The gift of sight…

Being able to see clearly, is a gift that nearly all humans take for granted. It’s only when your eyesight diminishes, that you become a little bit aware that being able to have clear vision is a bonus in life. In order to correct that anomaly, you get glasses (or contact lens) to improve what you see, either close-up or in the distance. We imagine that being blind would be the worst disability one could have. I, too, have felt that way. And I’m nearly blind.

When I was growing up, I knew I was vision-impaired because I wore glasses, and had done so since I was three years old. That was my normal. The chunky, “coke-bottle lenses” never gave anyone a clue as to how blind I really was. My actions would have given many clues, if anyone around me was astute enough to even notice. No one in my family was interested in me, or my lack of vision. As long as I did as I was told and kept quiet, I was considered an acceptable human being.

Not even the optometrists had any idea the degree of vision-impairment I had. When asked by the optometrist to read the letter charts to determine my level of vision, I would determine the letters by the shapes of the images. I couldn’t actually see the clear detail of the letters, and I’d also memorised the charts over the years. No-one thought to ask me if I saw the letters clearly or not. I saw it all as a kind of test….”How far down can you read?”  Not…”What can you see clearly?” That’s a different question. If the letters were Cyrillic or Arabic symbols, and I was asked to draw what I saw, I would have failed miserably. I had no frame of reference for these. Even colouring-in was problematic for me, as there was always two parallel lines in constant motion to work with.

It wasn’t until I was in my mid-30’s, that a new specialist tested my vision with a computerised machine that reflected what my eyes actually saw. He was astounded at my poor vision. He asked me if I’d ever been to Blind School? No, normal school. Did I have a Guide Dog growing up? No, only cats. Did I have a white cane? No, that’s for blind people. Did I realise just how blind I was? No, didn’t think I was. He stated that I was legally-blind and my vision was less than 25% of normal sight. Well, that was unexpected. He was amazed that I had gone 35years and not known the level of vision-impairment. I obviously had no limitations in my mind.

Thus, began my journey as a legally-blind person, complete with dark glasses and white cane. I ended up ditching the glasses as they reduced my already limited ability to see. I kept the white cane though. That has become very useful to me, particularly at night.

You see, I was born with egg-shaped eyes, instead of the usual round-shaped that most people have. This caused severe short-sightedness (myopia), double-vision (one eye sees close-up, the other sees at a distance – which means I only have 2-D vision – it’s like seeing my whole world on a flat movie screen), tunnel-vision (I don’t have peripheral vision, that is I’m unable to see out of the corners of my eyes), astigmatism (the corneas in the front of my eyes are distorted, therefore everything is blurry), strabismus (cross-eyes – in order to see, one of my eyes will cross to the middle to block out images to that eye and reduce the strain of seeing multiple images – along with the double-vision, I see ghost images or image outlines beside or over the top of the main image – 5 in one eye and 3 in the other), photophobia (an extreme sensitivity to light – although I find it very difficult to see without bright light – what a conundrum), and lately I have dense cataracts in both eyes. What little vision I had, has become much more limited since the cataracts developed.

However, the lenses in my eyes can be replaced by removing the cloudy cataracted lenses and implanting intra-ocular Toric (special ones specific for my vision issues) lens. This will improve my vision to where it was about 10years ago. I’ll still be legally blind, yet I’ll see better than I see now, and without the blurriness. The specialist is creating the lenses to both see at the same distance, which will hopefully give me 3-D vision for the first time in my life. That’ll be an exciting adventure getting to see and experience this new world around me. Thankfully, my brain’s ability for neuroplasticity, will have me re-wired in a short space of time, and moving about this 3-D world with ease. It will take some time to adjust to this new way of seeing.

At the end of February this year, I will undergo this life-changing cataract surgery on my right eye, which is the most affected by the cataract. Then in March, I will undergo surgery again for the left eye. This is the crucial one that will give me 3-D vision.

Normally, cataract surgery is routine, 20min operation, where the patient is fully awake and only local anaesthetic is used. However, in my case, due to my eyes being so out-of-shape and fragile, the operation will take 3hours, and I’ll be knocked out with a twilight sleep (a light anaesthetic where life support is not required to keep me alive). The possibility of the retinas detaching during surgery and causing permanent blindness in one or both eyes is very real and present. I do fully trust my surgeon, Dr Mark Loane, and place my future ability to see in his extremely capable hands.

To say I’m scared, is an understatement. I am both scared and excited at the same time. Scared because I dislike operations and that once I’ve had both, I will have to get used to my world all over again. I’m excited that I’ll be able to see better than I do now and super excited that I will be able to see in 3-D, like others do normally. Wow!! What an adventure to start the new year of 2017. It’s a 1 year in numerology, a new beginnings year, and I’m certainly creating a new beginning for my future vision.

I appreciate the outpouring of love, blessings and well-wishes I have already received in regards to my upcoming operations. Thank you deeply. I know your love and support will get me through the fears and uncertainties I have with these surgeries and the journey of seeing again, albeit in a different way.

Much love and gratitude,


5 Replies to “The gift of sight…”

  1. I feel so excited for you. How amazing are you? I’m so impressed that it makes my tummy tingle.
    Wishing you much happiness and love. Cathy xxxx

    1. Thank You Kathy for your love and encouraging words. I hope to “see” you at the next Bowen Conference! Love Eleni xxxx

  2. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand why I cannot join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    1. Thank you for your comments. I really appreciate them. We are currently looking at putting a new RSS feed in, as the one we had didn’t support our needs. Once it’s up and running correctly, I will post about it 🙂

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