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Yesterday I looked in the mirror and was struck by the size of my eyes. But reliable sources tell me they're of quite normal size.

That's a shame really, because I like big eyes.

Mind you, it seems I have bags under mine as well, and they're older than I remember them.

I have not looked in a mirror without my glasses - and been able to see much than a blur - for many, many years. And in recent times, even less so. Even with glasses on, I'm looking at myself and my eyes with glasses in between. In fact, twice. I'm looking through them to see and the image I see is obscured by them. heh. And that's before you throw in the cataracts. Then add to that the need for reading glasses, so now even when I take my glasses off I have to get really close and then squint anyway... and I've had very little idea of what I'm looking at. It could have been anyone in there. Pulling faces even.

Enquiring minds no doubt want to know: I've been wearing glasses for ordinary, everyday shortsightedness since I was about 16. Absolutely no drama. And like most people I know who are in their 40's, I now need reading glasses (although finding the right pair is a saga in itself). I also have developed a problem with excess tearing that's harmless, but has not been resolved and which messes with your vision more than you would think.

The cataracts developed over the last few years as a result of long term prednisolone(steroid) use for Crohn's Disease. They've been a total cow and now that one is fixed, I'm amazed at just how much a cow they had become.

When they fix cataracts they take out the natural lense and put in a new one so they can put it wherever it most needs to be. Easy! Bonus fix of everyday shortsightedness as well as no more cataract. Cataracts cut out the blues, so everything was yellow and dingy so I'm enjoying vivid, vivid colours at the moment.

My now "good" eye is going to be my indoor eye - it's set so that its best point will be two metres away, and my right eye (to be done in a month or whenever I can manage, time and energy wise) will be set to full distance.


And I have something to say about blue. It's a very nice colour, it certainly adds a lot to the world but it's not without drawbacks.

Avid readers may recall that about ooooh 18 months ago I befriended a spider. A Badmumna (ya rly) insignis, aka Black House Spider. She lives in the toilet window and she is my special friend and no one is allowed to hurt her.

Further, I'm the only person I trust to occasionally cleans up her web. The B. insignis does not remove its web, it keeps building over the old one so in time they can get quite extensive and rather grubby looking. So occasionally I wipe it back a bit and clean up what I think is spider pooh off the sill.

It all started because I was having a rather nasty Crohn's flare and spending many hours, day and night, in that bleak and draughty room, feeling rather sorry for myself. She was a small and I presume young spider at the time and at night she would be beavering away at her web while I tried not to look at her because she was so scary.

I kept planning to get onto the business of killing her in the daytime so my nights would be less alarming. (I wasn't going to be doing it at 3AM, that just seemed tooo much and too likely to turn into the plot of a really scary movie.)

However, I kept putting off her daytime appointment with death. Frankly, if a spider like that gives you the willies while she's in her web, the sight of her out of her web, running around crazily while she dies a horrible agonising death, will give you a bloody panic attack. Even in daylight.

And also, I just started to like her. Being a web spider, it's not like she was ever anywhere where I didn't expect her to be and if she was at the edge of her web and too close, I only had to tap or rattle something, or even just blow gently on her, and she'd skedaddle back to her little safe space in the corner of the window frame.

So that's how I got my little arachnoid friend.

The toilet window, incidentally, has remained locked shut ever since, because if it was opened she'd get squished. (It's okay, there are no skirting boards out there and the door's always open to the laundry anyway, which also has no skirting boards and no proper ceiling and several holes in the wall, so ventilation is really not a problem.)

And at 3AM, when doubled over with cramps, there really is something comforting about her presence so long as I didn't think too hard about the 8 legs and all those eyes and the book lungs and the all too many other things I do know about spiders because I did a really big project on them in Year 7 in order to not be like the other girls who were wimpy about creepy crawlies. A project, I should add, that completely backfired and bought on serious arachnophobia for about three decades.

I thought I was more-or-less over it, what with my friend the toilet spider and all, but what with me suddenly noticing stuff I hadn't noticed for a while, I'm really rather struck by just how sharp her features are, and how pointy her legs - all eight of them. And how the light just seems to fall into her.

And what with noticing blue hues again...she is black to the point of blue. It's an incredibly cold colour. Sharp legs and body shape...a chilly cold black with blue tinge. Her thorax has deep crevasses that almost look like a second face and her abdomen is extra shiny.

Really, quite alarming.


But it's okay. I still love her. In fact I'm a little sad because they only live 2 years maximum, she's been acting a bit odd lately and she seems to be a little smaller and kind of wrinkled, poor dear. So I'm refusing to be alarmed by her appearance and still hope that she can live out her life in safety and comfort. 10B is less keen, I have asked him to please just let her be and I really hope he will.

I've known for some time that I cope better with hunstmans if I take off my glasses - I freak out when they run but only because I can see the detail of their leg movement. I suppose it makes sense that lack of detail would work on all spiders...didn't think about the change in colour.

But yes, um. Cataracts cure arachnophobia!



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 22nd, 2012 10:07 am (UTC)
Huzzah I say, for eyes that work.

I'm not huzzahing about spideys though...*shudder*
Mar. 22nd, 2012 10:46 am (UTC)
I think it's lovely that you made friends with a spider, and I am certain that it's good luck.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 12:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the bonus nightmare. Just so you know, I'm a definite no on the helping you pack under any circumstances if the spider is coming with you.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 01:45 pm (UTC)
I'm not exactly arachnophobic but I wouldn't want to have to go to the toilet in the middle of the night and think the spider was anywhere near me as I tend not to turn on the lights at night.

It's kind of sweet, though, this love for a spider. Charlotte's Web is what comes to mind.
Mar. 22nd, 2012 06:31 pm (UTC)
I love this post! Spider friends are awesome. The coloring on that particular species (thanks, Google) is really striking.

...I have to ask, though. What does spider poo look like? :P
Mar. 24th, 2012 11:06 am (UTC)
I'll try for a photo. Hopefully I won't drop the camera in terror.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 12:07 am (UTC)
"in order to not be like the other girls who were wimpy about creepy crawlies. A project, I should add, that completely backfired and bought on serious arachnophobia for about three decades. " ROTFL.

Book lungs?

I almost lost a friend once in the Goth years coz I killed a huntsman in the loo that was upsetting my housemates and was stupid enough to tell her. (She was very spider friendly. I'm spider friendly but not enough so that I was willing to catch and transport a huntsman to another place).

I like having spider-friends. How often do they bite people, really? She is a thing of natural beauty, like a shark. And she's keeping down the insects. Not to mention a bit of the dust.

It is extraordinarily considerate of you to do her web cleaning for her.

My default name for a new house spider is 'Dorothy' for some reason. No idea why.
Mar. 24th, 2012 11:07 am (UTC)
Book lungs - they can close them like a book. And keep 'em closed in a way that various other critters can't.

When you use fly spray, what kills the spider is the stuff on their skin because they don't inhale.
Mar. 24th, 2012 05:15 pm (UTC)
oh! So the poor thing slowly suffocated! How horrible :-( (Tho that friend was totally silly in her reaction. The "best friend" that dumped me within 2 weeks of Tim breaking up with me, the cow)

~sending you a smile coz I'm getting warm fuzzies that you had happy feelings. May there be many many more~
Mar. 23rd, 2012 01:13 am (UTC)
I think you are being very brave and considerate of spider-friend.

As to glasses and eyeballs: SHort-sighted glasses actually do make your eyeballs seem smaller, because of the way the lenses work. Reading magnifier make the eyeballs bigger, naturally, but shortsighted glasses make the eyes look smaller to a viewer. Which is one reason why I've got a tendency towards eye makeup. MUST DRAW EYEBALLS BACK ON SO THEY CAN BE SEEN.

I'm getting used to new prescription and new frames, and the new seems to be making the shrinking effect more noticeable than the old, or maybe it's just the frames. But it's mildly provoking.

Someone should send you some lovely blue flowers! Sans insects.
Mar. 23rd, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)
I hope you got a good grade for your Yr 7 project!
Mar. 24th, 2012 11:09 am (UTC)
I did, thankyou. A+ I think. Probably, anyway.

But given the years of terror it unleashed upon me, I'm not sure it was worth it.

Maybe it was fixed by the cataracts, but I now have a dread fear of heights so I'm not really that certain. :D
Mar. 24th, 2012 10:09 pm (UTC)
I am terrified of spiders, but now that InvisibleBF evicted one of the giant not-black-widows that was living in the door crack, I find myself kind of sad. What if she's not okay out in the yard? What if someone ate her? When she was there in the door crack, at least I knew where she was. So I'm leaving the window-crack spider alone.

It's kind of nutty, isn't it? If those spiders advanced toward me, I'd be screaming so loudly that you'd hear it over by your house... but I'm sad to think about them not being there anymore.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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