Foolish feelings on April Fools … Or are they?

This is not an April fools joke.

Today I am having surgery on my left eye and a touch up surgery on my right eye. If eyes make you squeamish, skip to the next paragraph. After 28 years, I have finally convinced the eye docs that removing scar tissue from under my left eyelids is a beneficial thing. So, today they remove the scar tissue under my lids. Scar tissue has never been removed from my left eye so I can only imagine the outcome.

Will I have balanced out vision after 28 years of having only light perception in my left eye and functional vision out of my right eye? Will I only see more light and color? Presumably, my brain will do its plasticity thing and my left eye vision will approximate my right eye vision. For those who do not know me well enough, this means I will see more than light from my left eye like color and print. But, the brain is a strange organ. Maybe my left and right hemispheres will come into play and give me some odd and imbalanced vision. That shouldn’t be too odd since I already have imbalanced vision.

I first had eye surgery done on my right eye 28 years ago. For the last year, I have been getting fitted for a Pros Lens which is a hard contact lens that holds a layer of liquid between it and my cornea.

This is a beautiful thing.

I do not produce tears in my eyes so they get very dry. For 35 years, I’ve squeezed some type of eye ointment into my eyes multiple times a day. The ointment causes my eyes to feel happy and healthy and sand paper free, but it makes my eyes shiny. Little kids think I’m crying. Ointment drips down my lids onto my cheeks and I have to wipe away the oil all day long. Windy days suck because I have to apply the ointment tons of times since the wind dries out my eyes.

With the Pros Lens, I have a constant little blob of liquid over my cornea which provides some relief to the surface of my eye. I only wish I could make the lens big enough to cover the entire eye and hold liquid up against it all. But …

The wearing of the Pros Lens has allowed me to use waaaaay less ointment and use artificial tears instead. I don’t have super shiny eyes anymore. I can wear eye makeup for the first time in my life. I like to call it my war paint because it gives me the confidence I need right now to face the world without sunglasses.

Selfie of LM wearing a red hat and a black mask with a red painted kiss mark. She's wearing reddish eye shado.

This is a huge thing.

I’ve always worn sunglasses. well, since I was 12 and didn’t need to wear those awful swim goggles anymore. I’ve worn the sunglasses in part due to light sensativity, and larger part, due to vanity/cosmetic reasons.

I think you would too if your eyes always looked gloopy.

Things are proceeding the way I’ve always hoped them to proceed. At the age of 40, they’re finally doing my left eye. When that eye is all healed, they’re going to put a Pros Lens on it to keep a nice wet surface over my cornea.

I am excited and totally nervous about this . ..

… and guilty feeling.

It’s going to be so weird to have functional vision out of both eyes. And I feel guilty for being excited about this. Like somehow I am a wart on the blind community for being excited that my vision will likely increase … again. That by selecting to have this surgery and improving my eye health, and in doing so my vision, somehow, all this adds up to me saying I’m not OK with my blindness.

I’m proud to be blind and will still be blind after this surgery.

I’m ever going to have 20/20 vision. I’m still gonna have awful acuity like 20/1200. The difference is that I’m going from light perception to Colors, and maybe reading some large print in both eyes.

I’ve never been able to see faces. I can’t really tell a car is a car until I touch it or that a newspaper stand is not a garbage can until I touch it. And I don’t know if any of that stuff will change with two eyes. I don’t know how the brain works. My blindness and the lack of optic nerve development is very much a brain thing. The Stevens Johnson just fucked up my cornea and all of the surface area of my eye. And scarred my tear ducts so that I don’t have any. And because I lost my site so young my optic nerve did not fully develop and will never fully develop. But the brain is a weird thing.

Scientists should study me. LOL! 🤔

I’m certainly going to study me.

Of course, I know I’m not really a wart on the blind community. My thoughts and feelings veer in that direction at times. As long as I don’t act like a wart, then all should be fine.

I am intrigued with the results post April 1. … I can’t help it. I’m a nerdy scientist at heart.

Also, there’s so much to look forward to after April 1.

My Zakary turns 6 on April 2.

Easter is approaching which means family and friends.

Spring break is here and spring is in full bloom.

All of this and so much more is more precious to me then having two eyes that see large print on a page.

I was explaining to my MacKenzy what the doctors would be doing to my left eye the other day. Right now, my left eye looks grey because of the scar tissue over my cornea. My right eye looks that blue color that many blind people have. After I told Macaroni what was going to happen, she happily and sincerely said, “But I like your one blue eye mama.”

This sums up my blindness. Truly, in one sentence, my 4-year-old daughter encapsulated my blindness by demonstrating how normal and cool it is to be blind. If I have taught my three kids anything about blindness, it is that it is okay to be blind. They’ve taken it one step further, and they all think it is cool to be blind. I can’t love this more!

Signing off for now,

Bay Area Blind Mom

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  1. This is a lovely, heartfelt essay and I thank you for sharing your experience and thougts. However… it was hard to get through. I had to stop and come back after just a few paragraphs. Please don’t use the phrase “war paint.” Maybe try “Battle Armor” instead. Signed, Natives Everywhere

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