When the ophthalmologist goes over the results of my visual field test
She doesn’t say glaucoma
At least not right away.
She keeps saying “questionable”
(My right eye is questionable)
And I have to draw it out of her
It’s really not a question
I’m high-risk for glaucoma
Diabetes plus family history
The cluster of black dots
Where my right eye missed all those
Tiny points of light
In that little machine
Those black dots that form
A sort of void
A sort of reverse constellation
Of what’s already lost
At 42
Those little blindspots
Don’t leave room for questions.

She goes over options
Talks about eye drops
Encourages SLT
Offers to wait and see.
Wait and see.
Fear has me frozen
So I choose waiting.
Even though that might mean seeing
Less and less.
Later the great Google tells me
Glaucoma can lead to blindness in 10 years
If left untreated
But only a small percentage of cases
Lead to blindness.
I wonder how many of those cases
Were diagnosed in their 40s.
I think of how much of the world
I have yet to see.
I think of graduations
And weddings
And grand babies
And reading and writing and driving
And start feeling robbed
All over again
Like it’s 2009
All over again
And why me
What the fuck
And I sob into my dinner
Have a cigarette in the cold
And look up at the stars
At all those tiny points of light.

Two days later I change my mind
Call the SLT specialist to make an appointment.
At least they don’t sugar coat it
They call it what it is
A glaucoma consult.

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