Seeing Double, and I’m Not Even Drunk!
The eye problem diplopia and MS create challenging days for our columnist
I only had my glasses for two years, yet reading anything on my phone was now nigh impossible. Still, it did cure my Facebook and Twitter addiction.
Yer, yer, I’m old. (I’m 64, you know.) Sure, I’ve written this before — surely that’s a free pass for us aged folk. Surely that’s a free pass for us aged folk. I don’t think I’ll get away with writing this a third time (er, copying and pasting!) by my esteemed editor, even though it violates the comedy rule of three. Maybe not, if it’s not funny in the first place.
Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m old, you know …
Where was I? (That’s enough, says the esteemed editor.)
Sure, your eyesight changes faster and faster with age, but it wasn’t that.
Passenger jets were closely chasing each other across the sky.
This summer, our airport infrastructure completely broke down here in the U.K., due to a surge in travelers and a shortage of staff. Immense numbers of flights were cancelled at the last minute because of a lack of pilots. Then, a dearth of baggage handlers led to some of the few pilots who actually turned up having to load the passengers’ baggage themselves. This caused interminable queues, general mayhem, and for some, days of sleeping in the terminal.
“Yes, I had a lovely time during my two weeks at Heathrow Airport, thank you. Would you like to see my holiday pictures? This lovely sushi bar was our fave place to eat. The lighting was particularly restful in the evening after a hard day’s fighting for the few sockets to charge the old iPhone.”
I discovered that if I closed one eye, everything suddenly focused again. There was just one plane.
It turns out there was an easy solution, probably on Amazon: a small cover that fits over your glasses. There were lots of these, so it must be a general problem. The ones I liked most turned out to come from Japan. The instructions were in Japanese; that was all Chinese to me.
Recently, though, using one eye became increasingly difficult, as not enough light came out of my computer screen to write easily. It was on full, but unfortunately, it had no setting to turn the brightness up to 11!
Wondering if it was just another comorbidity of multiple sclerosis (MS) to add to a crowded list, I phoned my opticians. They persuaded me to come in. I’ve been somewhat reticent of such visits ever since my spectacular fall backward in my wheelchair while entering their premises last year.
It turns out I had something called diplopia, where the muscles of the eyes no longer work in unison. My optician says diplopia is a relatively common condition. I asked if she’d seen many of us MS mob. It turned out she’d experienced a higher incidence in us lot. And indeed, it’s something that happens to MS patients in particular — it’s even a possible early indicator.
All I needed was new reading glasses with a “prism” fitted. It seems something opticians deal with regularly. I could read again! So far, on the phone, there’s so much fascinating news at the moment that Facebook remains but a grimace.
Planes still double up the same with my old long-distance glasses. As yet it doesn’t affect watching the telly. And there’s still only single cars on the road.
So I have another comorbidity to add to my collection. Or perhaps not, as it came up during my tests for a recent drug trial, the subject of last week’s column, and the doctor there informed me it’s only “a complication.”
So now I have a mess of comorbidities and one complication in my MS collection. Go, me.
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.