We perceive the world through five senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. As important as all of these are, we’re generally a very visual species. It’s why images are able to captivate and evoke such visceral emotional responses with us, and likely why so many artistically inclined individuals gravitate towards mediums that will allow them to impart on others what it is they wish them to see. It’s how paintings, photos, writing, and cinematography work: you have to see it for it to be able to capture your imagination and have some effect on you.
Given that vision is our primary means of orienting ourselves in the world, I was naturally terrified when I was diagnosed with choroidal neovascular membrane in my left eye this week. I’d noticed that my vision was off when I was reading the week before, and had just thought that I needed a new prescription for glasses. No health insurance and no vision insurance meant that I was extremely fortunate in having a good relationship with my Ophthalmologist, who was willing to see me at a reduced fee. After describing how I was seeing to her, she knew it was something more serious than just a mere worsening of my myopia. Again, luck was on my side, as she sent me off to a retina specialist (who also worked with me at a discount) to diagnose what was going on in my eye because she couldn’t quite pinpoint it.
Fortunately, the specialist did find the issue, and I proceeded to have my first round of treatment with Avastin – it’s what I’m going with because it’s what the specialist would do were it his eye that was affected, and it happens to be cheaper since it’s being used off-label for eye treatments. Either way, treatment won’t actually immediately fix the issue, the goal right now is to stabilize and keep the left eye from getting worse. At the moment, all I can really do is just have faith that the actions I’m taking will lead to a positive effect eventually.
Oh yeah, and rejoice. Rejoice in the fact that I can still see fine out of one eye, rejoice in the fact that I can see what I can see out of the other eye, rejoice in the fact that I have been blessed with vision for the entirety of my life. I am glad that I have doctors who are committed to their work and found what was wrong with me, so that we could take steps to keep me from going blind. I am thankful that they are willing to treat me despite my present inability to pay them as much as they would normally charge, and I am grateful that they take their professional calling to be healers to heart.
And hope that in my own way, I can somehow pay it forward someday.