It seems no matter what I do or where I go, I keep looking back to the past. To blindness. To vitreous bleeds. To cataracts. To DKA.
Sickness is an incredibly grounding experience. It forces you to rethink your priorities and set new goals.
For me, many of these goals were small almost tiny milestones. Just one more day. Getting through to the next hour. Enduring another sleepless night. The boredom and mind numbing feeling of being house bound and unable to navigate your way to places like the television or the radio.
Arriving for my first ever consult with an ophthalmologist, I cut a sad and solitary figure. Weeks of unsuccessfully wishing to die had led me to that appointment. At that point I was uncertain if I would ever regain my sight. To be honest I don’t think I really cared. I had fallen so low and so far I had lost track of what was normal or what was real. All I saw were dark lines in my vision and dark shadows obscuring the future.
As the weeks became months I began to dream of a better day. Consult after consult seemed to indicate that the impossible could be achieved. That through surgery and intensive LASER my vision loss may not be permanent.
I dared to dream. For the first time in a couple of years I HAD a dream. It was a tiny “light” but it was real and I ran with it...
Four months from that first consult I lay in a pre-operative ward awaiting a vitrectomy. Having seen so many things go wrong, I tried hard to keep my hopes in check. To take things a day at a time until hours later I emerged from surgery.
After more months of waiting and two more surgeries I eventually emerged with “new” eyes.
I COULD SEE…..and all I wanted to do was shout from the roof tops and sing. To get into my car and drive. To stand on the beach at sunset. To let the soaking rain wash over my body. To breathe in the fresh country air on a brisk winter’s morning.
I was unemployed and barely alive but I could see and that was enough for me. I was blissfully happy and nothing could wipe the smile from my face.
I literally emerged from that process without a worry in the world. I didn’t care what people thought of me. I didn’t care about the horrid state of the economy. I didn’t care that I had fallen years behind my peers in achieving career goals….heck I didn’t even care that I was old and single….
I could see
I could see
I could see
Having said all of this I have lost “sight” of my new life. I gained my vision but lost my sight.
I have lost the feeling of wonder at taking in a sunrise. I have forgotten the joy of having and being able to go to work. I have forgotten the pure exultation of walking in the rain and moved on from moments of connection with people that far out rank career progress…
So the line has been drawn.
I’m taking the time to remember. I’m taking an occasional day off to bask in the sunshine. I’m taking road trips just because I can. I’m forgetting my station in life and dead end job that I might appreciate the things I once passed by.
I am alive and it is good….