My life-long eye struggle [part xx]
My life is not just all amazing world travels and music industry shenanigans, so I am sharing something personal that is a constant presence during all the cool things I do.
As most of you know, I am (more than) half blind. I can barely see, but can see fine with correction. Last year, throughout 2016, my sight got blurry, not sure what it was, I figured I need new contacts or something. In September I got new ones, although it did help to get fresh contacts, I was still seeing this blurry spot through my left eye. I made an appointment with the eye doctor and long story short, there’s a cluster of vessels growing in my left eye, that are causing the damage that has me seeing blurry. The doctor was upset that I did not come sooner cause apparently they can prevent the vessels from growing. After a bunch of scans, photos and other tests, they concluded that right now, the cluster is inactive. Meaning, its not doing further damage. But, the damage that’s already done, can’t be fixed anymore. So my left eye now has permanent bad vision with correction. I have to do a test every week, to make sure the cluster is not back to being active, if the blurry spot gets bigger, I have to get emergency injections in my eye, to prevent the damage from getting worse. But that’s not the case for now, thankfully.
On January 17th I had to go to the eye doctor again. Although it’s just my left eye with the blurriness, for some reason, my entire sight is bad. I can’t see anything anymore. It’s giving me a headache and the entire day I just keep trying to see things. So I went back to the doctor. Now here is the weird thing. My right eye sees 130% (!) with correction (glasses or contacts). My left eye is now down to only 40% with correction. But, together, I barely see anything, because apparently the damage in my left eye is interrupting the vision of my right eye, thus making my entire vision blurry, even with correction.
Now in order to “fix” this, the try-out solution for now, is to mess up the vision of my left eye even more, so it won’t mess up the vision of my right eye and I can go back to actually seeing again. I’m so done with this left eye, its been a source of frustration for too long. I figured I should just get a cool eye patch and become a fake Left Eye.
Now, the eye doctor referred me to a specialist at this other (more advanced) hospital. On February 2nd I went to see the specialist. Very friendly guy (that helps when you’re frustrated about dealing w/ this forever), who did a series of tests on my eyes. Now, what they think will be a solution for the lack of focus in my vision is hard to explain but let me try. Your brain receives the images of both eyes and turns that into sight. My brain is now receiving too much of my left eye’s images, so it keeps trying to correct the blurriness, but that’s impossible, because the damage is there. This distorts the images of my right eye, so I can’t see clear at all. What they have to do, is try and “stop” the images from my left eye going to my brain, so my brain is like “Ok, we only got images from the right eye, so we’re going with those” and because it’s not focusing on the images of the left eye anymore, it doesn’t try to correct it, and my right eye can happily send the images through its 130% sharpness.
Now the specialist was testing both my eyes on their behaviour. An eye patch would stop the images from my left eye, but it would also prevent me from seeing peripheral. The alternative to an eye patch, which also still gives me the most optimal sight, is making a special contact lens, with a grey filter. So it filters the images from my left eye, slowing it down from reaching the brain, so my right eye can do the job. The eye doctor thought I needed a 20% grey filter. But after the tests with the specialist, I need a 50% grey filter.
I can’t even explain what it did to me, when he did the tests and we came to the perfect solution. The moment he put that 50% grey filter in front of my left eye, in a split second, I felt INSTANT peace in my head. I can’t describe the feeling, other than exactly that. Like my entire mind, my body, everything was just relaxing. It was so incredibly overwhelming, that I burst out in tears in that opticien chair. I was surprised by my own reaction and was a little embarrassed, but the specialist said I was not the first person to get emotional.
It wasn’t until that moment, that I realized I had accepted the fact that I will never really see again. That my eye is deteriorating. I had already written it off. As far as I was concerned, they could pop it out and lay it to rest. What I realized is that there was still a solution, well, better yet, a work-around, for that damage, whereas I can see almost perfectly again, without even noticing the damage. I had no idea of these possibilities. But I also had no idea how much of a burden my lack of sight really is. When that PEACE came over me, I realized that my lack of vision may be the source of a lot of physical problems I have. Because I seem to be tense all day, my brain is working almost around the clock to try and correct this left eye, that it takes up a lot of my energy. I have been suffering from more headaches and insomnia the past months. And I can’t help but feel like this will definitely be over after I get my filter lens.
I was overjoyed with happiness when I walked out the hospital two hours later. I don’t think anyone can understand the feeling, I still feel like even though I tried to describe it, it can’t be put into words. When you have had eye struggles all your life and there’s never a solution, a simple work-around, can mean so much. I was perfectly fine accepting my situation, so this just came by surprise and I am so thankful to God. Its not a solution, my eyes will get worse and I’ll probably eventually go blind, but hey, I may outlive my becoming blind, when there are possibilities like this.
Thanks for reading. I just wanted to share my eye-struggle, I know a lot of people have read my previous article about my frustration with my eyes, and hopefully this can also be an inspiration that there may still be possibilities, in whichever way.
I am blessed.
My new eye filter: