On Going Blind

Well, going blind in one eye anyway.

A few weeks back I noticed a smudge at the bottom of my vision. Like a bit of fluff stuck to my eyelash. I couldn’t clear it, so I went to a doctor. Who sent me to another doctor. Who sent me to yet another doctor.

Seems to be glaucoma and/or some kind of optic nerve damage. The new Doc prescribed a couple of eye drops.

I’m mostly blind in my right eye. Imagine a large bit of cardboard with a fairly large hole in it. The hole is covered with gaze. That’s what it’s like when I close my left eye.

With all the problems and madness in the world, it seems a small thing to worry about. I do still have the other eye.

It’s a bit depressing. Being a photographer, I need to see. Its possible that in a few years I will loose sight in my left eye as well.

My first thoughts were to try and raise funds. Do a kind of tour of all the places I would like to see and photograph, while I can still see. Maybe set up one of the begging blogs where you travel the world and let other people tell you where to go next. But again, I’m not a Make a Wish child who is worthy of a trip to Disneyland.

The eye drops don’t appear to be helping. The gaze covered hole in my vision is getting smaller. My eye still sees. It sends the information to my mind, but the info is just white noise.

A couple of weeks ago my brain was trying to compensate for this sudden loss of the world. So it decided to fill in the gaps like the Content-Aware smart fill in Photoshop. For about two weeks, I was actively hallucinating. I would see someone standing beside me, only to turn and find no one there. I also tend to not see people who are there. It’s not so bad now. The hallucinations that is, the blindness still sucks.

Doing a bit of googling led me to the fact that Johnny Depp and Anne Rice are both blind in one eye and they seem to be getting on well enough. It’s not exactly a death sentence and there are plenty of photographers who only have one good eye.

I’m still going to doctors and they still have no idea what is wrong with me. The eye hurts a bit, as it is still trying to see the world, and it wearies easily. I have the occasional headache, which is disconcerting as I have never had headaches. I still bump into people and things on a regular basis, which still surprises me.  I’m a bit worried that I might go blind and die. But there is little to be done about it. I’m not Johnny Depp or Anne Rice, so I don’t have unlimited funds for finding the right doctor.

I can still work. I still take portraits and do a bit of Instacarting. I haven’t felt up to writing. It’s hard to get into flow and let the words come. It’s hard to stare at the screen and think. It’s hard to think at times. I have seen days where I lay in bed in the dark and hide from the world. But you can only do that sort of thing once in a while.

Life, such as it is, goes on. I’m hoping for the best, but prepared for the worst.


Jon Herrera

Jon Herrera

Writer, Photographer, Blogger.
Jon Herrera

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Writer, Photographer, Blogger.

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