A couple of weeks ago I posted about the floater that had suddenly popped up in my right eye. It was annoying, but I wasn't worried about it.
On the night after I wrote the "floater post," I started experiencing flashes of light -- tiny, moving, macaroni-shaped lightsabers -- when I'd go from a bright room into a darker one. The flashes weren't particularly bothersome, so my initial plan was to ignore them. But it was the weekend by then, there was plenty of time to nose around on the Internet, and almost every article I read said something to the effect of, "It's usually nothing to worry about, but if you don't get immediate medical attention, there may be dire consequences."
On Monday I called a retinal specialist (I have early-stage macular degeneration and had been to this office once before) and ended up there again on Tuesday. That appointment went well. The doctor said he couldn't see any signs of a serious problem but wanted me to come back again in two weeks and then again in a month. "Sometimes these things take a while to appear."
I was fairly perturbed about having to go back for follow-up exams. Because they dilate my eyes at every appointment, someone has to go with me to drive me home. This means one or the other of my daughters has to take off work, which, while it makes all the waiting-room time more interesting for me, makes me feel guilty for wasting a big chunk of their time.
Anyway, this past Wednesday was the two-week follow-up. I expected we'd breeze in and out fairly quickly. Instead, the doctor found a little retinal tear. He explained the significance of it, then told us he'd need to do a laser procedure to "spot weld" the area to prevent a retinal detachment. Fortunately, he could to do it that day, right there in his office.
So, we waited again. We waited a long time, and then another long time after that. At one point, Kim said, "I wonder what's taking so long." I replied, "Hmmph. He's probably sitting in his office reading up on laser procedures." Kim instantly put her hands in the typing position and said aloud as she typed in the air, "How... to... do... laser... surgery... on..."
Maybe you had to be there to appreciate the humor, or maybe it was because I was a little nervous, but the air-Googling struck me really funny. I laughed out loud, then Kim did, and it turned into one of those moments that grew funnier the longer we thought about it.
Right then was when the doctor came in, and his first words were, "I'm sorry you've had to wait so long." A wave of humor hit me again. I was sitting in the exam chair, my head was tilted waaaaay back, the doctor was standing right beside me with the laser instrument in his hand, ready to go, and my lips were clamped together so tightly that my smile must have looked like a maniacal grimace. Just as the doctor leaned in over my head, I couldn't hold it any longer and let out one short burst of laughter.
"I'm sorry," I apologized. "We were talking about something funny just before you came in, and I need a second to regain my composure."
The doctor chuckled, too, presumably because laughter is infectious. "That's okay," he said. "I expect you'll stop laughing as soon as we begin."
He was right. But as soon as we were safely back in the car, it got funny all over again.