Susan Speaks: Time to Stop Counting?


Today makes twenty-nine weeks and I don’t know… maybe it’s time to stop counting. But maybe it’s not.

Maybe it is because I was at the surgeon earlier in the week. He pronounced the rupture and retina tear fully healed. That was the best part, I suppose. There was more good stuff: I can try to wear a contact in the injured eye and see if I can tolerate it. The scar tissue and my eye in general is finally stable. He’s ordering a retina scan so we have a benchmark of what my new normal is.

There was middle-of-the-road stuff: he estimates between six months to a year before the final surgery.

And there was some bad: I may be on the pressure eye drops for the rest of my life. The cataract surgery may change things. It’s hard to know. The surgeon may send me to a glaucoma specialist; he’s not sure yet. And… I will never see 20/20 out of the bad eye.

So on the one hand, it’s time to stop counting. The eye is healed. Time to start a new chapter, the post-eye-trauma chapter.


When I fell, I must have done something to my left arm. I remember landing on my left side, and I remember falling back on my left arm a second time, right before the handlebar hit. Two weeks ago, the pain became intolerable; I hadn’t slept for two weeks prior to that. So I took myself off to my trusty massage therapist (really, everyone needs a Keith in their lives!) and he spent two back-to-back weeks working on it. He relocated my radius and a rib up near my shoulder. He teased and coaxed and worked my muscles and the nerve that’s been problematic. He gave it his all, and for Keith, that’s saying quite a lot.

Which brings me to where we are: we’re both ready to concede I did something when I fell. Something that is so inflamed and angry and nasty that I need more than he can give right now. (read: right now)

So yesterday, I called my sports med doctor and I’ll let him take a look. He’s going to love this one… and I’m sure he’ll share my frustration that everyone was so focused on the eye that no one thought to look beyond the most obvious part (even when I asked them to).

Which means maybe it’s not time to stop counting. Because I’m not fully back to whatever my new normal is. Things are still wrong. Very very wrong.

But today, I’ll try not to think about it. The boy is home from Frisbee camp, full of new experiences, new lessons, new relationships — and a pair of shorts that used to belong to this year’s Callahan winner, Trent Dillon. Hopefully, he’s elevated his game. The boy, that is. Not Trent, who seemed like a nice guy when I chatted with him at pickup yesterday. I’m not sure Trent can elevate his game, but I hope I’ll get to watch.

Today is week 29. I’ll be on two fields today, sort of. The boy has practice with his summer team. Tonight, my Thunderbirds play their first-ever home playoff game.

My hand, I’m sure, will tingle and hurt and make me want to cry and puke and even contemplate cutting it off, just to get the pain to stop. But I’ll look up at the sky and watch the disc fly and… somehow, it’ll all be okay. Twenty nine weeks later, I know this.

I’d just thought the end, where it’s all okay, would have come sooner. And I’d thought, like everyone else seemed to, that the eye was the least of it and the worst of it, the most of it and the easiest. We all might have been wrong.


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