Growing through a Storm

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I’ve never been a fan of storms, weather-wise or real life. Although, I’ve lived through more of both than I’d honestly like to admit. I’ve had enough things that if they don’t kill you they will make you stronger in life, and, I’m as strong as I’d like to be. I’ve always thought if I could keep my feet moving, I’d be okay. I don’t think that any longer. Why? Because I’ve battled a long and grueling war with my vision, and I need my eyesight as much as I do my feet. I wonder why God placed me in this fragile state. One where I questioned what each day would bring. One that may be feel more than helpless and even a bit hopeless, but he did.

Rocky waters

I slid into my 55th birthday with not a hint of trouble. My body was feeling as if I’d just graduated from high school. Okay, well, college.

I’ve worked hard at maintaining my figure and ensuring my health would take me through old age without concern. I’d imagine that for the last few decades I’d greet the day with a handful of supplements, drink my green smoothie and top it off with a probiotic.

I’d head out for a long walk to renew my mind and strengthen my body. Or I’d go to the gym and keep my head down while seeing tons of people I didn’t know. My mission was not to socialize but to just keep my body moving.

All my efforts have paid off from the neck down, and I’m more than content with what I see and how I feel. Never in all my years did I think my 20/20 vision would take such a hit, but it did.

Hitting a rock

On July 9th, I went to see a local optometrist. Not to be judgmental but prescribing eyeglasses and grading the Snellen Chart are likely to be his specialties.

This place was out in the middle of nowhere, and trust me, I’ve seen nowhere. They fixed up an old school building and turned into a nice little eye doctor’s office.

The people were friendly, the equipment was beyond what I’d dreamt of finding at this little hole in the wall.

Apparently, somebody there knew eyes and what it took to get a good diagnosis.

Well, I woke up seeing all kinds of I’ll call it “Junk,” in my vision. Strands, spots, circles, blobs, you name it and I saw it. I was afraid; like the kind of the end of the world afraid.

Being the kind folk, they are, they worked me at 5:15 pm that day to see a young and upcoming optometrist. I’d seen him a year ago and liked him quite a bit. Very professional, knowledgeable and I sensed empathy and compassion in him at first sight.

I got ready for my appointment and skipped the eye makeup feeling naked as I headed out the door. Who needs running mascara when you see junk already?

He took a ton of pictures, or the tech did, okay maybe 10-15. I walked back to his office to hear the verdict, and my knees were a bit shaky. I’ve never had a health problem and believe me if you’re eyes aren’t working, you got a health problem.

He gave his spill on the status of my vision. I had great vision “for” my age. However, he diagnosed me with Posterior Vitreous Detachment and told me it did suck, but it happened to every person.

I left feeling relieved my retina looked good and there was only 10% chance of a retinal detachment. Then, I started googling, and the more I looked online, the more afraid I became.

Living the PVD life

That was July 9th, and I had no idea what was in store for me. I didn’t get better fast, like taking a magic pill or getting a good night’s sleep would help you do.

It seemed each day it got worse and worse. I begin to feel so much anxiety about getting out of bed I became very depressed.

I am living proof that you never know what a person is going through. You’d surely have no idea if you saw me I was seeing hundreds of things floating around me.

Why wake up if all you’d see were so many things in your vision? I quit driving much unless I absolutely had to do so. I made it to the dentist and to other scheduled appointments, but workouts suffered the PVD cause.

I’d go down the road, and things would start jumping up and around me. You could almost reach out and grab them and it truly looked as if you could. Of course, that would be sheer madness to do so, right?

I begin to get afraid to drive. The more anxiety I had, the more “junk” I’d fight. This went on for months, and now I’m on month three.

I started to pray like I’ve not prayed in a long time. I’d get up, walk outside and I’d say Psalm 23 out loud to myself every single morning and evening. I’d beg for healing, strength, and encouragement. It came.

God was holding my hand through all this because there’s not much help. They want you to wait it out for six months before much treatment is offered, and there’s not a lot.

Laser therapy could mean a mistaken shot to the retina and then you’d go blind. Surgery meant taking the gel out of your eyes; the thought makes me nauseous.

I felt God’s presence; I knew he was right there beside me when phone call after phone call I only found an oblivious person on the other line just trying to earn a check. There was no help. I’m fighting junk all day, and there is no help.

Healing and Joy

Yesterday I visited the young optometrist’s office feeling a bit shaky and unsettled as I walked through the door at month three into PVD.  I don’t think I’ve been quite as nervous in a long time. I’ve seen a lot, endured a lot, but I’ve always been able to see.

He did a thorough eye exam with pictures taken at every angle. He talked to me for quite some time, and I must say this is a remarkable young man.

I got the best news I’ve had in a long time, and that’s my vision has not been affected, and I should continue to get better. I was so ecstatic I shed tears once again, but these were tears of joy.

I just went for a walk, and I’d say I have had a 70% improvement since my diagnosis. I was walking and laughing while shedding a tear of joy.

I don’t want to take another day for granted. I want to live each one to the fullest with laughter for the seeing the sunshine or joy for hearing rain. If nothing else to make up for the three months of hell I’ve endured. I can see and only what I’m supposed to see.

My life will be forever changed because I had PVD, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I’ll be 100% better soon. My spirit is lifted, my joy is returning, and my zest for life is back. I’m grateful, thankful, and my faith has grown since my battle.

I wrote this post because I’d imagine I’ve googled PVD a hundred times looking for a success story. Will it get better? Will I have to live like this the rest of my life? Would I need a surgery that takes the gel out of your eyes to function, or a laser beam pointed at my eyes for help?

No, I need none of that, but I have needed God. I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has healed me and at the very least, has held my hand in my darkest hour.

I feel like the luckiest woman alive because I can see, and I’m not dodging floaters to do so. Thank you, Jesus, for your love and mercy on me.