Saturday, October 3, 2009

Going Blind

Well, I guess it’s about time I talked about my blindness a little bit. I’m almost 39 years old now and the story begins when I was 24, way back in 1995 that was, so this will take a few minutes.

Just a few months before my dad died, I was diagnosed with keratoconus. That’s a condition where the cornea of your eye becomes kind of cone-shaped instead of nice and round like it’s supposed to be. In case you don’t know, the cornea is the clear outer lens of the eye. The concave shape focuses light to the interior of the eye. At the time, I was told that no one really knew what caused keratoconus.

The common fix for keratoconus is hard contact lenses and that’s what they did for me. The hard lens gives the mis-shapen cornea something smooth and round to shape itself onto. The lenses work really well. As soon as they put the lenses in my eyes I had almost perfect vision again, just like that. It was amazing!

My amazement was short-lived though. Pretty soon I started getting infections in my eyes. These were painful but usually healed up quickly with the eye-drops my doctor gave me. The problem was, I just kept getting them.

After a couple of years of this, I finally got an infection so bad that it took almost a whole year to heal. I had just started a new job and so I had no insurance. That meant I had to go to the county hospital in Dallas (where I was living at the time) for treatment. At the county hospital it’s first come first serve which means you have to get there bright and early along with everyone else who’s vying for a spot.

So let me set the scene for you. This was a very bad infection. The eye-drops they gave me were extremely painful, each drop felt like a steel spike going through my eye and right out the back of my head (I may be exaggerating, but not very much I promise). At first, the drops had to be used every half hour day and night. Even with the strong pain medication they gave me, the sharp, shooting pain would take about 15 or 20 minutes to back off a little, then I would have 10 minutes with only a little pain before it was time for another drop.

Since I was new at my job I also had no vacation time so I had to keep working during this period. Half the time I was in serious pain and the other half I was fighting to stay awake because of the lack of sleep and the pain pills which made me drowsy. It wasn’t a fun time. If only I had God in my life during that time! I’m not saying God would have prevented all this from happening, but at least I would have had some hope.

Anyway, after a few days they backed off my eye-drops to every hour during the day and two hours during the night. Then after a couple of weeks I was able to sleep through the night again. After that first month my insurance kicked in and I was able to go to a regular doctor’s office and here’s where God stepped in on my behalf. He led me to a really fantastic doctor who took good care of me for the next seven years.

Well, like I said that infection took almost a year to heal completely and by then the cornea of my left eye was all scarred over so that I couldn’t see through it.

So there I was, blind in one eye. Obviously that’s not the end of the story but I think this post is long enough. I think I’ll pick it up here next time and leave you with this:

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed. We are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed.
2 Corinthians 4: 8-9


  1. I personally love the scripture choice.Nice post, honey!


  2. Wow even more similarities. I lost the vision in my right eye first, and had to get adjusted to that, as well as my MS diagnosis. I was told the left eye would be fine, but they were wrong. The day before I went blind, I had an eye exam, and everything looked totally fine, and I even got glasses. I was amazed at how clear things were, even with just a very small prescription. The next day I looked forward to wearing my new glasses and went blind instead...I'm just amazed at how similar our experience is. While the diseases are so different, and your was a much longer journey, our stories are still so very similar. I will definitely work on posting some more of my story, though a lot of the story after going blind is there in earlier posts. I'm so grateful we have our reliance upon God, though our concepts are different. Faith is the only thing keeping me sane and keeping me happy.

    Oh I forgot too, that when my first eye went blind and I was diagnosed with MS, I had just started a new job and had no health benefits. I couldn't work though, I had major nerve issues in my arms so that I couldn't pour chemicals, and I was a lab tech.