Fun with mystery retinal bubbles
So, I decided it was time to put my health insurance to work -- which was pretty naive of me. Since I'm away from campus, I had to get a referral from an emergency room doctor (Anthem will only accept referrals from the UC Davis campus health center, or from an emergency room MD). Neither the cost of the emergency room visit nor the eye doctor was enough to exceed the deductible, so it all came out of my pocket (and Mimi's pocket). The deductible resets at the end of the year, which is in about a week. Lame.
Anyway, I was worried that it was some sort of retinal detachment, and was relieved to learn that it wasn't. Evidently, I have what amounts to a watter blister under my retina. Here it is :
Evidently, these things are usually stress-induced. Weird.
Also, I thought this was pretty neat. Here's my optic nerve :
Update : Well, the bubble got a lot bigger today, but space distortion started to go down. I think that means it's widening and flattening. I read up a bit about this kind of problem, and they are almost stereotypically associated with stress-addicts. I didn't think the last quarter was particularly stressful -- I rather enjoyed it. I've certainly had academic terms where I felt a lot more stress.
Usually, when I notice stress, it means that I'm feeling really unhappy about what I'm doing. The normal effect of that feeling is to make it harder to do whatever it is I'm doing, which I've always vaguely regarded as personal weakness. But if I can push myself hard enough to get blisters under my retina when I'm happily chugging along on my work, that makes my loss of productivity when I'm unhappy seem a lot more rational. I can almost imagine that it's a safety valve to prevent me from burning myself out -- at least on something that sucks.
So, I'm going to take this as a good thing. I've never been able to excel at classes I don't like, even when I found them to be very easy. No matter how motivated I was to "just get it done" (the advice of practically everyone in my life), something always sapped my energy. I'd pile on effort, and find that the effort required for the task seemed jump up just enough to absorb most of the extra effort I put in. But being unhappy and being under stress are not the same thing.
So, if I cheerfully worked myself into a stress-induced retinal blister, that's a pretty good indication that I've found something that bypasses my brain's "this sucks" filter. Now, I suppose I'll have to stop relying on my weirdly strong disgust with things that are boring to protect me from injuring myself. That's not a bad problem to have, actually.
Of course, all of this could be utter hogwash. I might have given myself a mystery eye bubble by reading all of John Scalzi's books in a week.