I might go blind

2016/07/01 at 1:31 am

It’s not the end, but it might be the starting of something entirely new to me.

A few days ago, Laura emailed me twice with some new cartoon pieces for a game collaboration with BGE Studios. I responded to her via Whatsapp saying I went to Richmond Hospital emergency for 4 hours, then saw an eye specialist for about an hour and a half immediately right after that. I was finally out of medical services by 10:30pm. I started just before 4:00pm when I asked my dad for a ride to the hospital.

Last Tuesday on the 21st, I woke up with a grey speck in my vision. Note that I should tell my readers who do not know this already, that I am legally blind in my right eye due to a van hitting me straight on while I rode my bike on the first day of grade 10 in September 1994. So this grey speck worried me, but not enough that it told me that it could be an emergency. At first, I thought it may just go away after a few days, but after two days, I noticed mild flashing at times. So on Thursday, two days after, I got worried and called the Cambie Plaza optometrist. He could see me on Tuesday next week, the 28th. Well, what ended up happening was by Sunday noon, when I woke up from my sleep, I noticed two vague strands in my vision. I also noticed that the speck became larger. Upon closer inspection, though with difficulty, I noticed it seemed like two small floaters stuck to each other. I contemplated for about 2.5 hours before I told Amber, which lead to me asking my dad to take me to the hospital.

My dad drop Amber and I off there. It was the second time in three months I went to Richmond emergency. The first time had to do with my right abdomen pain which is now in treatment. The second time was this time, but this time, the danger is much worst potentially. I might go blind.

After waiting for nearly 4 hours, one of two doctors came into the room to see me. She used an ultrasound to get a better picture, but ultimately ended up calling the on-call Ophthalmologist for an immediate check-up. When my dad came to pick us up, it was 7:55pm. We went home for a quick bite since I was starving and I am partially anemic. We got to the Eye Care Clinic in Vancouver, near Vancouver General Hospital by 8:43pm, waited at the door until Doctor Law let us in at 8:57pm. While we waited in front of Section E, I remarked to my wife, “I think I’ve been here before a long time ago when I was a teenager.” I might not have, but the inside of the building did seem familiar.

The doctor seemed like a very busy person. He was constantly answering calls from the hospital. So my check-up took a long time because of the waiting. However, he was professional and he answered my questions when I asked them. He was also pretty courteous, though I felt that he was a bit impatient. Then again, it was late in the evening on a Sunday.

Anyway, I am in the early stages of pre-Posterior Vitreous Detachment. Within the next 4 to 6 weeks, I will know if it becomes worse since apparently, it is within this time frame that PVD happens the more commonly. During this process, there is a 15% chance that the PVD process may cause retinal tears and if left untreated, can cause retinal detachment which further if left untreated within 48 hours, I can go blind permanently. Let me repeat that: there is a 15% chance the retina of my good eye will tear, hemorrhaging and bleed out some new floaters which if not treated immediately, can result in retinal detachment causing blindness within 48 hours if left untreated or treated too late.

I was battling a swollen liver and colon issue for four years. That’s four years of acute pain. When I finally had that pain gone and only occasional right-side colon pain, treated with anti-depressants to help with the chronic nerve damage, I thought the universe finally gave me a bit of a break to move onto the next milestones of my life with my wife. Yet now, this.

I don’t want to go blind.

Yet, the last few days, I have told myself and my wife that, “If I go blind, I will be depressed for awhile, but I will need to pick myself back up and figure out what to do with the rest of my life.” It’s true. I’m 37 this year. If I live to 85, that’s 48 years more to my life. My creative designer career will be over. My game design portion can probably go on, but as a designer, I can only offer input and not visual expertise or business administration. It’s a shame because Andy and I finally just got started on our dream, but Andy has a much longer life ahead of him.

What can I do? I told Amber I can ‘write’ books in the form of speech to text. I can listen to audio books, though I find that notion quite alarmingly dull.

On the more optimistic side of being blind, I told Amber that it will be a shame that I become blind, but the more positive side to all of this is that I already know what the world looks like. Most importantly, I already experienced the parts that mattered the most…

– I found the person to spend my life with, very accidentally and after so much hardship, she is here with me.
– I found an extension of my family, my friends who put up with my shit and forgave me for giving them that shit.
– I found friends that gave me a life that I could look back on to smile at and cry with.
– I was born to parents that tried their best to give their all and gave me a brother I found love in as I got older and wiser.
– A brother that showed me what life can be like. I am happy that he took that life and flew with it and found the love of his life.
– A brother that made the best he could with the little he had in a place where obstacles are in every corner and placement of his very being.
– A family that showed their undying support, though at times misguided and mislead.
– My friends from abroad that gave me a piece of themselves to me.
– A dog that found my wife and lead her to me. He is our savior.
– I already saw Metro Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto. I saw Frankfurt, Hamburg, Kiel, Schoenberg and Schwartbuck.
– I already saw Hong Kong, Macau, Fort Worth in Texas, Orlando in Florida.
– I met some amazing people.
– I have been inspired. I have been abandoned. I have been reunited. I have felt loved. I have felt wanted.
– I have witnessed things. I have loved people. I have seen pleasure, pain, grief, suffering, happiness and hopefulness.

I will miss all of those things. I will wish often times, I can see Amber’s face again. I will wish I can see my mom’s silliness again. I will wish I can see my dad smile when Rudi runs up to him. I will miss seeing Julien and Edmond laughing together. I will miss seeing them getting wed eventually. I will miss looking at old family photos. I will miss seeing the expression of my wife trying and seeing something for the first time. I will miss playing computer games. I will miss reading a good post on Quora. I will miss looking at how well my friends have made it on Facebook. I will miss cycling out in the country side. I will miss reflecting on life around me and going to those places I told Amber we will go to.

Today at Church’s Chicken…

– Amber noticed I was watching her after we ate and we’re just resting before heading out.
– Amber asked: “What are you looking at?”
– I responded: “I’m just watching you.”
– Amber asked: “What were you laughing at?”
– I responded: “We came a long way and went through a lot. Now, you’re here in front of me in here.”
– Amber smiled at me and I smiled back at her.
– Amber said: “We did didn’t we?”

For my professional life, whatever might remain of it, I must complete all of my tasks before I no longer can. For my personal life, I need to treat it as if it is NOT my last moment and instead, as if I can continue go on. The only change is that I need to take a better look at things and the people around me, before anything bad happens.

The skies were a bit bluer today. Amber’s face seemed a bit clearer and brighter. I smiled even though I was suffering on the inside. That’s the least I can do to keep my family from breaking due to worry.

I hope I don’t go blind.

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