This November it will be 10 years since I was registered SSI (Severly Sight aimpaired aka BLIND) it was the appointment with my consultant that EVERY seemed to change, yet at the very same time NOTHING changed.
What I mean by that is that my eye sight didn’t actually change at THAT appointment. I simply became aware of just how bad it was.
Having had my Nystagmus (involuntary eye movements) and having worn pretty strong glasses for as long as I can remember my sight had never been great. But in terms of the distance I could see (I have always been short sighted) had changed very little.
Rightly or wrongly so; when I was in my early teens I had been discharged from the consultant at the hospital, where I was given into the care of my opticians. With the strength of my prescription And it was through this team that in July 2008 they used their new camera equipment to try getting a photo of my retina.
My optician wasn’t happy with what she saw, but she couldn’t explain it to me as she explained it could simply be that with my eye movement the photograph wasn’t actually true. So she referred me to the hospital for a thorough check up.
Having been rushed in as an emergency after the hospital were concerned I had detached my retina (a common issue that if caught early enough can be reversed) I discovered that this was not the case, the registrar discovered I had cataract in both eyes, I will always remember what she said;
With laser treatment we can remove them and that would actually improve your vision.
But as she was simply confirming I hadn’t detracted my retina, she didn’t actually comment on the fact that my retina wasn’t ‘complete’.
So, you can probably understand my total shock when I returned a few weeks later to see the consultant to be given the news of just how bad my sight was.
I did have cataracts (my left eye had been diagnosed when I was 12) But the laser surgery suggested wouldn’t be easy and would have very little affect at this time. And actually with my retina dying away my sight would actually only get worse.
Many people ask me
How did you not realise you were going blind?
Its simple, the changes in my peripheral were suggested to be something that had been happening steadily for many many years, and as I only likely lost a small amount at a time I didn’t actually realise.
I did notice ‘little’ things after my daughter was born in 2006, like how I was bumping into things, like low level tables or benches. But I put this down to ‘baby brain’
I had also noticed that it was taking me longer for my eyes to adjust to light changes; like walking indoors after being out in the bright sunshine, but because I had reaction lenses this went in-noticed as an actual change in my sight (as I assumed it was just the glasses)
I have decided I want to celebrate this anniversary. I want to acknowledge that as me I have changed from the person I was before. It hasn’t always been happiness and celebrations, but I have tried to embrace my blindness (and now deafness)
It may sound like a cliche
But in these last ten years I have had so many amazing opportunities, so many doors open to me. I want to move forward with me and celebrating the good seems the best way to do this. I am human, I can’t be postmitive ALL THE TIME. But in this instance I want to look for the good, rather than dwell on the bad.
But the question is (and this I hand over to you my readers) ….
How should I celebrate???