Four Years With Sight Loss: A Reflection

Four years ago, I lost the central vision in my right eye. This was one of the most traumatic events of my life and I still have bad dreams and overwhelming anxiety about my sight.

I originally lost a large amount of vision in both eyes, regaining it fully in my left eye and it partially coming back in my right eye. I have nightmares now about losing the central vision in my left eye permanently too, meaning I would have no central vision in either of my eyes. I also have nightmares of my blind patches getting bigger, or just being back where I was on the first day, with very little sight in both eyes.

They say when you’re at rock bottom, the only way is up, but sometimes you just stay down. The only way isn’t up; you can maintain the rock bottom for a long time.

Whenever I have to speak about my sight loss in a practical sense now, I get upset. There is no build up to this, it can be instant tears. I find it very stressful that I’ve lost something that I used to have and that now, it’s holding me back from things I want to be able to do that used to come so easy to me – working on a computer in daylight, reading small print text, or focusing my eyes on earrings I used to be able to make in three minutes flat.

One small comfort I have is that I have come full circle with my sight loss and I actually now have a job working specifically with low vision patients, people who have a lot less sight that I have, and I feel like I’m (hopefully!) helping them in some way every day. I can speak patients thoroughly through different eye tests they’re having, because I’ve had the same tests done. I can talk to them about the DVLA and PIP, because I’ve had to deal with that all myself too.

I always say you have to take a bad experience and use it for something good, so hopefully I’m doing a little good for someone else and maybe it’s not all for nothing.

I know I have it a lot easier than a lot of people and, possibly ironically, I have more anxiety and stress about my small amount of vision loss than I do with living with incurable, constant facial pain. I’ve had trigeminal neuralgia for coming up to eight years at the time of writing this, double the amount of time I’ve lived without bad vision in one of my eyes. My TN is currently pretty well controlled and I’m more confident in being clear about what I need, whereas whenever it comes to talking about my eyesight, I just cry and cannot communicate at all. I think I’m probably experiencing some kind of trauma and, let’s be honest, who wouldn’t feel traumatised about their vision disappearing all at once in both eyes and then only coming back in one eye the following day?

I’m hoping in another four years, I’ll look back and I’ll be where I am today regarding my facial pain: comfortable in my capabilities and confident in my requirements, with an ability to stand up for myself.

If you are living with sight loss and feel like you need to speak with a professional, please visit the RNIB website today. Alternatively, if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please contact the Samaritans by clicking here.

The Pain Corner does not make any profit. If you enjoyed reading my blog, or found it useful and would like to make a donation of £3 towards the cost of the domain, you can do so by clicking here. Your contribution will help keep this website running. Thank you!

The Vision Diaries

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