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Peeper Reaper
Michael Collins and James Discuss a Writer's Eyes
Thank you for your reply James!
Have you thought about audio-dictation? When my [redacted] was at its worse I could not use my hands for writing or pc work. I tried dragon audio-dictation. Absolutely horrible and a waste of money. But the free audio-dictation on Microsoft word actually is not that bad. You would not have to look at the pc while you speak. Just make sure you speak clearly and loud enough. Maybe that won’t be practical if you do most of your work in public places like trains and coffee shops. Also you might consider picking up some PC glasses for 20$. That helps with the blue light and makes a big difference at least for me it does.

Thank you, Michael for writing in 20-point!
Michael, two months ago my eyes, which have been getting worse for two years, got a lot worse.
[It has been 2 year 8 months since I got my eyes checked and new glasses.]
This was triggered by one of the major things that cause the right eye to “blow up” because that is what it feels like, like a small creature is trying to force its way out of my brain by pushing the eye out. This was doing back-to-back podcasts with Rusty and Richard and the Myth 20 crew. Talking at normal conversational tone causes the eye nerve to vibrate and bring on an attack. Raising my voice causes extreme nausea. So, it looks like recording my voice is out. As it is I'm usually not clear enough on my end of a podcast even though I'm rendered sick by raising my voice.
I stopped reading most things and put off text arrangement and completion of some large history books.
Then, a month ago, my right eye got a lot worse and I began throwing up. So I experimented with what made it the worst. This was predictably disastrous.
As a base line, I have some unusual condition that three medical doctors have not diagnosed to my satisfaction. Last month I stopped writing for a few days and then began experimenting.
I started with better than perfect vision at age 30, was able to read the line they don't ask you to read. My family has no history of eye problems.
-I have had between 25-30 concussions over my life
-I have read somewhere just north of 5,000 books, which is unusual
-I have written 240 books
My suspicion is that the three above activities have converged to cause a joint-use injury.
40% of the symptoms fit something called a “cluster headache” though I do not get headaches hardly ever, just eye pain.
My editor suspects I might have “convergence insufficiency” from the concussions.
Overall conditions for long series of these attacks over the past 15 years have been:
-Lowland living, this never happening, thus far, above 5,000 feet and is far less severe above 1,000 feet
-Overcast skies and/or rolling thunder heads and high piled clouds
This period, since 2005, when I had my first attack, is the period at which I started wearing glasses.
Worst specific triggers from most to least likely to bring on an attack:
-Hard jarring blow to the head
-Lateral light to the right eye
-Speaking loud and clear
-Staying awake past 30 hours [I stayed up for 48 hours twice a week for about 30 years and once went 5 days without sleeping—never used caffeine or drugs for this, just will. This might have damaged my hypothalamus.]
-Writing/reading on computer more than 5 hours total in a day
-Overheating while working in the sun
-Speaking normally at a low volume
-Reading paper books
-Vibrations to the head from chopping or punching or pick-ax work or light punches or stick hits
Things that will make it worse are:
-Not sleeping
-Drinking alcohol
Things that help are:
-Sleeping
-Drinking coffee
I noticed that the worst time was when I forced myself to work outside after the attack began and experienced delusional levels of pain and nausea that night.
I boxed lightly with three young men twice, eating about fifty light and not too jarring face punches each 6-8 round session and noted with dismay that writing 3,000 words caused as much trouble with my right eye as getting punched in it at about 50-80 PSI. Indeed, me punching the bag at 200 PSI hurt worse than me being punched at 50 PSI.
I cannot tell if the pain causes the nausea or if it is parallel.
I now limit my writing to four hours and under 4,000 words and take one or two days off a week.
I will have an eye glasses doctor check my eyes on July 12.
Lynn is going to have me do some eye exercises that might help as well.
If he suggests a real eye doctor I'll have to wait until I have residency somewhere for a couple months. After being barred from one pharmacy for my writing, I am nervous about letting Maryland eye doctors of the same tribe know that I am a published writer.
I have decided that it is more important to keep writing at a far reduced schedule than to push these peepers until they fail. This became obvious when the left eye started developing the same problems 6 weeks ago when I wrote one-eyed.
I am focusing my writing on dialogues with readers, though at a much slower rate, and on short novels. The history I am working on and building a mass of text, but will not be able to arrange these books for some time, if ever.
I am using a vast library of audio books mailed to me on an external hard drive by my darling Editor. Working from visual books is now limited to the Bible [every second week] and Plantation America primary sources.
When I get emails they usually sit for a week before I address them and then they get scheduled by Lynn for the next open day that does not have an article scheduled. This also helps the eye strain a lot.
Right now I can feel a nerve, that starts warmly from the base of my brain behind and below the right ear and flares up hot over the outer crown of my skull above the right ear and ends above the right brow. There is no pain, just a warm stinging. I can feel it flaring now. The pain level in the right eye is only a 6. [1] But I know that if I keep writing it will rise. A numbness is extending to my right jaw, teeth and nose as a pinching sensation emerges near the crown. Once it hits 8, if I do not take a seritonin blocker [which takes 90 minutes to take effect] then I'll be in for 10 hours of debilitating pain and nausea.
Signing off.
I will nap and try writing a third article later today—but maybe not.
-Sunday, 6/13/21
Notes
-1. Some one asked me about my pain scale. I will do another article on it.
Addendum
7/21/21
I have my new screen glasses and hope for good things. But my doctor told me to watch for the root cause which is fatigue and take some rest time for the eyes.
Also, my time at high elevation has always been late summer and autumn, and I wonder if the coastal aspect of the problem might just be seasonal, since episodes in the Mid-Atlantic tend to abait in severity come late summer...
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