Help Me, Dr. T.J. Eckleburg

Hi Darling Ones,

Before I get on with the real confession, I have an initial confession that has nothing to do with the real one.

I didn’t notice until right now that the eyes featured on the cover of The Great Gatsby are not the eyes of famed oculist Dr. T.J. Eckleburg. It’s pretty obvious. I have no idea why I always thought they were ol’ T.J.’s eyes.

For a book I never read during my formal education and only read on my own at some point, The Great Gatsby sure takes up a lot of space in my greymatter.

I keep thinking of the eyes of Dr. T.J. Eckleburg because I’m having problems with my own eyes.

Though it seems sudden, my sight has gotten progressively worse over the past month or so in a way that feels alarming to me. I can’t read the laptop screen unless I bump up fonts to baby boomer proportions. Taking off my glasses and pressing my nose to the screen also works. Watching TV is a nightmare.

I literally have trouble focusing.

I have bad eyes. I have since I was a teenager. Corrective lenses have been a fact of my life for 37 years and yet this new, weird blurry vision has freaked me the fuck out.

I’ve been in the deepest depths of a doom spiral. This is the kind of spiral where I keep asking Dr. Google about what could be going wrong and the frightening results paralyze me. The fear keeps me from telling anyone. Instead I grow ever more depressed and anxious while putting on my smiling face. I get so scared about what could be wrong it keeps me from seeking actual help. My brain weasels firmly believe not knowing is better than knowing. They are huge proponents of ignorance is bliss, even though I can’t fucking see and there is no bliss in blurriness. At least not the I can see.

I know it’s irrational and dumb, and yet I still do it. Before you get your lecture ready, I have an eye doctor appointment on Monday.

And, if you don’t know me by now, I am obviously feeling a little better about this because I’m writing about it.

Sister #4 was here last night because she flew out of MSP this morning for a work-reward trip to the Bahamas with Sister #2 as her +1.

After some small talk when she arrived I barfed all my anxiety on her.

“I think I have macular degeneration/brain tumor/diabetic retinopathy/macular edema,” I told her.

“Oh,” she said. “Why is that.”

I explained all my reasons and she listened patiently, nodding her head, and agreeing how all that would be alarming. She also told me how she does the doom spiral too and concludes that she’s having a heart attack or appendicitis at least once a month.

Apparently, this runs in the family.

And then she said, “And it could also be you’re fifty and haven’t been to the eye doctor in two years.”

“Maybe,” I said. “This just feels different.”

She gently reminded me that I have never been fifty before and that my eyesight might be different now. Then I told her she should be nicer to me because I have a brain tumor.

That’s my confession, Darling Ones. I’m still kinda freaked out, and convinced there are dire diagnoses in my future, but a little less so now.

Hope the best for me if you can,

(Visited 28 times, 3 visits today)


  1. hessiebell 03.Mar.23 at 3:32 pm

    apparently march is ovarian cancer month, and a caught a tweet/toot listing a bunch of symptoms you might not think were symptoms and i shit you not, i had every. single. one. of. them.

    so, of course, i now must have ovarian cancer. thanks, mastodon.

    i get days where my eyes just will not focus. it’s annoying and pisses me off, but i just blame it on (peri-)menopause and flood my eyes with lubricating drops.

    1. Jodi Chromey 04.Mar.23 at 3:31 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only member of the medical doom squad.

      (Peri)menopause is the worst because basically everything that could possibly go wrong in your body can be blamed on it.


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