The importance of good healthcare

On Tuesday, I found out that I need glasses. I’m farsighted with astigmatism, and since my left eye is much weaker than my right eye, there’s a significant amount of eye strain. My vision deteriorated to 20/30 and it was so subtle I didn’t notice. So I am getting glasses, and thanks to the generosity and love of my in-laws, I also get to have prescription sunglasses to drive.

On Thursday morning, I found out that I need to go back to the dentist to find out what’s going on with my jaw.

Then they administered the breathing test I’d requested…and I failed it. Even after an inhaler. The doctor told me I probably have reactive airway disease; the way he explained it, it sounds to me like asthma that’s specific to irritants alone. What he described sounded so familiar, like my entire life experience.

So I left the doctor’s office and went to find my husband, and I started crying because I realized that this could have been found years ago and I could have had a much more enjoyable and productive high school, college, and adulthood experience. But it wasn’t caught, quite possibly because life conspired against my parents’ ability to take us for regular checkups, and they didn’t realize there was a problem. And why would they have? It was so subtle, I never noticed.

But as I was sobbing in my husband’s arms, in the waiting area at his work, I realized:

I was crying, but I was also breathing.

I had never, in my life, been able to breathe well while in tears.


The next day, I was singing along with the radio in the car, and I realized:

Singing is not that effortful all of a sudden.

I’ve always thought singing was effortful, that’s just how it was….

And I was wrong.


So yesterday, and today, I’ve started the journey of learning how to breathe with an inhaler. This is especially challenging because the tiredness that’s a side effect of the inhaler when you first start it is making my eye strain much worse, so much so that I can’t safely drive long distances right now — and I work half an hour away. I also can’t focus on my work’s computer screen for long at all — TLC’s Library.Solution is a wonderful program, but their highly unfortunate color choice for the background of Cataloging makes it immensely difficult to look at when one’s eyes are tired.


Everyone I know is surprised by how energetic and happy I am. Some of them, especially my boss, aren’t quite sure what to do with me. And I’m not quite sure yet how this will settle out, except that I’ll have lots of energy and I’ll be much better able to cope with life.

I can’t wait to see what 27 holds.