for my headaches.

Let me digress: I have been having headaches for a long time now. Some of the headache problem was solved earlier in the year when I got special glasses just for working on the computer and reading. Then I had a CT scan to see if there was something structurally wrong with my sinuses (because I have constant sinus congestion and infections). There wasn’t anything wrong with the sinuses and apparently I didn’t have a brain tumor. I told the doc if I did have a brain tumor, I wanted the chemo that makes you thin, not the stuff that makes you bloated.

Still headaches. Then a friend at my gym suggested I try imitrex, which is the pain reliever used for migraines. The imitrex (which costs $28 a pill, by the way, so make sure you have the prescription drug rider on your health insurance) worked for a while, but I recently came off a ten-day stretch where I could not get rid of a headache. I even had to dip into my special supply of codeine, which you can get over the counter in France, in an attempt to banish the pain. The headache is still lingering, but perhaps Italian food will make it run away.

On day ten, I made an appointment with the eye doc, just in case my eyes had deteriorated since January. I go to the optometry school here, which is the best place to have an eye exam. They have all the current research and the newest equipment and professors who oversee the cute young about to be doctors who do the exams.

Back to the cruel taunting to which I have been subjected. The doctor said there was not an optical reason for the big headaches, but that my eyes want to look out to the sides and that it is a strain for me to focus, which could lead to headaches. (Walleye, I guess – the opposite of cross eyed.)

He gave me some exercises to train my eyes to work better. There is a card with three red blocks on one side and three green blocks on the other. I am supposed to hold the card vertically between my eyes with the red facing right and the green facing left (actually, the direction the colors face isn’t that important), then force the red and green block at the end to merge together. Once I can do that, I make the middle blocks merge, then the ones closest to my eyes.

When I got to work this morning, being the conscientious person that I am – I care about my health – I whipped the card out of my purse to do my eye exercises.

And they laughed at me! They told me I looked ridiculous with a card held to my face while I crossed my eyes. I should not be treated this way. I am sure that I am in some protected class now and that no one should be allowed to talk to me that way. I want the ACLU to take my case.

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