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About Literature / Hobbyist Senior Member RoseyFemale/United Kingdom Group :iconhistfic: HistFic
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Artist | Hobbyist | Literature
United Kingdom
I am romantic about childhood, and about past times. I love children's books and films, especially those produced during my childhood or before I was born. My favourite books are Watership Down, Little Women and many by Roald Dahl. My favourite things are my cat, my books and my Victorian-style dolls' house.

I like a lot of things, such as history (especially the Tudor family story and Boudica) and historical fiction, legends and fairytales (witches rule), poetry, art, the history of art, animals and nature.

dA-wise, I have probably become best known of a writer of children's fiction, but sometimes I try other things as well. We have an awesome community here, so friendly and encouraging, and I try to be a part of that. This being the case, feel free to ask me anything (within reason!), and thank you so much for visiting my page.

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion and Annual Review

Journal Entry: Mon Dec 21, 2015, 8:02 AM

Hi, peops. I haven't really communicated with you since I shared my ghost story after more than twenty years, and there are reasons for that. I'm going to write a review of my year, as I normally do. This one is certainly worth writing about (if not reading about :P ), and I'm doing it now because hopefully everything that will happen, has happened. Hopefully! I shall leave the long and complicated story of my central retinal vein occlusion until last, in case you get bored and want to stop reading. ;)

The first half of the calendar year was great. The first six months rounded off a highly successful academic year, in which I taught my first class and met some wonderful people, as well as being with some of my favourite private tutees of all time. Alas, I have finished with most of them now. :sniff:

I appreciated my summer break. As I said in earlier journals, I enjoyed going to the cinema for the last time in a long time to see Jurassic World, and I had the best Flash Fiction Month experience for many years. I daren't hope to achieve the same level of enjoyment and productivity next July, but certainly I shall participate again.

In the autumn, I started teaching my five classes a week at my little school, and had a bit of a moan about the work being harder and the students being more of a handful. I'm used to that now, and loving the work, except maybe the one afternoon a week when I have the hardest class. Being there more often also means that I've got to know my work colleagues better, which is great, because they're such lovely people.

Thinking back, I told you guys that I was planning to finish actually getting qualified as a teacher, and one of my aunts was saving my life by helping me to pay for it. Since then I've applied, gone for interview and secured my place (conditional on my boss and my mentor at work signing a form). I know I can't have mentioned this, because it happened right in the middle of central retinal vein occlusion. It's only in the last couple of days that I've had time to stop and think about how thrilled I am! And, honestly, I really am. My aunts and uncles all seem to expect me to rush off and apply for bigger and better jobs when I'm done, but I don't want to do that; I love my current job, and see no reason not to stay forever. I also applied to mark exam papers in the summer, and have been accepted, so that'll be some more experience and some more coming in. Actually, things are going pretty well.

But I got too complacent, it seems. The universe has put me in my place by sending me a challenge. I didn't want to get into it with anyone outside my immediate support network until I knew exactly what was going on. Now I do, and it's actually not so bad. A total nuisance, certainly, but it could have been a lot worse.

The story begins when I downloaded a voucher online for a free eye test at Specsavers. I'd never been there before, mainly because there isn't one in my town, but there is one in Luton where I now work so I figured I'd use it. Just a few days after Halloween, when you heard from me last, I went to have the eye test. Only I never got the eye test. After taking pictures of the backs of my eyes, the optician showed me that a blood vessel in my right optic nerve was swollen. She printed something off on her computer, put it in an envelope, handed it to me and said I had to go to hospital and produce that envelope in the A&E department that very day.

I completely freaked out. I thought about going straight home and pretending it hadn't happened, but then I thought, what if it's cancer or something? As it turns out, I might just as well never have gone to Specsavers, but more on that later. I phoned my very kind uncle (and ran out of credit on my phone the very second we agreed on a meeting place - now I make sure I'm always well topped up), and he drove me to the hospital.

We were there all afternoon and well into the evening. A nurse in A&E asked me a bunch of questions and gave me an eye test. Then she made me an appointment with the eye clinic, for which we had a long wait. When I did see a doctor, he asked me the same questions the nurse had, and seemed very puzzled that I had no symptoms of anything. Headaches? Nausea? Vomiting? No. Could I hear which ear he was clicking his fingers in? Could I resist his hand against my cheek? Could I feel him tapping the side of my head? Yes. He couldn't understand it. He was convinced I had some horrible brain malfunction, and he said he thought the blood vessels in both eyes were swollen. I've since come to the conclusion that he was being extremely unprofessional and seeing what he wanted to see, because my left eye is fine, but I didn't know that yet.

He referred me for an urgent CT head scan, saying I probably had pressure on my brain and we'd better rule out tumours. I freaked out some more. In fact, I admit it, when we were driving home and then adrenaline ran out, I cried. After he dropped me off, my uncle drove home and told my aunt I thought I was going to have to have my eye removed and then die of cancer, which happened to a friend of another of my aunts. Well, I don't know if I thought that, even if it did cross my mind.

An appointment was made for me to see an ophthalmic surgeon. I missed work for it, and during the examination he turned round and said the appointment should have been made for after my brain scan. Then, when I got home, I found messages saying the appointment had been cancelled for that very reason - messages left after the work day began, and the doctor had already looked at me anyway. He said my eyes seemed very healthy and some people just have large blood vessels in their optic nerves anyway. He said, though not in so many words, it was probably nothing. So, of course, I went from crying in my uncle's car with visions of tumours, to thinking there was nothing wrong with me - for I still had no symptoms.

When I went for my brain scan, I still had no symptoms. The radiologist couldn't find a vein, so she had to fetch an expert vein finder, and then the dye injection made me feel weird and messed with my functions. A day or two later, I received a letter to say that I had an appointment with the overly optimistic surgeon, but not for about three weeks. Oh well, I thought, he said there was nothing wrong with me anyway. :shrug:

Five days later, I got my one and only symptom: blurred vision in my right eye. I had a cold when it started, and hoped it would go away, and if it didn't I had an eye appointment in a couple of weeks anyway. Then it got worse, and I got too scared to wait (having heard nothing about my brain scan), so I made an appointment with a GP at my local practice - and I did that on my way to catch a train for my college interview. So in fact, I did that whilst terrified I was going blind or something.

The doctor I saw was new, and quite young, and I think rather green - though possibly she was the nicest doctor I've ever seen (and most of them are lovely). But she freaked me out even more. She found that the results of my scan said my brain was normal (phew! :phew: ), and she seemed to think my blurred vision wasn't too much to worry about, and I'd be okay until my eye appointment in a week. Then suddenly it occurred to her to ask, 'How often are you getting the blurred vision?'

'All the time,' I said, and she looked absolutely horrified.

'How many of me are you seeing right now?' she asked. Now, why should blurred vision mean double vision? I explained that I could see one of her, and my left eye was compensating a lot, but if I closed it then everything was a total blur.

She continued to look horrified. Then she said, 'I'm phoning the Luton and Dunstable Hospital right now!'

This she did, and got me an appointment for the next day, which I was glad about because I just wanted a diagnosis, and I wouldn't even miss work. But of course I spent the rest of the evening worrying. I asked this doctor if she knew what it might be, but she didn't have a clue. I was pretty terrified, and had to keep reminding myself that my brain was normal and I had no other symptoms.

The next day at the hospital, I met the first doctor who was actually a help. She did a few tests, including getting me to look at something red with each eye, which the optician had tried on me more than a month ago when I was seeing perfectly normally.

'Right,' said the doctor, 'you've got central retinal vein occlusion.'

Just like that. From the name,  thought it sounded like the first idea that optician came out with - and  after all that, it was! It's a blockage in the blood vessel, which of course has led to a build-up of fluid. Their main worry now is that I'm young to have it, and they're determined to find some sort of horrible blood disease that's causing it. So far, they've found that my blood sugar is normal and I don't have whatever they tested my first blood sample for, but I don't know what that was. Tomorrow I'm giving them some more blood, to test for thrombophilia and perhaps other things. I couldn't give it the last time I was there, because they gave me another one of those horrible dye injections! (It made my urine just the brightest yellow. :giggle: )

Nearly two weeks after my diagnosis (five days ago from the date of this journal), I got my first treatment. It was a drug injected directly into my eye, with a certain amount of anaesthetic, but it was still horrible. A nurse, a doctor and my uncle (who always takes me to the hospital) all asked patronisingly, 'Was it as bad as you thought?' And I said, 'Yes.' The good news, though, is that I'm already seeing a slight improvement in my vision! :dance:

I haven't told you everything. This is just the main events, without the tests and the photographs and the loathesome poke in the eye machine, not to mention  that I'm actually helping out the NHS by participating in a drug trial. That's a story for another day. For now, the only other thing I have to say is this: TGI school holidays! :faint:

Graphics by tyleramato
CSS by moonfreak
  • Mood: Lazy
  • Reading: The Life & Adventures of SantaClaus/The Nutcracker
  • Watching: Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds
  • Drinking: Water


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EpHyGeNiA Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Thank you for faving ^_^
Memnalar Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2015
Thank you so much. :heart:
Meredyth Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
You have been featured:
Congratulations for succeeding in :icongrimgloomtale:'s MERMAIDS contest!
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Professional Writer
saw this today and thought of you! Iceni by Nuka122
ThornyEnglishRose Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Cool. Makes me wish I wasn't suddenly swamped so I could work on the novel more. :paranoid:
Nuka122 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Student Traditional Artist
Thank you for the fav! I'm glad that you like it. And that it makes people think of other people:D (Big Grin) 
ThornyEnglishRose Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
I'm a big fan of hers. :heart:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Professional Writer
Happy birthday, one day late!
ThornyEnglishRose Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you. :)
MensjeDeZeemeermin Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015
I hope beauty chases you while you chase it, and that wonder and majesty leave your quest for glory very successful.  I hope you find many fun things to do, many wonderful sights to see, and many extraordinary people with whom to interact in positive ways.  May the unexpected always turn out to be good.  I hope this year is one of successful efforts to improve, new friendships made, old friendships renewed, and may you and those you love have a wonderful ride together around the sun in the year beginning with this HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
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