[Tripping On…] My Sunglasses Remain

Even though I’ve figured out the root cause issue of my three-month, near-daily headaches to be ergonomic, I still wear my sunglasses while at work. The lights are too bright. Mainly, though, it’s easier for me since I don’t need to worry about being exposed to harsh lights for hours a day. It may be weird, even for people I haven’t seen in a while, but I have a legitimate reason for wearing them indoors.

I’m not just being cool.

Although that does help with the situation, I find sometimes even still at home or at work, that my eyes will sometimes show these yellow Microsoft Paint spray-paint can effects over my vision, if I don’t see cigarette burns. They only happen maybe once a week, and have only happened three noteworthy times after I stopped having my near-daily headaches.

It’s my neck muscle’s overreaction to certain pressure stimulus, maybe.

I haven’t dug around deep enough to figure out why exactly. The theory is that it relates with my neck’s longus muscles. Gray’s Anatomy doesn’t have much detail on this muscle other than where it’s at in the neck. That doesn’t help for troubleshooting or resolution but this is just the on-going theory, where practicing more neck stretches and blinking my eyes more should help with everything overall.

I’ll see how things go in another month.

For now, I keep on wearing them until maybe I have no further brightness issues. I am not sure without researching more eye issues, but really, how much of that is on me versus adapting to the world around me. If I wear sunglasses indoors, it’s because the lights are too bright for me. I must change myself first before the environment. If I can change myself by wearing sunglasses to avoid impairing everyone else’s vision, isn’t that the superior option?

I suppose fixing my vision would be cool, too.

When I go in for physical therapy, I’ll ask about stretching and strengthening the longus muscles that might be causing eye strain. That is probably why the eye doctor didn’t see any eye issues. From a broad perspective, there were no major issues like diseases or illnesses that affect most people.

These fireworks and burns are rare…

When I asked the physical therapist about the situation, the answer was to go back to the eye doctor to ask about light sensitivity, because my primary concern was headaches. Light sensitivity had happened at the same time but didn’t resolve completely along with the headaches.

Here’s the thing: I’m mostly fine.

I’m writing this essay wearing my regular glasses, with the lights on in my apartment-mansion, so if there are no bright lights in my periphery, I’m fine. Even still, when I wake up, my eyes are more sensitive to light than usual. I can usually push past this by closing one or both eyes for a few minutes as I’m waking up, but this is happening frequently, and not something that happened to me before my health problems started in November, at least to as much of a degree.

I’ve always woken up with one-eye light sensitivity.

That would normally go away after a few minutes and would always be mild enough to almost be aesthetic, which is to say, something I didn’t need to do but was helpful. Now, I need to close my eye or eyes frequently when I wake up just to acclimatize to any brightness in my vision.

Is that more internal, then?

If so, sunglasses can only help with the external stimulus, rather than the internal reaction to overly-bright or regularly-bright lights. I will probably need to carry sunglasses with me whenever I look at bright screens, which unfortunately is common in my line of work, so yeah, I will need to schedule another appointment with my eye doctor to ask about light sensitivity.

At least to get a better diagnosis than what I have now.

The current theory is that the nerves around those longus muscles are overly-sensitive, thus why it wasn’t detected in a routine eye exam, and thus why anti-inflammatory medication helped clear up most of the symptoms. If Doctor-Number-Six, the eye doctor, can check things in more detail, he might have a diagnosis and solution that could actually help me avoid frequently wearing sunglasses.

I’ll still need sunglasses for those overly-sensitive days like yesterday.

That will just be a part of life for me going forward, since I can’t tell people to turn down their monitors, nor can I tell my eyes to quit being so sensitive, but I can moderate my eyes’s exposure to lights. If I just accept this, as it is, then that’d be one thing, but I have a calendar entry to make another appointment soon. My schedule has been busy with PT and at least for the next few weeks it will be tricky to schedule time, but I should, if not to arrive at a satisfying conclusion for these writings but also for my own peace of mind.

If I have to wear sunglasses at work, it should be for a valid diagnosis.

Between writer and reader, there is no real concern about what I look like, but in Corporate America, there is still a concern about appearance, of putting on airs, and pretending to be in good shape. Any deviation from that is considered perverse. If I have a doctor’s note on file saying that my this or that is like this when it should be like that, then it’s not so much like I can do whatever I want as much as I won’t be questioned as heavily as I was at first.

The snide “sup, Hollywood?” remarks have lessened.

These teasings are part of life. Even for people with more cut-and-dry physical or mental impairments, we’re not yet at a point in society of tolerance and acceptance. Individually, yes. Ask friends, family, and colleagues, and they’ll generally be tolerant.

Overall, though, indoor-sunglass wearing is still considered weird.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: The biggest change between before I wrote these essays when fixing my headaches and now are the frequent sunglass-use. I wanted to explore why, which resulted in my adding that calendar entry, which I’ll include in this series since I’m still behind on publishing, editing, and formatting for publication, and it’s related health information so it should be useful for readers.
Related: Sober Living essays and Tripping On [The American Healthcare System] chapters.
Picture: Quick sketch of what I’ll see when the bright lights overtake my vision.
Written On: 2020 February 24 [39 minutes. From 3:43am to “other than where it’s at” at 3:48am. From 4:08am to “keep on wearing them” at 4:10am. From 7:53am to “fireworks and burns are rare” at 7:59am in Gdocs, then from 7:31pm to 7:57pm in WordPress.]
Last Edited: 2020 February 24 [Second draft from Gdoc, then first draft for WordPress; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.