RD Tics

Since dealing with retinal detachment, I appear to have picked up a number of behavioural quirks and odd habits.  I’m able to laugh at some of them at times, but at other times I feel as if I’m going everso slightly mad.  Here are just a few of them, together with explanations in the hopes that people will understand that there is a reason behind my sometimes strange behaviour…

  • The checking visual field tic
    This is when I sit in a certain place and shut one eye then look up, down, left and right with the other eye, to ensure that I haven’t lost any more peripheral vision before proceeding to do the same thing with the other eye.  My office buddy at work has now got used to this, and simply asks in a matter-of-fact manner whenever she catches me doing it, ‘Is everything okay?’
  • The “Oh my God, I’ve just seen a new floater” tic
    This takes the form of jumping in extreme alarm at any black object which happens to suddenly catch my eye.  It can be anything from a fly, a spider, a swooping blackbird, or, as happened recently, my black umbrella cover floating gently to the floor.  The jump, gasp, and sometimes shriek is generally followed by a couple of seconds of intense staring as i realise that the said fly / spider / blackbird / umbrella cover REALLY isn’t a new floater after all, and gradually my heart rate returns to normal.
  • The staring in the mirror tic
    Probably mistaken for deluded vanity when in public toilets, this is actually a compulsion to check my eye for redness, swelling, gunk, possible signs that the oil may have leaked through to the front of my eye, or just generally checking how dilated the pupil of my surgery eye is that day.
  • The sudden staring off into the distance mid-conversation tic
    I’m told that this can be quite off-putting.  Well, trust me, it’s even more off-putting for me as I do this when I think I’ve ‘seen’ something which causes my heart to pound and teeth to clench in fear.  Whatever it is that I think I’ve seen, it usually causes me to stand and stare in terrified concentration for a few minutes until I’m able to figure out a logical explanation for it.
  • The “Does my eye look alright?” tic
    This usually occurs in places where there’s no access to a mirror, and simply demonstrates the need for reassurance that yes, my eye does look relatively normal and there’s nothing immediate to worry about from the outside of it, at least.

So, for anyone reading this who is fortunate enough to have healthy peepers, please bear with us RD people and try to understand that, much as we would love to, we can’t escape from our waffy vision.  I’m afraid I don’t know what the answer is in dealing with it all, but if anyone has any useful suggestions then please let me know…


4 thoughts on “RD Tics

  1. MrsEllieee

    Oh Emma, Those numbers one, two and four I can relate to so much. Those I do every single day, and not once a day. Especially the vision field check. That goes on as soon as I open my eyes in the morning and stops when I go to sleep. If by any chance I wake up at night I even check in the pitch dark.
    The most scary one for me is the one I think I see something and than I go and focus at that particular spot, as where I notice it was probably nothing to worry about. I think I am getting grey hair from that lol.


      1. MrsEllieee

        It hardly ever sets your mind free does it? And I dyed my hair just this morning, just in case if I should need surgery on Tuesday. (OCT scan) 😳

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ejb117 Post author

        Sadly, no it doesn’t… it’s just massively frustrating and can be really upsetting too because we don’t want RD to control our lives, do we?! Grrrr! I really hope you will not need surgery and will be thinking of you on Tuesday and mentally cheering you on. x


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