Coming out

I wondered for a few weeks now how to present this.

I have known for about two months now, but the diagnosis was confirmed yesterday. It felt like a meat clever on a butcher block.

 

My name is Catherine, I am 28 years old and I have glaucoma.

 

A simple yet, fear loaded word.

For those who don’t know, glaucoma is a degenerative eye disease that affects the optical nerve and can lead to a loss of vision including blindness.

As a writer and avid reader, this diagnosis is hard to digest. The idea that at some point in my life, I can lose my sight is frightening. I can lose my windows to the world, what I use to do the things I love the most.

I’m sure most of us have thought at a time or another about what we would do if we were to lose our vision, a fearful idea, but we brush it off. Most of us are born with this privilege. The thought of losing it, like any other privilege, is dreadful.

I can’t brush this off. While unlikely, it is a possible future.

In my case, it is very early onset. I have no loss of vision, since my other eye is compensating. I was lucky enough to have a cautious optometrist who took the extra step to refer me to a specialist, ‘’just in case’’.

This ‘’just in case’’ revealed a case. One that can be treated early on and prevent further damage and loss. I was told not to worry. Easier said than done.

Having a disease that commonly affects the elderly and diabetics made me reflect on my own aging and vulnerability. I feared fatmisia from the doctors, knowing they often put together larger body size with diabetes and high blood pressure. I have none of those, but it’s irrelevant.  I always had a shitty vision, but I never anticipated it would get to this point.

Yesterday, I put anti-glaucoma drops in my right eye for the first time. It is supposed to lessen the pressure in my eye. The thing is, I have normal eye pressure. I had no indicator that it could be glaucoma. Just a bad visual field on the left side of my right eye. I don’t know what this treatment will do.

Regardless, I am grateful my condition was caught early. I am hopeful a treatment might exist to cure this disease before I die. We often assign some diseases and illnesses to elderly. The more I talk to people, the more I realized there is no set age to develop it. I am lucky to live in a country where healthcare is universal.

Still, I am only talking from my own perspective, projecting my own fears, from an abled standpoint. Individuals dealing with partial or total loss of vision can and have full and rich life. People are resilient and if I am ever faced with this reality, I sure will roll with the punches.

I think it is time we open this conversation to end ageism toward diseases and disability. I am a young adult and I have glaucoma. It doesn’t change who I am. And if I ever get to the point where I lose my sight, then I’ll just do erotic audiobook.

The silver lining is that the drops will apparently make my lashes longer. Only on one eye at this time. Oh well.

No matter what your health situation is, your age and the diseases/disabilities you carry, they do not define you. You are a warrior that slay every day. Even when you stay in bed. Stay strong. Take care. Reach out.

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4 thoughts on “Coming out

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  1. Well if you go blind you can just become Daredevil. I suppose one thing to be thankful for is that there is so much around now to help those with poor eye sight to be able to still be active in the world. You know it’s sad, but every time I hear of someone getting something like this I’m sort of jealous, not that you have such and I certainly don’t want it, but that you have an issue that when you say it people know generally what you’re talking about. It’s easier for them to accept. I have myoclonus. Which if you’ve ever been falling asleep and your body suddenly jerks, that’s a myoclonic jerk. Most people have those and it’s no big deal. Mine though happen whenever, usually when I’m awake, and when a bad attack happens it’s pretty strong and usually in my left arm to the point I have to hold it down. I’m on Xanax for it, basically something to really relax me. I was misdiagnosed for the longest time. They told me they were panic attacks, which never made sense to me, but the worse was they put me on meds for panic attacks which turns out made it worse.

    Recently it happened at work, and the worst thing was the paramedics said it was a panic attack even as I was telling them exactly what was happening. And then my coworker goes around and tells everyone it was a panic attack. I told him what it was before hand but he was like the paramedics said differently, and regardless why would anyone tell other people what’s going on with me. It makes me so mad. Luckily actual doctors know what it is and know well there’s nothing they can do about it other than give me Xanax. But regular people, even those in the medical field like paramedics have no idea what it is. All they see is me suddenly start to spasm and cry mainly because I’m embarrassed, but it is painful. And the worst of it is that no one knows about, it’s rare for anyone to have them this bad, and there’s nothing to help. And it just makes me feel like I’m an even bigger weirdo than I already am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sorry you have to deal with such misunderstanding from the medical community and your entourage. I am glad you finally had a fair diagnostic and that it can be somehow managed. I wish you the best toward your health. All illnesses are challenging but invisible ones as another layer of challenges. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

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