involuntary tight closure of the eyelids.
Okay, mine was not that violent, just the slight twitching of the upper eyelid, a bit like half of a quarter wink but it was bloody awful all the same.
My right eyelid started twitching on the 26th of January. At first it was funny, with lot of wisecracks about receiving an unexpected windfall and so on based on long established superstitions in my wonderful country. When it didn’t abate, it started getting annoying. I tried yoga for eyes, cold compresses, hot compresses, splashing water, eye exercises. Nothing helped. I went on the internet and started searching for anything that might give me information about this condition. What I found was as frustrating as it was hopeless. So, it turns out a twitching eyelid is like the common cold of eye diseases. Maybe even worse than the common cold since along with no cure for it, nobody even knows what causes it!
By the eight day I was ready to punch my eye out and even go around wearing a eye patch for the rest of my life to keep it closed forever. The advice of ‘ignore it’ was not very helpful, especially when I visited forums on the internet where people were suffering from a runaway eyelid for more than a year! Then, I decided to rest my eyes. No computer, no reading, no painting and no television. The first two and last were not so bad, but not reading was torture.
As I sat twiddling my thumbs on the drawing room sofa looking suitably glum, Hubby was concerned. He said it was weird to see me without a book in my hand. That he couldn’t take it. Considering that he had suggested ‘resting’ my eyes, his saying such things every five minutes was not helping my morale at all.
Oh Bliss! For one thing, everything that the BBC churns out has always been of such high quality, both content and production wise, that even the staunchest anti-Anglo freedom fighters were known to trust the BBC implicitly and so did their later generations. And things have only gotten better at the BBC headquarters in the decades since our struggle for freedom. For some reason, I always imagine the BBC offices to be a world stuck in Dickensian England with everyone going around in top hats and long skirts. That would involve a bit of magic as well I suppose, with secret doorways concealed behind brick walls. Well, I must be getting better with my neurons firing in their usual fashion, since I have managed to club the BBC with Harry Potter.
Anyone who scorns at ‘listening’ to books like a little child hasn’t come across the wonderful narrators from BBC. It really feels like they are sitting by your bedside in a rocking chair, with a spectacle on their noses, turning pages slowly and reading in a soothing voice. Kim Hicks, (read a review of her narrative from someone other than me here) the narrator of the first two Ann Granger books I read, is my new favourite celebrity. She can change her voice to suit any character that crops up – from a whiny rich girl to a burly bouncer to an old, drunk beggar. She reads a bit fast, but once you get used to it, it is a pure pleasure.
And, more importantly for those around you, while you listen you can sort out the cupboard, cook your dinner and iron your clothes so nobody can ever accuse you of wiling away the time over ‘stories’ ever again. I wonder how many people use audio books out of choice instead of necessity. They really should.
Two days of listening to audio books and my eye is much better. I did visit an ophthalmologist and will not recount the exasperated looks I received when I told them I was there for a flickering eyelid when my vision turned out to be a perfect 20-20. They explained in painful detail that there was nothing they could do about it, and that I should ‘ignore’ it and go about my work as usual.
Everything is a learning experience in life and this one made me discover, or rather rediscover, the pleasure of listening to a story narrated by an expert storyteller and I will now continue to do so, especially at bedtime. As for the eye, only time will tell whether it will be a recurring phenomena or a one-off thing.