Wednesday, February 29, 2012

No More Tears

I learned recently that my eyes don't produce enough tears, and I've been strangely obsessed with this development.

It's true, in hindsight, that my eyes have felt weird for quite some time now; I just didn't know that the feeling was extreme dryness. I had assumed that, being in front of a computer for most of the day, my eyes just hated me and wanted to pop out of my head.

But on a visit to my eye doc (hadn't been in three years), he decided to do Schirmer's test when I mentioned I took daily allergy meds (which, apparently, cause dry eye). When I said it was "extreme dryness," I meant it. He told me I needed to produce 15 mm of tears during the five-minute test, and I produced 5 mm in one eye, and 3 mm in the other. So, on Restasis I now am to help make my eyes better.

It's such a simple issue, really. Makes total sense given how long I've been taking allergy meds (almost nine years). And yet, it's gotten under my skin. For one, I'm now hyper-aware of the discomfort, and it's now 5,000 times worse than it ever was. My eyes feel raw and unhappy all. the. time. The drops don't seem to have kicked in yet, and while I was at first hesitant to use them (I chafe at the notion that I have to take any kind of medicine forever, except the allergy ones because those help me breathe and not die), I now eagerly await the two times a day I have to squeeze them in.

I also just feel so bothered by this. I find myself getting all metaphysical about it: is there some deeper reason why this is happening?I feel like a superstitious ninny, having gone so far as to half-believe that these last years of my life, where I have cried more than ever before, have somehow drained whatever predetermined amount of tears we may or may not be allotted.

It's just disturbing to find myself unable to cry. Or rather, to cry but with a noticeably fewer amount of tears. I honestly can't tell right now if it's my current state that's making me imagine things, but I feel like it's been quite a while that when I cry (I don't cry a lot, btw, though right now I sound like it's a daily thing with me), I've been aware that the tears run out but I'm still "crying," still in that mode and struggling to breathe and all that. This is since before the visit to the eye doctor.

And I know it's bugging me now because this last month has been emotionally difficult on many fronts. A series of unhappy incidents have led to a greater need to cry, and the tears just haven't been there. In the time between visiting the eye doctor and right now, a couple things have happened that have been cry-worthy, and I was very aware of this, how I was choked up and felt all I usually feel when the crying's coming, but the tears themselves were scarce. Fascinating and freaky.

I asked my doctor if I would ever go back to normal tear production levels, and he said it was highly unlikely. That, too, fascinates and freaks me out, and I don't fully get why. I've got a to-research list to tackle about this, from how tears are produced and if they really never come back, to what on earth Restasis is supposed to do for me.

I swear, it makes me want to cry. Oh, but yeah.

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Posted by Tere @ 2/29/2012   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love, O, Love

I may not really be into Valentine's Day, but I'm not immune to society's efforts to shove it down my throat, and to an extent, I'm game. I don't care for gifts today, but am totally open to extra love and affection, which my boys are so very willing to give me, and for this, I am awash in joy and warm down to my toes.

I've been stressed these last few months because of work and school, though it comes in spurts. I'll have a couple of bad weeks as projects need to be completed and deadlines loom, but really, a lot of the *stress* is me trying to be organized and prepared, to not forget anything that needs to be done (no matter how many lists I write, the amount of must-do's gets overwhelming at times).

This semester, while a tad less stressful than past ones, is turning out to be frustrating for a whole other reason: I don't like how the prof teaches the class (I find it ineffective, making what should be a fun, compelling topic difficult to grasp and work with), and so I'm really not liking it. As it is, I have class tonight and am mighty bothered by that. I can't see how I'll be able to focus as my inexperienced professor races through the (long, complex, long) lesson, late into the night, when I know my guys will be home together without me. **sniff**

I feel this so keenly probably because I'm feeling so aware of how lucky I am to be me right now. To be this fully surrounded by love is simply the most wonderful thing ever.

I have a man who is kind and patient and loving and affectionate and considerate, who does what he says he'll do (not at my pace, but hey, he ain't flawless), who consistently has a good spirit, a positive attitude, and a generous heart. That I can (and do) tell him anything and everything and it's always o.k. (and when it starts out not o.k., we just hash it out till it is) is something I've never, ever known, and it's still overwhelming every time I realize all over again how completely myself I can be with him, and - despite not always understanding me or agreeing with me - that he loves all of me. More even, that he accepts me. There is no overestimating how crucial this is. More than just about any other quality that matters, what I've wanted most is to be accepted as I am, to not have to feel conscious of, or justify, my quirks and way of being, and not be criticized for these. This love is incredibly generous and forgiving.

And I have a son who is pure love, pure exuberance, pure wonderfulness with the way he endlessly tells me he loves me (and other sweet things) and seeks me out for hugs, kisses and snuggles. He has filled my heart and my life with more happiness and frustration than I know what to do with. I wonder often if he will lose this part of himself as he grows older, when I become uncool and he faces greater pressures from his friends, or when his eyes open to the reality that his mom is a bag of crazy that has caused him much psychological harm. I hope not, but can imagine that he will. And so I indulge this now, I allow the exaggeration of his declarations ("you are my true love," "you're my most favorite person," "you are the most beautiful girl in the world"), the sometimes ceaselessness of his hugs and kisses, storing each one deep inside so that I never forget. You know how they say to embrace every moment, time flies, etc.? I think it's impossible (and at times, undesirable) to do so, but these moments, when he is in my arms and we're talking and I feel like I just might be searing into him the depth and steadfastness of my love, these moments are the ones. They help me keep perspective when he's driving me crazy or behaving like a wild goat, and they sustain me when I feel like an utter failure. If I have just a couple moments a month like this, I'll take them, greedily so.

So love, I'm swimming in it and can only hope that between work and school and stress and my sometimes-quick temper and lack of patience and mega-anxiety, these guys know that they are my life. They are everything that makes my life so rich, so joyous, so intense, so worth every challenge.

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Posted by Tere @ 2/14/2012   | | | links to this post