Everyone can put up with anything – as long as they know it will end. Morning sickness all day long? Give it nine months. Labor? Gonna end. Finals week? Seven days of hell, then it’s over.
But some things have no end date. There’s just no telling. How long does it take to be labeled “in remission”? How many months or years will it take to reach “stable”? How many times do you have to start the countdown over?
It took a year for my left eye to be stable. Not better, but not worse. I have to be three years of stable before I can stop immunosuppressive drugs. There’s my ending date, I just don’t know how long it will take me to reach the end of three years since it took me a year to reach the starting point.
In previous blogs, I have played fast and loose with the word “stable.” I look back and laugh as I read the titles that essentially say “Janie is stable,” “Ooops, scratch that.”
But that was January and February, 2018. April brought the confirmation of worsening conditions.
June 1 heralded a new report, though. “Unchanged.”
June 28, “Better.”
July 27, “Unchanged.”
August 24, “Unchanged.”
October 3, “Stable, but slight fluid and some inflammation.” (It wasn’t “worse,” so I kept quiet in case the gods were listening.)
November 27, “Some fluid, slight inflammation, but nothing new. STABLE!” (Emphasis mine.)
Not counting the blip in October, that’s almost six months of essentially stable. After being on guard against false hope, silently wishing for good news, and trying not to attract the attention of the smack-down gods, I can now say this – My left eye is stable.
I do have a cataract and symptoms, like blurry vision and photophobia. I do have an epiretinal membrane and symptoms, like occasional blank spots in the center of my vision. But those can be dealt when and if my doctors say the benefit outweighs the risk. I am in no hurry to have my remaining eye operated on. There are situations where I would not only consider the operations but push for them. But not yet. Not now.
Now is a time of heaving a sigh of relief, of relaxing my shoulders (I’m trying), of discovering what I want to do, of finding my place.
And yes, there will likely be dancing.
Stable: It’s mentioned in the Christmas Story, and now a Christmas wish come true 🙏