A Narrowing Gaze

My eye doctor threw me for a loop. I have a cataract in my left eye (yes, I’m young for such things), and it’s getting worse. I’ve lost two points of vision in that eye since last October.  If it keeps deteriorating at this pace, I’m looking at surgery in the next couple of years.1

She asked me if I use a computer a lot.  Hahahahaha. I didn’t have the guts to tell her that I routinely pull four-hour stints in front of one, and occasionally six/seven/eight/twelve hour stints. I did admit to her that I’ve been noticing that my left eye fries out after a while and it’s better to work with it closed1, and yeah, that made for some unhappy.  So, now, I’m on a doctor ordered computer diet: fifteen minutes on, (at minimum) five minutes off, no more cell phones in bed or laptops in a dark room, and ideally, screen time limited to daylight hours as much as possible.

It’s been a struggle. The first weekend wasn’t so bad but the week and weekends following? Not great. Pacing during conference calls instead of looking at my screen the whole time helps, and during the team troubleshooting sessions where I need to be paying some attention to a screen, I shut both eyes if I feel the left one starting to close and keep them closed for a minute or two. It’s okay — I have all of the screens of my current system projects burned into the back of my brain, anyway.

On the positive side, I have started sleeping better.

I find this topic to be really something which I think I would never understand
It seems too complex and very broad for me
– The latest #spamconfession

I’m also transitioning to composing complex e-mails and documents on paper instead of drafting them on screen3. It’s a re-transition, actually: it’s how I wrote most things before, oh, let’s say 2000. I’ll be doing most of my NaNoWriMo writing offline (what little outlining I’ve gotten done is still 100% offline), and keying it in at the end of the writing day. Despite my grouching here, I’m actually looking forward to seeing if I have a better time of things doing the drafting manually; I already know that I find it easier to edit documents if I first go through printouts with a pencil.

Fun fun fun!


1 Not that this was a conscious decision on my part: I’d just notice that I’d been working with only one eye open after a while.

2 Everyone keeps telling me “cataract surgery is so much better than it used to be”. Oh, I’m sure it is, and I’ll be fine afterwards. It’s the idea of someone messing around in my eye that squicks me. Even eye exams make me queasy — and wearing contacts?  Forget it.

3 I drafted this on notebook paper on Thursday, while waiting for Monster to finish with his trainer. Yes, he works out. I should be, too, but I’m working back up to that.

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