I was asked to share my story on Cyndi’s blog, Around the Table. Cyndi and I became connected after a mutual acquaintance suggested that we connect. We both share some of the same visual challenges and very much depend upon our faith to help us cope with those challenges. I feel blessed to know Cyndi and to have been asked to share my story.
In 2014, I was diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma. I knew I was having some trouble seeing because I was having a lot of difficulty driving in the rain. Other than that, besides more frequent headaches, I really couldn’t tell anything was majorly wrong. At that time, I was teaching 2nd grade in a district where I had taught for the previous 12 years. Upon being diagnosed, I had already suffered damage and had lost a great deal of my peripheral vision. I continued to teach and drive the next school year, but I soon started experiencing several more challenges which lead to not being able to drive at all. The next year, I began experiencing even more challenges including my first blind spot. Teaching became very difficult. I missed several days of school and eventually resigned that year. My glaucoma continued to progress, and I soon had two blind spots. Not only did I have peripheral loss but now also had central loss due to the blind spots. I now have had glaucoma surgery in both eyes, but the progression just seems to keep occurring. The spots are bigger and brighter than ever, and I now am experiencing visual distortion in my left eye. Apparently, the surgery has worsened a cataract which seems to be causing all or most of my trouble. Surgery to remove it has recently been suggested. Despite all of this, I am still able to read, watch TV, and blog in moderation. I have a lot of trouble in unfamiliar places, but I am so thankful for the sight I still have.
This eye disease has been difficult to deal with at times especially since I also suffer from other health challenges as well. It really became hard to handle when I had to give up my teaching career. There’s no way I could have ever gotten through this or any of the challenges I’ve faced without the strength that only God can provide. I am so thankful to have had a wonderful church and church family to support and pray for me. I still have times where my emotions get the best of me, but I am always able to overcome them. I spend the majority of time these days absorbing myself in as many spiritual activities as possible. Music has always been my main coping strategy. Another has been writing. I began writing poems and then last year, I created my own website and Facebook page titled Living with Adversity. There, I share my personal story. I created the site with the intention that people would connect through similar experiences and share their testimonies. It has brought a much-needed sense of release to be able to share my feelings and experiences.
Again, I want to thank Cyndi for asking me to share my story. I enjoy reading her work and view her as a great source of inspiration. I am so thankful we became connected. May God richly bless her for the positivity and encouragement she is providing through her blogs.