Blind.

Blindness has always been a great fear of mine. So much in my life depends on my eye sight that I feel I would be completely lost without it – writing, reading, translating, chatting with my fiancé over IM, staying in touch with my overseas friends, even watching TV and going to the movies… or just simply going about my normal life unassisted. I know these might sound like mundane things in the grand scheme of things, and I know there are probably alternatives, but these mundane things are an essential to me, and losing any of them would send me spiraling down a bottomless pit of depression.

Before I say anything else… no, don’t worry – I’m not going blind. However, during this past week, I’ve been forced to live like a blind person for a couple of days. It wasn’t some sort of dare or social experiment… but rather a result of my severe clumsiness syndrome; basically, I accidentally scratched my cornea with a pen.

Yes, it is as painful as it sounds.

Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m allergic to almost everything. Seriously, for some reason I always suffer from all the adverse effects associated with any medicine.

The point is, I could not see. Or rather, I was not able to open my eye because every time I blinked my eyelids would grate against the scratch and cause it to unravel. Why didn’t I open my other eye then? Well… I tried, but the act put pressure on my injured eye and it really hurt, so I had to keep both my eyes closed. It was really frustrating. Whenever I tried to move I would keep my hands outstretched before me so that I can grope my way in the darkness… and I still got bruises bumping into things. For the most part I stayed in bed, either trying to ignore the throbbing in my eye or else trying to sleep off the pain. I was bored out of my skull… and during these moments when you’re most idle, you start getting paranoid.

What if I go blind? What if my eye never mends and I have to spend the rest of my life like this?

Thankfully, my doctor put my worries to rest. I’m now wearing a protective/corrective contact lens and administering three eye drops religiously every hour. I took the past week off work and avoided all sorts of screen and written words. It still hasn’t healed completely, but it feels SO much better. And hey, I can see! Not going blind any time soon. I do now appreciate my eye sight greatly though… aaand I sort of developed a fear of sharp or pointy objects anywhere near my face, which isn’t very productive for when I’m trying to use my eye drops, haha.

Have you ever had to go through something like this? What do you think you’d miss the most if you were to become blind?

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27 thoughts on “Blind.

  1. I would miss everything–cannot imagine being blind–it is one of my fears too. Am glad you are on the road to recovery–so sorry to hear about your pain–when I wore contacts I always felt so unprotected–I am back to wearing glasses now and am surprised at the number of accidents they have saved me from– ((hugs))

  2. Oh, so sorry to hear this! No fun to scratch the cornea. Sounds like yours was a pretty severe case. Glad things are getting better. It’s easy to take our senses for granted. Thanks for reminding me how lucky I am to have all of mine intact. :)

    • Yeah, it was. :( And I had to go through several treatments before I finally found something that works. And a reminder of these things is always important, I feel!

  3. Glad you’re doing better. It doesn’t sound like any fun at all. Blind would be frustrating, but I could deal with it. It helps that several people in my family have had severe vision loss so I’m aware of many of the shortcuts (getting the computer to talk to you and books on tape.) It’s hearing I couldn’t bear to lose.

  4. I had some sort of a similar experience. When I was 6 years old, I was told to visit the eye doctor by my school because they felt I couldn’t see properly. When I did visit the doctor, he said that my cornea has a defect from birth and the power of both my eyes is imbalanced. So I had to wear a patch like thing for one eye for around 2 months, and then a month for the other eye. I had to see the world with only one eye for about 3 months and as a kid it was very frustrating as I din’t know why I was going through all this. Everything got better as the years passed and I cannot tell you how glad I am that I don’t have to go back to that phase thanks to my glasses!!
    I’m so glad that things are working out for you as well :)

    • Oh dear. That sounds horrible. I would hate walking around with an eye patch… and for 3 months, too? That’s such a long time. I’ll bet it was a relief to finally get that thing off.
      Yeah, things are so much better now, thank you! :)

  5. That sounds like a terrible, painful week, Zen! I scratched my cornea once (not as badly as you did though) and had to wear an eye patch for a few days. Although I could see out of the other eye, I was a bit clumsy! Being pretty much blind for a week must have been tough. Glad you’re on the mend now!

    • Glad to hear I’m not the only clumsy one out there! The thing is, my doctor said a scratched cornea should heal easily, but every medication I took would stir up my allergies instead. :(

  6. Ha! I loved this. I know how you have been feeling lately. I scratched my cornea as well a while back and experienced the same helpless and stranded feeling you felt. I was pretty scared to keep my eyes closed, not knowing what was going on around me. The fear of going blind got the best of me and caused me to cry leading to more and more pain even though my doctor said it’d heal soon. I was also afraid of never seeing art, reading great blogs like this, and seeing loved ones. I’m glad you’re doing better, again, I really liked this. It got me to appreciate eyesight and convinced me not to abuse it by staring unconsciously at a computer screen for hours. Thanks for this! :)

    • Yay, someone who went through the same thing! … wait, yay is not appropriate, makes me sound like I’m enjoying your misery. I was close to crying several times myself, and only stopped when my eyes started to burn. I’ve recovered completely now, so that’s a relief! And I’m glad you enjoyed my post. :D

  7. Ouch! That sounds awful. Glad you’re doing better. I’ve had a few eye surgeries throughout my life due to an accident I was in when I was two, tumbling down a full flight of stairs. Of course I always had one good eye to work with during the healing time, so that helped. : )

  8. Hope you’re doing better, about 20 years ago, my eye doctor told me I had a degenerative retinal condition and would probably be blind within 2 years. I never lost my sight (!?!) but I remember being devastated wondering how I’d do everything. And of course, my husband used to warn me that if I didn’t treat him right, he’d rearrange the furniture every other day!

    • I’ve recovered fully!

      Oh wow – I would’ve been terrified. And then I would’ve gone and sued that doctor for scaring me like that. ;) I’m glad you never lost your eye sight! And your husband has a mean streak in him, haha.

  9. That sounds awful! It’s one of my big fears too. I’d miss looking at the trees and the ocean and all the beauty in the world. Glad to hear it’s better now. I’m guessing you must have had to look like a pirate too – that would probably be the only fun part. :)

    • Haha, I actually did not get to do that, no. =[ I couldn’t open either of my eye and had to wear dark sunglasses to keep out light and wind, so mostly I looked like a blind person!

  10. Ouch! The eyes are so sensitive–it’s scary when they get damaged. By now, I’m glad you’ve had a good recovery.

    Going blind is a fearsome thought though. Could imagine trying to cook food, putting the wrong ingredients in by accident. Nearly all the spice bottles feel the same! Now THAT would be a recipe for disaster.

    But I’ve heard about blind photographers, and they’re efforts are impressive since photography relies so much on vision.

    • Actually, I’m still getting treatment. =[ Every time I think I recovered I suddenly wake up with a lot of pain in my eyes. I’m just too scared to get actual surgery.

      That would definitely be disastrous! I’ve taken up cooking lately and I would hate to have to stop doing that because of blindness.

      I’ve never heard of blind photographers before! I’ll have to take a look now; I’m curious to see what kind of pictures they take!

      • Oh no, nevermind then. =[ Hope the pain subsides.

        Gosh, sometimes I wish–by now–humans were evolved enough to recover quicker and better from injuries and illnesses. For example, Axolotl Salamanders can regenerate their limbs. But I suppose that’s too great a capability for humans…

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