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To see, or not to see that well ….?

Posted Oct 30 2008 6:02pm

Reading this article on a deaf person having laser eye surgery, I was reminded of the time I almost went blind. That was really really scary. I get hayfever every year and this often gives me conjunctivitis. A few years ago, I had just moved to London and couldn’t register with a doctor for love nor money. They said they were full up and couldn’t take on new patients, or that I lived too far away, or even that I lived on the wrong side of the street! I eventually managed to get in to see a doctor by barging past the receptionist, and he gave me some eyedrops. But because of the delay in getting medical treatment, he referred me to a hospital eye clinic, but I was told to go see my optician first. That was a scary consultation, as the optician brought in a colleague for a second opinion, and I was sitting in the dark wondering was what going on, while they had their conversation and kept checking my eyes. They eventually told me I had holes in my corneas. What?! I was promptly sent to the hospital. At the eye clinic, I had student doctors crowding round for a look, which was frightening as I couldn’t hear the conversation and didn’t know what was going on. The doctor eventually said they wouldn’t know if they could save my sight, until I had finished the prescribed course of medication (eye drops) and they checked my eyes again.

My strongest memory of that time was being at London Bridge train station and trying to catch the correct train. They often change platforms and announce this over the loudspeaker system - usually announcements are no good for me but this is ok as I can check the visual announcements. This time I couldn’t even check those, no matter how much I squinted. So I just had to get on a train and hope for the best! At one point my eyes were so sore, I couldn’t open them, and I had to stay home from work. It was then that I realised what it’s like to be blind and deaf. I couldn’t think of anything to do. There was no point switching on the television, radio, reading something, going onto the computer… I even struggled taking my dog for a walk, taking baby steps to make sure I didn’t walk into a lamp post.

I am short sighted and have thought about having laser surgery to correct this. I can’t imagine trying to cope if laser surgery went wrong. My consultant says he sees so many cases of people who have gone through the procedure and now have bad sight problems, like not being able to see at night or not being able to focus - it is hard or impossible to correct these sight problems afterwards.

My sight is far too precious to me, to risk it. I’d much rather wear a pair of trendy glasses…. or even glasses for my iPod, hehehe

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