This is for that ophthalmologist who saw me last week.
I came into your clinic hoping to get a pair of glasses or contacts to replace the ones I broke. You led me into a small room and made me read stuff on the board. I could read everything clearly, but I kept reminding you that I had no grade and only had astigmatism. After you checked my eyes you told me, "You don't have a grade or astigmatism." You said it in a way that sounded like you were accusing me of lying. That was when I had to explain to you that I have optic neuritis. Some days I'll have a grade. Some days I'll have astigmatism. Some days I'll see well. Some days I won't see at all. And one day, people must find a cure to this.
While I was thinking about how doctors have not found a cure for this yet, you said, "There is nothing I can do for you but pity you." I nodded my head and forced a smile. But really, I don't need your pity or your sad looks. I don't really need a cure for this or someone to tell me that it will get better in the future. Am used to taking painkillers, throwing up and sleeping off the pain. Am used to not eating seafood, chocolates, chicken, peanuts and anything else that might make this sickness worse. Am used to the headaches and tunnel vision and the dizzyness. You are not obliged to do or feel anything for me.
What irritates me however is that you told me to just live with it. You said, "Just live with it then." Isn't that what I already am doing? I have stopped hoping that some type of medicine will be invented to regulate the pain. I have stopped wishing that some other person had this instead of me. I have stopped dreaming of a day when my head will stop throbbing. I have also stopped praying to God to heal me. Don't tell me to just live with it. I don't want to hear that from you. I don't want to hear anything from you.
See, I've heard this all before. You're not the first ophthalmologist or doctor or neurologist who has told me that there is nothing you can do for me. I know the lines. I know the spiels. I know you're just doing your job when you tell me these things. But I don't need to be reminded that I've got to live with this. As much as possible I just try to block it out of my mind so I can concentrate on living life.