Hindsight is 20/20…. Foresight is….Questionable at best.
So, it’s been about a year exactly since I woke up behind a veil of haze and fog–to what I thought was nothing more than a temporary side effect of a night of fitful sleep. I cracked open my crusty lids to a blurriness that I believed would dissipate shortly after getting up and at ’em. However, minutes turned into hours, then days, then weeks then months…. and after many ophthalmologists and specialists poked, prodded and peered into the frightened distressed blue marbles resting upon my broken visage…. it was deduced that this was my “new normal.” I had already accepted the inevitable by this point and instead of being visibly crushed I was silently and graciously accepting that I could now close this taxing chapter of uncertainty and focus on that which now laid ahead (I have to choose my paths, directions and such more carefully and with more trepidation these days! :P).
I am still not comfortable with this new ocular outlook.. I’ve adapted and adjusted to this astronomical shift in my life in the best way I know how….not well. But, I manage. To go from 20/20 with glasses to being incapable of driving a car or reading a book after twenty-something years is…. not something you can segue into easily. I am the partner of an artist of whose work I cannot fully appreciate. The daughter of a photographer of whose pictures can no longer be seen in the detail they deserve. The daughter of an avid and voracious reader whose enjoyment and appreciation of books can no longer be shared with. The sister of someone who writes a blog for a living that can now only be skimmed because of how frustrated I get with being unable to focus on the screen. I worry about what will happen when my parents are no longer able to drive me to and fro. I have to strain my eyes at all times just to make sure I don’t trip, misstep, or fall. I have to rely on others to tell me what items are on menus or ask them what signs say or what they are talking/laughing about. I have to memorize what people are wearing when I am in a crowded area so that I have at least a slim chance of finding them again when separated. I have mistaken others for my parents, sister and Meg on more than one occasion. I have to watch foreign films while sitting on my computer an inch from the screen to read the subtitles and I still don’t always catch the entirety of the written dialogue. If I see a gnat or a spot on my glasses– I panic thinking that maybe the impairment is growing more severe or morphing in some way. And I go to bed each night worrying that in the morning there will be no sunshine–and all that will envelop me is total darkness. It’s a fear that I am not quite sure is completely unsubstantiated.
Yes, it’s scary and more than a little deflating to have each minimal task multiplied by a million in terms of complexity, but you know what? It could always be so much worse. I can still see. I can see colors, shapes, the freckles on Meg’s face when I’m up close, the flowers peppering the ground, the blooms on the trees, the major details on buildings and landmarks, the sun in the sky, the smiles on faces and virtually everything wonderful about this world. I just don’t see it the same way I did… or that you do.
Life has it’s way of throwing curve-balls at you and keeping you on your toes. I’m pretty good at baseball, but I would be most appreciative if the powers that be could lob the pitches from now on– a little harder to catch and prepare these days! And looking on the bright side (which is always a good idea now) is intrinsic to my plowing through each day with vigor and fervor. I’ve become more social and mirthful since I started having to stare through the equivalent of a waterfall or frosted glass all day. My dependence on others has forced me into this position and I have had to learn to accept that my independence in this particular area is no longer an option. I find humor in the mundane and joke to make it seem or feel less awkward and frustrating. And as mawkish and ridiculous as it may seem… I appreciate everyone and everything just a little bit more. The sight that I have, the cacophony of sound around me, the breeze on my cheek, the pounding of each step, the touch of a hand, and the kindness of others. There are worse things. However, I am still waiting on my new super power that takes the place of sight.
So, yes, I may now read like a four year old stumbling and stopping over each individual letter. I might appear as though I am using a foreign language dictionary in a strange land to translate words into sentences that make some semblance of sense. I might quadruple check both ways before I cross the street as though I am playing the classic “Frogger” arcade game. And I might have premature wrinkles from squinting with such prolonged intensity. But, that’s all ok. I’m somehow happier. From this myopia and dystopia came a cornucopia of happiness, empathy and unbridled enthusiasm that had been held captive and laid dormant for so long. Stranger than fiction.