Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are

What a relief

I had something of a scare this week. I discovered that the vision in my left eye had suddenly gone blurry and virtually non-existant. Now, when you have restricted vision anyway, any further impediment is no laughing matter.

That evening, I hot-footed it to Moorfields Accident & Emergency, who had a look and suggested I return first thing the following morning to the Vitreo Retinal Emergency department. I didn’t fully understand the first two words, but the third was enough to see me back there at crack of dawn the following day.

I ended up spending the whole day there, being seen by a number of doctors, having pictures taken, tests done and ultimately being booked in for surgery in a few weeks’ time. I was glad to have Ingrid with me to provide moral support and to have a laugh with – despite, as I said earlier it being no laughing matter. However, with her around, I often simply can’t help myself! The laughter hid some of our fear, as we wondered what the ultimate prognosis might be.

As part of the process I had my eyes dilated. As some readers may have experienced, this renders you near as damn it blind and, despite my concerns and protestations they insisted on dilating my “good” eye as well as the one with the problem.

I’ve had the procedure a number of times over the years and my eyes get back to normal within four or five hours. This time though, it was different and I still could hardly see when I got up the following morning. The consultant had mentioned that too much dilation could occasionally cause harm to patients with my eye condition.  Terrifying.

I, of course contacted the hospital, and put enquiries online as to whether remaining dilated for so long was unusual.

Thankfully, it turned out that it’s not unheard of and that, unfortunately my expectations hadn’t been that well managed, hence the scare.

So, to the point of this piece: relief.

I now feel a huge sense of relief – having thought that both my eyes had become near enough useless. Lets just say that my experience of the world in the last few days has been “interesting”. Anyway, three days after the dilation I can finally see well again (relatively speaking). I can function, I can work, I can write this.

Just last week, I happened to write my blog post on the topic of happiness. I realise that relief is, at very least a close sibling to happiness. Think about a time that you have felt real, palpable relief  (a loved one found to be safe, a crucial exam passed, a physical pain relieved) and, I’d bet that it was a time you felt pretty much as good as it was possible to feel – even if for a short period. That release of tension, of fear, of uncertainty,  is probably as close to bliss as it gets.

So, I’m proposing: let’s hear it for relief. Something that is rarely held up as a desired state in and of itself, but that is wonderful when we do feel it. I guess it also can help reconcile some of the more tense, painful or traumatic episodes in our lives because, without them we couldn’t truly appreciate the blissful feeling that is relief.

And here we are, this week’s blog completed –  now there’s another relief!



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4 Responses to “What a relief”

  1. So glad things are falling into place. A general/group relief all ’round!
    Look after yourself…….
    All bests,

  2. I’m relieved for you….

    I have often experienced a high after being very scared and it makes being scared almost seem good as you know how you will feel afterward.

    Perhaps that is a good reframe!


  3. Chris

    To quote one of your previous pieces “what a nightmare” – the real use of the word. What a terrifying experience it must have been for you all. It’s amazing how you are able to present such a fantastic philosophical approach to your situation and one we can all learn from. Are you related to Polyanna?

    Let’s lunch some time!


  4. Oh Chris I am so glad that it wasn’t as bad as it might have been. Hope the op makes it even better! When we nearly loose something it makes us appreciate and make the most of what we have.

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