One of my most popular blogs since I launched my WordPress site, has been “Finish What You Start.” Follow-through is a skill many of us are still working to perfect. As I was reading this Freshly Pressed blog today about the asteroid that will be making a fly-by of the Earth in a few days while possibly listening to Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dying” (no judgement; my daughter is a country music fan), I decided I’d share the story of the meteorite that inspired me to finish Blood Toy in the first place and that, in part, propels me to finish Kindred Shadows.
A few years back, I awoke to a strange phenomenon. Everything just to the left of my central vision was distorted, as if I was looking at the world through a swirly bokeh lens or a large crystal ball floated prominently in my periphery.
Yeah, exactly like that.
Of course, I did the only reasonable thing to find some answers in that situation: I googled it. Best guess, I was suffering from the onset of an ocular migraine. It was only because my husband wouldn’t let me take a chance on it that I even went to the optometrist that day. I was so confident it was nothing, I drove myself. About an hour later, I drove myself home and let my husband drive me to the retinal specialist. The doctor was stuck in traffic, so we had to go back the next morning for the first eye injection that might save my vision.
Turns out, I have a rare (except in the Midwest) eye disease called Ocular Histoplasmosis. It is caused by exposure to the histoplasmosis bacteria usually found in bird poop. I was asked repeatedly if I had been around many chicken coups growing up. Nope, but my Grandfather raised pigeons (if such creatures can be raised). He constructed elaborate multi-room condominiums in his barn for the little sh*t factories. I spent many a summer swinging under a canopy of pecan trees watching them peck around the yard and roost on the ridge of the barn’s roof. Wondering if I caught one and tied a message to its leg if someone, somewhere would get it and send a reply back to me.
Those damned pigeons nearly took my eye sight. Typically the histo bacteria causes mild upper respiratory and flu-like symptoms, then goes away. On rare occasions, it doesn’t. A regular histo meteor shower rains down poking holes in other organs to be discovered twenty years later and scare the bejeezus out of you.
We got the initial bleed under control within a few months, and my vision returned to 20/20, with just a smidgen of blur where the histo spot lives. But the chances of another bleed one day are 50/50. The chances of a bleed in the other eye, also 50/50. I am fortunate in that I have a mild case and only one spot threatens my central vision, but I didn’t know that at the time. Doctors are hesitant to give false hope, so sometimes just don’t give any. I spent a few weeks convinced it was only a matter of time before I lost my vision completely.
I made up my mind to finish Blood Toy when I got the news; I was afraid I might run out of time. Who knew if I could re-learn how to write…blind. I know better now. My vision may not always be 20/20, but it is unlikely to deteriorate completely due to the histoplasmosis. But you never know. Asteroids happen. If there is anything you might regret not doing if you lost your chance, you better get while the gettin’s good.
Like reading Blood Toy. You would definitely regret not reading it;) And the gettin’s especially good right now. The Kindle edition is on sale for 99 cents through Nov 3rd!