One thing that my sight problems has left me with is a massive respect for eyes and sight. Being poked in the eye or damaging an eye is one thing I am very squeamish about, sight is so precious and it needs to be looked after.
I was born with my left eye very misaligned. And as a result of this I needed an operation when I was 9 months old to straighten the eye ball in my socket and then to correct a squint. This has left me with very little vision in my left eye – I can make out shapes and shadows so not enough to make me officially partially sighted but no detail (can’t even read the top letter of an eye chart). The fact that I have this sight is down to some great doctors (and some great parents!) who looked after me from birth until I was discharged when I was about 10 or 11 years old.
In all I had three operations, two at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London and one at the Plymouth Royal Eye Infirmary, and had to visit both places regularly for tests (and drops – yuck!). I had lots of patch therapy when I was young, which was horrible, and have been in and out of glasses forever. I now have a very lazy left eye which doesn’t always look in the direction I want it to look in, most noticeable Add Newwhen I’m tired.
I have often thought about what would have happened if the doctors weren’t able to help sort my left eye out. I mean, with no left eye at all I might have been considered partially sighted, may not have been allowed to drive or ride a motorbike, and probably wouldn’t be able to sit for hours at a computer. Would I have needed a white stick or Guide Dog? Would I have needed to learn Braille? I don’t know. But I’m grateful I don’t have to worry about those things.
My Great Grandma went blind in old age. She had Glaucoma. I only remember her from when she was very old – I remember going to see her as a child and talking to her while she layed in bed. She lived in Worthing – I remember we would take her out in her wheel chair and I would push her along the seafront as fast as I could along the wiggly line drawn on the promanade (never knew what that was really for!) – she loved it!
So when you think about whether or not to sponsor me to do something as silly as jump out of an aeroplane, please remember the good use the RNIB will put your donation to. They are there for people who weren’t quite so lucky as me with persistent parents and great doctors, who were born blind or have become blind following an accident. Yes I am asking for your money – but only because it is something I feel passionate about.
Thank you! xx