General Non-Fiction posted June 11, 2023

This work has reached the exceptional level
I dreaded the night

I See Ferris Wheels

by Debi Pick Marquette

It was nine years ago and when I put up my Christmas tree that afternoon, I didn't notice anything unusual. But that evening, as soon as it was dark, I plugged in the tree lights and stood there completely astonished. My tree was more beautiful than I had ever seen it before. I had just put on a new strand of lights to replace one that burned out.
But would new lights make such a difference? 
That evening as I was admiring the tree out loud, I asked my husband what he thought. "Looks the same to me," he said. Huh, I thought, what do men know about these things anyway? He never was very good about paying attention to detail. But then again, Christmas was my baby. I loved everything about it. 
The following day I decided to do some Christmas shopping after lunch. I drove into town and managed to find Walmart not as busy as I had expected. When I had finished my shopping and was waiting in line at the checkout, I looked at the clock on the wall. I couldn't believe it was so late and wondered how the afternoon had gone by so quickly. I was glad Glen was retired, as I no longer felt guilty if I wasn't there to make dinner.
After my purchases were in the car, I started for home. I never did like driving in the dark, but it was dark already at 4:30 in the afternoon, so it didn't leave a person much time to do much in the daylight. I pulled out onto the four-lane highway, and I hadn't driven far when I noticed a couple of vehicles coming my way. However, as they came closer and closer, their lights expanded.  Suddenly, it felt like there were hundreds of cars coming at me. I was thankful I was in the right lane to pull onto the shoulder.  
It wasn't until I had stopped that I realized how shook up I was. I dialed my phone to call home and just as Glen picked up I started crying. I didn't know what was happening to me, and I was terrified.
Glen and my son, Jason arrived about twenty minutes later. Jason drove my car home and I covered my eyes as it seemed every oncoming car was in our lane.

Now I understood why I thought mine was the most beautiful Christmas tree ever. 

I was able to get an appointment for the Ophthalmologist the next day. He confirmed that I had shingles in the retinas of my eyes. Why I didn't have them on my face first was a mystery, even to the doctor. He put me on oral steroids, antiviral meds, and special eye drops. My eyes did get worse and caused some irreversible damage with my vision. The Dr felt like they had done all the proper treatment. Now only time would tell. Eventually, they felt that my retinas were healed and no longer subject to such light sensitivity. 
Then on Christmas Eve of last year, we pulled out of my daughter's home around 11 pm, and as we got out in the open, I told my husband, "wow, isn't that cool?" He asked what I was talking about, and I told him the fireworks. He said there were no fireworks. I asked him what he would call those as I pointed at the sky. And to my question he replied, "Stars!"
Before I could say another word, we were now down to the main highway that would head towards home.  
I gulped when I saw the colored lights coming our way. All the reflective signs: stop, yield, curve, etc looked like large colored pinwheels and all the cars and streetlights looked like big beautifully lit up Ferris wheels.
I was able to get in to see my eye specialist a few days later. At first, he thought they were ocular migraines, but after further testing they realized that there was still damage showing from the shingles, but was now mostly scar tissue.

Every night if I look outside, it appeared our neighbors were having parties with carnivals, and many colorful lights. 
 In trying to stay positive, we joke about how it gives new meaning to my motto of looking on the bright side.
Or we don't have to wait for the Fourth of July to see the fireworks. However, no matter how much I joke and laugh about it, it's not fun or funny. There are times that it does stress me out because these big pinwheels or Ferris wheels tend to move around. It can be spoooky at times. Maybe I should be writing horror flicks about being chased by an over grown ferris wheel that needs to come out every night to haunt.   
On Wednesday, I will be having surgery to repair the cataracts that have needed to be taken care of for quite some time, but I have been procrastinating having it done. 
 They also will try to fix the damage to my retinas from the shingles.
On the 28th, I will have the second eye done.
I've heard people say that the healing from the cataracts are a piece of cake.  It should only be a couple weeks of recovery.

The doctor was hopeful the retina repair would also be successful. 
Why am I sharing this story?  We don't know if others can relate to our experiences if we don't share them. 

Yesterday I found out that my sister also saw the ferris wheels and felt uncomfortable talking about them. She had surgery last year to repair hers, which was from an eye injury. I'm sure I would have felt great comfort in knowing that she too had gone through this.
So please allow me to share a couple final thoughts. 
I look forward to having these surgeries, so I may come back with better vision and more enjoyment writing and hopefully able to review more and not be limited in my time online. 
I do realize how blessed I am that it isn't worse, like others here who endure more advanced sight challenges.
If anyone has ever experienced anything like this, please share.
And I have to admit, I do look forward to no longer living such a colorful nightlife.   


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