My book.

My book.
"Fascinating" Stephen S. Hall. writer, N.Y.Times magazine. "Hard to put down." A.C.P.A., American Chronic Pain Association.

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Monday, April 18, 2011

It only takes a moment (part 2)

I keep promising myself I will get an egg timer. Not for eggs, but it would be nice to have it for that too. I need one to keep me from pretending I am not at the point where I cannot tolerate any more eye usage. To not continue to the point where the pain from the eye movement sickens me.

This invariably comes about because I am on the computer, my major source of reading and writing, too long.

I stopped reading books.

That is not quite true. I do read them but not the way I like to or want to. Before the pain I read a book in one or two sittings, no matter the length. Finishing a book in onoe or two sittings assured I never forgot who was whom, what they were doing, why they were in the place they were or who was the one who got shot and who did the shooting (I love mysteries).

Since the pain the book has to be one that will not interest me enough to make me want to continue reading on past my eye usage limit. If the chapters are short or the author uses chapter breaks, that is a book for me. Unwittingly the author has given me places where, unless I get too interested in the plot or points he's making, I can put it down.

Even now I fight myself.

I have been on the computer for a while. As long as I am not consistently writing or reading I can stay on for a long time. My eye usage, if added up does not come to a lot but more important, it is done in little chunks of time, a minute here, maybe 5 minutes there. Short enough spurts that it can replenish itself during the down time.

Writing this note requires me to not only write, but stop, check my typing, check the words. Is it legible? Does it make sense? How bad is my grammar? All of this is concentrated eye work. I think to myself, you can stop, save it as a draft and come back to it but no, I do not want to do that. My train of thought is on this now. Tomorrow I may not be thinking about what I want to say in the same way as I am now.

It will not take much longer to finish this post anyway. Now, where was I?
Oh yes, an egg timer.

I could find what my optimal eye usage time is before the pain starts to kick in. Then wind up the timer and let that decide for me when I have to stop.

If I do that though I have to admit I cannot work as long as I want to. It would mean my giving in to the pain, letting it make even more choices for me.

The irony is that it does make the choice whether I want it to or not.

The pain creeps in. I refuse to stop. The next thing I know I am forced to stop using my eyes, to do anything, even just walking to another room in the house is too much, my eyes moving as I rise from the chair, checking for any objects in my way, noticing the cat. Once I get to my room, I rush to the bed, the pain now bad enough that I am feeling sick to my stomach. I lie still, not moving my head at all, hoping and willing my eyes stay fixed in one position. The pain is so all consuming it refuses to leave. Instead of the half hour to an hour I have to wait when I use my intelligence and common sense and stop whatever reading or writing I was doing when the pain just starts I become unable to do anything, sometimes for up to 2 hours, the pain a chain from which I cannot unyoke.

It would not be enough to get a clock. That requires a lot of work to keep on setting it to ring in 20 minutes. I could get a large one and just keep an eye on the time but that means using my eye to see if I have any time left, circular silliness.

The timer dings, no way to ignore it or need to watch it.

It is such an easy answer. Doing it means saying I cannot do what I want when I want. It means, bottom line, admitting the pain controls my life.

Maybe writing it out will pound some sense into me. If pushed, I would have to admit that schedulinig the eye work would be a way of me taking control of the pain.

And wouldn't that be a needed change?

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