I found out about a month ago that I have glaucoma.
It was a strange moment.
I have heard of it of but in my mind
it was in the same bracket as leprosy or the plague:
it exists but surely
in my world?
I found out by accident.
(It could hide because my right eye filled in the gaps)
that when I closed my right eye,
there was an arc of brightness in my left eye
which obscured my sight just above the line of vision.
It didn't look too alarming because it was bright and colourful,
not black or dark
but I thought I'd better check it out.
After intensive tests, the verdict came back.
The specialist told me these things about the condition:
1. It is inherited.
(I have subsequently discovered that my maternal greatgrandmother
"went blind in her old age" but the reason was unknown.
Till now, obviously!
So I have had to alert my kids
to have regular eye checks from age 40.
And to make sure they pass this info on
to further generations
since it seems to skip a few)
2. It has been given a bad reputation.
People immediately think that you are going to go blind.
3. The damage already done is irreparable
4. It almost always affects both eyes
5. It is a VERY slow moving disease
6. There are drops for slowing it down even more.
He was very reassuring.
Basically I guess he was diplomatically trying to say
that my eyes should outlast
the rest of me
On a philosophical note
(I can't help it - I am wired that way):
It has awakened me
to the parallel of this condition
to my life-attitudes
I was convinced I had good vision (apart from reading glasses I mean)
so sure that I was seeing properly.
Woulda staked my rep on it.
And now, I have to face the fact that there has been,
for a very long time,
of total blindness.
I wonder how often I have been just that sure that I had
in my opinions about stuff
And yet have had a blind spot
A very humbling reality check.