Losing My Vision But Not My Hope
Everyone flinches when I tell them I will be awake to watch the surgeon cut the interior lens out of my eye. Tomorrow I will be undergoing a cataract removal and interocular implant surgery.
Over the past couple years I’ve been dealing with vision loss and in the fall of 2019, it reached a point where I knew something needed to be done. I talked with my optometrist and he referred me to a surgeon in Toronto. I wasn’t able to get an appointment with him until January 31st 2020.
During this time I felt less and less comfortable driving so I limited it to a specific route from my house to see my kids and back, and during the daytime whenever possible. In February, I felt that was still too risky and I voluntarily parked my car for good while I waited for eye surgery. It was hard for me to give up this independence and suddenly need to rely on everyone around me for help.
My initial date that I was given was for June 2020, but after a heartfelt letter from my mom they moved it up to April 20th.
Then Covid hit.
After my final scans on March 13th I received a call that due to the pandemic they were cancelling all non-essential surgeries and they were unable to give me a new date but to expect it to be around the end of 2020. Having no end date to both the pandemic induced isolation, and my vision impairment was a hard mental struggle.
My vision continued to get worse and day to day life was becoming harder.
Simple things that I so often took for granted like reading a menu at a restaurant, operating a credit card machine at a store, or finding groceries in a store became a difficult and embarrassing struggle. I found myself no longer trying to make eye contact because I was worried I would misunderstand nonverbal social cues.
One major thing I learned through this process was that it became much easier to deal with, when I shared my challenges with more people.
The journey became easier as I reached out and allowed my small community support me. They offered rides, were accommodating when I couldn’t drive, and helped whenever possible.
Tomorrow will be the first eye surgery and hopefully the second eye can follow a couple months after. If everything goes as planned, and with the help of glasses I should have 20/20 vision.
Thank you again to everyone who supported me through this, and I appreciate your thoughts and prayers tomorrow.
See you on the other side.