When I started losing my vision it was overwhelming. And, in my case, it was going very rapidly. As I have noted before, I lost all I lost in less than two months. This was very difficult for a variety of reasons, not least of which was trying to keep up with the amount I could actually see on a daily basis. Though I did a variety of visual acuity tests, it was hard to get an exact reading. My ophthalmologist suggested I find something at home to focus on and see how much I could see of it each day. Or, better said, how much less I could see of it each day. It needed to be something that didn't move and I could stand a specific distance away from each time. There were pictures on the wall, cabinets, furniture and so forth. But, I knew what I was going to look at each day.
A few months prior to starting my journey through sight loss, I had purchased a new car. My old one, a 1987 Grand Am, had finally had enough issues that it was time to take the plunge and get a new car. My dad and I went looking and found a white, four door Daewoo Nubira. It was very compact and kind of felt like riding in a glove. It was very new with very low milage.
I drove this thing everywhere I could. It wasn't the coolest car in the world and did start to shake a bit above 65 miles per hour, but it was my car. It was the car I would pack with too much stuff and drive to college. It was the car I would take road trips in during summer breaks. It was the car my girlfriend and I…well, you know the rest. It was my car. And, though I didn't know it at the time, it would be the car where I first noticed my sight loss. And, it would be the last car I would ever drive (but more on that in an upcoming post).
After getting home from the doctor visit (one of many in that two month span) I stood at my front door and looked out. There, parked in the driveway, was my car. My shiny, new car. That was the item I chose to watch each day to test my acuity. I could do this because my car wasn't moving. It hadn't moved in sometime.
So, everyday, I would get up, stand at the front door and view my car. I would watch each day as a little more of my car was now out of focus. Slowly, I couldn't make out the side mirrors. The door handles faded into a blur. I could somewhat make out the tires, but even they were indistinguishable. It was quickly disappearing and there was nothing I could do about it.
That is actually an interesting picture of losing my sight. My car represented so much for me as a teenager. It was freedom. It was a way to get out and move forward. It was hope for the future. And, all of those things were now disappearing along with my car.
Obviously, the car was not the only thing disappearing in my life. But, it was a daily reminder of how bad my vision was really getting. And, a daily reminder of how rapidly my life was changing.
As I said, it wasn't the coolest ar around by any means. It was probably better suited for a 20 something girl you see in a movie who is “making her way through life.” But, regardless of how cool it was, it was mine. And sight loss took it away.
Wow…that's really depressing! There's not a great way to say it and not sound somewhat depressing. But, let me just say that I don't sit around and pine for my car these days. I am well past that. But, I can easily go back to those days when I was standing at the door watching my car disappear.
By the way, did you think this was going to be about some amazing magic trick I pulled off? That wouldn't been cool…