I’ve avoided seeing the doctor at all costs. Knowing my prognosis beforehand made me want to buy some time to figure out what to do but last Tuesday, I finally walked into my doctor’s clinic after three years of being absent. He is always pleasant and seeing him is like visiting the relatives you love but don’t have the luxury of seeing very often. It didn’t take long for him to blurt out the obvious, though. I half-expected him to wait but I guess having my mother out of the room made it easier for him to cut to the chase.
“Well, things look the way they always do and from the last time we met up until today, there haven’t been any new developments in the field. So, are you ready for the final step?”
Years ago, I never thought this day would come. I was reeling from what would be the last surgery defining my childhood and for the first time the pain was quite palpable. I was 12 and that was the twelfth operation on my left eye. Cryogenics was the proposed solution for the eye that suffered a congenital cataract that developed into glaucoma. As this is a problem concerning eye ducts and their inability to properly allow the liquid to pass through, my eye constantly bulges. It resembles a a blue-grayish marble and is something that really fascinated me as a young child. But yes, that last surgery was horrible. They simultaneously froze and heated the eye in the hope that they could manage the liquid intake but in the end, the procedure was not as successful as they had hoped. I still had no vision to speak of but I was grateful for the attempt. Every year since I was born, my mother and the various doctors we saw all tried their best to restore my vision. I’ve never met a more dedicated team and to be honest, I never realized just how much they risked then. Every surgery was like visiting the moon. Techniques as well as the actual procedure always had to be studied and well-documented. How fascinating really.
But, it will end soon. If all goes according to plan, I will have surgery early next year. My left eye will be removed in lieu of a prosthetic eye. I just met the doctor that might be operating on me and he explained the procedure step by step. I know how necessary this is but I can’t help but feel like I might wake up one morning, post-surgery, not knowing who I am anymore.
I read somewhere that the things we most identify with and allow to describe us are also the abnormalities or quirks that we are blessed to have. In many ways, this is how I feel about my eye and I hope that between now and January, I might find the kind of courage that lets me accept this change.
*Here’s a video of what my new routine will most likely be like. If you have an aversion for the grotesque, please ignore this. The video is of a girl removing and placing her artificial eyes (She’s gorgeous, btw and my new hero.):