Mandie-Peace Poster Series

Mandie, Sharpie Marker and Micron Pen, April 24, 2017
I think I will never forget this color study.  It began as intentional visual therapy without wearing my contact lenses following Graycee-Peace Poster Series from the previous blog post. I would have never thought that I would have to face my first vision emergency during this exercise. I always thought, "It'll come later in life."  My version of later was like 50, 60.  

On Wednesday 4/19//2017, I noticed a strange bubble stain in my vision while i was getting merchandise to fix a feature on the house ware floor at work. It covered 40% of the vision from my left eye.  I thought, "Oh, I guess I got some mascara on my contact lens this morning."  I figured after my shift I would go home and clean my contacts.  

I came up to my studio to color for a little bit. As I looked at the white and black lines on this color study I saw the stain again.  "Oh, yes, gotta go clean my contacts and let my eyes breathe.  Plus, this will be good vision therapy for me."  I came back after my shower and taking out my contacts to realize that as I looked at this coloring page that the stain was not on my contact lens, but was there floating in my eye. I began to do some research.  

I typed "air bubble floater in eye" and "types of floaters and symptoms".  Many of the sources were general and consistent.  I spent a good hour thinking and re-writing an email to my optometrist describing this apparent change.  I finally heard back from my optometrist the next day (4/20/2017) after my floor stocking shift.  I tried not to stress, but her email indicated that it could be related to many retinal symptoms as well.  She suggested going to see an ophthalmologist as soon as I could.  

Being part of the Medi-Cal Obamacare system, and 4 pm in the afternoon my options were becoming quite limited.  Clinic business hours close at 5pm. Plus I did not know any in-network care options.  So, in my survival mode, all i could think of was go to county hospital.  

Fast forward with some insensitivity from parents, a train ride + Lyft, supportive sisters that explain things better to my parents, smooth butter entry into the ER for examination, and 3 ER doctors my diagnosis was Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD).  And thank God there wasn't a macular hole or retinal detachment.  That was the key thing, to find out if the large floater had affected my retina (which would change my vision).  

I returned to this color theory study thankful to still have my vision as is.  The only change is that there is a large bubble like stain over my vision in my left eye.  The hope is that over time my brain will fade out the large floater. It looks like a large water drop on your wind shield.  I can see through it, and it swirls around in every direction I look.  It's pretty annoying. 

If anything I think the most irony is in the fact that I saw a 2 year old girl and a couple that reminded me of myself at work that night of 4/19/2017.  I encouraged them as they shared about how she is in a stage of discovery.  I shared about adaptations and the struggle for normalcy throughout my life.  But, that at this stage in life I have come to be my own advocate as well as finding ways to contribute to the field of study and research in my graduate studies.  

Another irony was the challenge from my co-worker, whom is also an artist, to bring context to my work by vocalizing my eye-condition.  This co-worker has also encouraged me to apply to become a teaching fellow at a local arts/community center.  As the journey of life is about the change with these things in mind, I am also experiencing a physical change in my vision.

The last irony is that I really had a hard time explaining this to my parents.  Explaining my needs were put off to the side. It didn't seem as urgent as I was describing it.  And, I literally thought I was making up stuff as I vocalized my symptoms to my parents, the ER nurses/physicians assistants, and to the ER internal medicine doctor and Ophthalmologist.  If anything I felt so far from normal, and i just wanted to find out information and resources to fix it before it was to late. 

I call this poster Mandie short for Amanda, who I desire to encourage and uplift.  Amanda means "lovable" in Latin.  And if anything from this emergency situation and color theory study I felt a greater peace than my own.  In which the Lord was showing me how "lovable" I am.  It comes from the Lord alone, who is an everlasting rock. 

When I walked in to county hospital, I didn't even have to wait.  It was as if the eye exam room was waiting for me despite having to take the path of public transit and a Lyft to go to the ER by myself to address a vision emergency.  I had a strange simultaneous calm and panic at the same time.  And window after desk after window, one after the other, kept saying "please follow me".  I know I had favor from above.  County ER had more than 400 families waiting to be seen. 

The last irony was that this occurrence follows Easter Sunday where my family and I already faced an emergency with my last grandpa.  He still has ongoing things that need adaptation and attention.  But, all the while greater Shalom (peace) is really with my family and I.  It's dawned on me that there is much to see in the world, And life is too short to wait for them to come to me.  I know I have been walking in tunnel vision spiritually with personal "suppose to and suppose to be" of a thirty something person.  But, after this week, I hope to remember that my physical vision, spiritual and emotional vision has changed.  I hope to walk and speak of a better legacy as my purpose clarifies despite the more sensitive and fragile of my physical acuity has become. 


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