Community Magazine

My New Worst Fear of All

By Eemusings @eemusings

So, apparently a guy I went to high school with has gone blind. A hereditary thing, but still a terrifying thing nonetheless.

Because I was a morbid type of teen with too much time on my hands, I used to like to ponder things like whether I would rather lose my sight or my hearing. I was hardcore into music at the time, and I never could decide.

Today, I would much rather be deaf than blind. Being blind would be incredibly limiting – I don’t know that I could work, really – and I’d lose the ability to read, my most favourite thing in the world. I’d be dependent on others around me, financially and in pretty much every other way.

the biggest fear - my biggest fear is going blind. photo - eye reflection

That said, I have pretty terrible eyesight as it is, and my bad vision does not come cheap. Basic lenses cost $200 these days, and you can double or triple that for the thinner lenses that higher prescriptions require. (How high is mine? I’d almost rather tell you my bra size, so embarrassing is it.)

The worsening seems to have slowed, with my latest test showing changes mostly in my degree of astigmatism. This explains a LOT, like why I naturally lift my head when I’m straining to see something, or why the middle letters on the vision test were blurrier than those on the outside edges. I have fucked up curvature, let me tell you – one eye is 170 and the other at 2. I asked my optometrist why that might have changed, and she basically told me it was a mix of nature and nurture – genes and environment. My mother is also astigmatic, and I do a buttload of computer work – 8 hours plus a day due to work and play (probably close to 12 hours some days when I have a lot of freelance work on).

This summer, I went to relax outside on the deck one sunny afternoon, an aspiration cut short when I freaked out at the realisation there was a black spot dancing across the blazing red field of my closed eyes. One that didn’t dissipate no matter how much I blinked and that moved when my eyes moved. Some Google searches later, I resigned myself to the fact that this floater was yet another sign of aging and will be with me forever. My little friend was initially only really visible against light backgrounds, but now if I concentrate, I can sometimes see it against busier backdrops. Sometimes I freak myself out first thing in the morning thinking I can see a whole army of floaters, one resembling a flock of migratory swallows on the move. I’m pretty sure I’m imagining those.

My optometrist tells me I need to watch out for flashes of light, and get myself to a hospital quicksmart to avoid retina detachment and loss of sight. Heinous ex flatmate, the one who owes me nearly a grand, underwent a similar surgery some time ago. Now, there’s a part of me convinced the very worst is going to happen.


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