I just looked back at my blog in December, and it seems that I didn't record the details of this, so let me fill you in. I mentioned the day after Christmas that I went to the eye doctor, but I was so miserable from being sick that I didn't write out what was discovered. Since August, my vision had rapidly deteriorated. For one, my eyes would just randomly turn in so I would look cross-eyed and my vision would get all blurry - sometimes one eye, sometimes the other, sometimes both. The frequency of this increased with time. Second, because I had broken both of my pairs of glasses (the orange pair was taped together), Mom and I decided to get a full eye exam to get me a new pair (my doctor does a full exam anytime you get new glasses so she doesn't stick you with bad lenses). During that exam, my doctor discovered that the amount of prism I needed in my lenses - prism is what helps keep a person from seeing double - had jumped from 4 in August (which is when I last got my lenses updated after going through the eye exam for the DMV paperwork), to 20 that day. That is bad. She did a few more tests and decided that because she couldn't see what was newly wrong with my vision, and because the problem fluctuated between the eyes and was not constant, it would be better that I go see a specialist in Wilmington, and in the meantime, not update my lenses or get me a new pair of glasses (they just replaced the broken arm). The appointment with that specialist was set up for today.
December 26th, the prism I needed was 20. Today, it was 35-40. That even shocked the doctor. The most logical explanation to the problem would be that my shunt is malfunctioning, but according to the doctors who read my many post-seizure CT scans, my shunt is fine. Botox would have to be directly injected into the eye muscle to cause it (I asked both him and my Botox doctor). So long story short, this specialist has no idea why I am having my vision deteriorate so quickly. I continue to live up to my title of the "medical phenomenon."
I go back on March 27th and he'll do the same exam he did today. If the numbers are about the same, we'll most likely schedule surgery. I told him that as weird as it sounds, I'd rather have the surgery and get it over with, mostly because I plan on moving to DC or NYC in August, and partly because the other options are wearing a patch (which is embarrassing for a college student and also unlikely to work as quickly as this is getting worse) or just dealing with it.
To be frank, I am pissed off. And for once, I'm okay with being so. I used to believe that it wasn't okay to be angry or upset with the way my life is playing out, so anytime I would have those feelings, I would try to suppress them to the point that I got furious with myself for not being a good enough child of God to be joyful about everything in my life. But after many, many people that I love and respect very much spent a good deal of time drilling into me that it was okay to acknowledge the negative feelings and to let myself feel them, I decided to stop fighting it.
Now let me be clear: I have not lost sight of who God is. I know that God is good and fully believe that something great is in the works that I can't even imagine. Because I know God, and that's the kind of thing that God does. And until my last breath, I will thank the Lord for every time I have been made aware of how I am being used to help people for the Kingdom. Short of reflecting on all that Jesus did for a broken soul like mine, there is not a more humbling feeling.
But I am not okay with this. I am not okay with a 21st surgery being put on the horizon two months after the last one. At least, not today. It feels like every possible force in the universe is trying to stand in the way of me graduating in May. Even my professor when I talked to him after class and told him about likely missing the 27th next month because of the appointment time and filled him in on what happened today, said, "It's just one thing after another for you, isn't it?" And I am angry because I don't understand why health issues are piling up on me, especially at such a crucial time in my life, and how even when it feels like one gets taken off the table, another random one shows up. I know I'm not supposed to understand it, but I'm still angry. Because it feels like I am being put through the wringer and all I want is a break so I can get to graduation. I so desperately want a break.
And I am scared. I was fine at first, when I was texting all the people that I knew would want to know, but as the day went on, the more it weighed on me. Every time a new health issue pops up, the fire of a huge fear is reignited. The fear that this isn't going to stop. The fear that the life the Lord has planned for me, the life that I know like I know the sky is blue that I want to be in line with because I know I can't do this on my own, has a whole lot more physical pain involved, and I'm not sure I'm ready for that. My body feels so close to the breaking point already.
I wish often that I were more like Sara, Gitzen Girl, who couldn't even leave her house because of her disease but never once stopped praising God for her life, but I'm just not. And for once, I'm accepting it. Because I have too much weighing on my heart to be mad at myself, too. Selfish? Maybe. But I believe that God knows my heart well enough to know that I am doing the absolute best I can to cling to the faith that is basically all I have left. I see God's grace and feel God's presence, even when my heart aches. Because only a God that loves me so fiercely would send a friend at midnight to text me and end up offering to come read Scripture to me Sunday evening when I flat out admitted that I'm not sure where to start with my Bible right now. I am loved that much, even when I'm angry and sad and scared and a million other things.
Give me a couple days, and these feelings will probably subside, at least somewhat, but this is where I am tonight. This is another chapter in the story I've been given to tell. This is part of the trouble I'm facing, but through it all, I know Jesus has overcome the world. Even if it is hard to focus on that right now.
I'm not holding onto You, but You're holding onto me. - Casting Crowns, "East to West"
I may not be able to see much, but I can see that God is as beautiful as ever.
— Mallory Jones (@_callmemal) February 20, 2014
Today, I'm thankful for a God who can handle me not knowing how to talk to him or what to talk about, and not really wanting to, either.
— Mallory Jones (@_callmemal) November 4, 2013