Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Wide-Eyed World


I went for my annual retinopathy scan this morning. One of the serious complications of diabetes is when the blood vessels in the eyes grow or rupture. This can affect the macula, a tiny region on the retina that is hugely important for vision. The scan involves taking photos of the retina with a special camera. These photos can then be examined for any changes that may need further treatment. In order for the photos to be of the best quality, it’s important to dilate the pupils of the eyes as much as possible – and often this is achieved with special eye drops. These can sting a little at first, but the biggest consequence of having them is that your pupils remain enlarged for several hours afterwards, so even the dimmest and dullest of days can feel like bright sunlight! You feel like you have the light-gathering power of an astronomical telescope for those few hours!

Welcome to my wide-eyed world!
Where lurid fires around me swirl,
And dullish clouds that clothe the skies
Are floodlit in my lucent eyes!

Do I perceive the reddish glow
Of far-off galaxies that grow
Beyond the sight of beasts or men?
My universe expands again…

And distant stars will live and die,
Imprinted on each gazing eye,
Where sunlight spells out double trouble –
Blinding me, the Human Hubble.

Oh curse the Sun, the Moon, the stars!
The planets and the plains of Mars!
Please lock me in a darkened room,
Where all is black, and all is gloom!

This once-a-year spectacular
Preserves each precious macula,
So I’ll endure the searing light
And cherish this, the gift of sight.

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