And, no, I’m not pregnant.
At the end of the winter holidays last year I was in desperate need of a break. I begged James to please, PLEASE take a day off to stay with us and 20 weeks, 5 days later he returned to work.
The year, to that point, hadn’t been so great for me. I had just started a new medication for my depression which was a tough transition, the holidays had been stressful and overwhelming (especially with the afore mentioned med changes), my anxiety was off the charts; I was back to cutting Felix’s food into tiny pieces because I was terrified he would choke and every moment I was living with an elephant sitting on my chest.
So, I envisaged a long weekend spent recharging my desperately depleted batteries and continuing the year with a spring in my step.
Instead, I found myself rushing my 33 year old husband to Canberra and then Sydney with a detached retina to have surgery and, hopefully, save his eyesight.
I left home early that Monday morning in a muddle. No clothes for Felix and I, no deodorant, no shoes for Felix, only a couple of nappies. As we drove the tear worsened and he lost a significant amount of his vision. It was terrifying.
Our day was long, to and from here and there. Hour upon hour of waiting. I spent most of that time worriedly chewing on my lip and looking at him; as if studying him long enough would give me any kind of idea exactly how bad things were, how bad they might get, the chance of his sight being restored to what it had been and just what was ahead of us.
Eyes may be the window to the soul but there was no way, even with excessive creepy staring, that they could have foretold how the rest of the year would pan out. No. Way.
I had to leave James just before his surgery. I didn’t want to, I wanted to be there until the moment they wheeled him out. I wanted to wait there until he returned. Instead, Felix and I made our way to Maccas to finally fill our hungry bellies with James’ aunt and then onto our accomodation, where we snuggled up together and I sat with that horrid elephant, squishing my chest, squeezing my heart, putting stupid scary thoughts in my head and feeling so guilty I wouldn’t be there when he was finished.
I called to find out he was okay. A lot. He’d gone in later than anticipated but eventually I was given the a-ok and was able to fitfully sleep.
The next morning we rushed back to him. I didn’t really understand what exactly they had done. There was talk of a buckle, a bubble, not letting his eye pressure raise too high – no flying or traveling anywhere with a high altitude. James would have to lie on his right side, with small breaks to eat or toilet until given the ok and wouldn’t be able to return to work until the bubble had dissipated, which was probably going to be six weeks. There was so much information and still so many unanswered questions.
Why? How long until his sight returned? When could he work? How can we protect against something like this?