Discussions By Condition: Eye conditions

Trouble adjusting to vision loss

Posted In: Eye conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Brenda B
  • October 18, 2007
  • 09:35 PM

Hi I'm new. I've previously posted to the losteye.com forum but it wasn't a good website for me. Everyone there has literally lost an eye (surgically or accident) so even there everyone there was great, I didn't feel like I fit. My problem is a little different. Over a year ago I had retinal detachment and went through scleral buckle surgery to repair it. The surgery was successful and my sight was completely restored. Two months ago I got an infection in that same eye and had to have the scleral buckle removed (for those not familiar with the surgery, it's a silcone band that's placed around your eyeball while the retina heals). The infection was a very severe one, (psuedomonas bacteria) and the antibiotics they injected in my eye were also very severe. During surgery the antibiotic destroyed the blood vessels that fed the macula and I lost my central vision in that eye. It was nearly two weeks before anyone realized what had happened and I was told the vision loss was permanent. That was the worst day of my life. It's been nearly two months and I still haven't accepted it and made peace with it. I think part of the problem is that I only have peripheral vision so I see light and fuzzy images but I've lost my central, detail vision. You never think something like this will ever happen to you. I guess I'm writing to ask if anyone else has had partial vision loss in an eye and how they coped with it. I'm having a great deal of trouble 'seeing' well because the eye that was damamged was my dominant eye and my brain still wants to use it so the end result is really bad vision over the top of my good vision unless I close the bad eye. I know the solution would probably be to wear a patch or an opague contact but I'm just not ready to let go. It seems I'm never going to stop grieving. I'm an artist and have not had the heart to do any drawing since this happened. Sorry this is so long........
Brenda

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5 Replies:

  • While there are always people who tell you that it could be worse and that you should be grateful for the remaining vision---the fact is, your loss is real and your grief and anger are justifed.Maybe you just need to give yourself "permission" to feel anger and grief for as long as it takes you to come to terms with what happened.I think an eye patch would harm the remaining vision in the affected eye.Does your eye doctor or the hospital where you had surgery know of anyone you can talk to about this or have a group, or anything else to help? As an artist, it is understandable that your grief can have an element of "extra" pain.Conversely, your being an artist may actually be an aid to acceptance--when you are through the grieving stages.What I mean by this is, that your artistic knowledge of how perception and focal points can drastically change things, applying that knowledge to recognize how your inner view of things affects how you feel, might help you to heal.If you just feel "stuck" in depression or despair, then, maybe a grief counselor or therapist could help.Sorry if I sound like a therapist (I'm not one), but I'm just someone who is old enough to have had things occur which I could either choose to accept or choose to allow to make my days dreary. It isn't always easy to go with the former and it never happens as quickly as I'd like, either.Though it isn't very fashionable to say anymore, I will say some prayers for you. Hopefully, you don't mind that.Kathy
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 19, 2007
    • 03:16 PM
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  • Hi Kathy,Thank you for the thoughtful (and wise) reply to my post. You didn't say anything I probably didn't already know but it's always better to hear it from someone else. I also think you missed your calling.The Eye Institute where I had my surgery is nearly four hours from me but I've often thought I should tell my surgeon that they need to supply counselling for patients that have lost sight, I doubt they do. I live too far away to utillize it anyway. I am seeing a therapist where I live and she said basically what you did..... this misfortune can either make me a better person or a bitter one, it's up to me. It makes me think of a quote that hangs on my wall by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: "There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." Lately that's been a hard one for me to read. I guess my whole life, I've had difficulty accepting bad things. This has definitely been the most devastating thing that's ever happened so I'm really struggling with it. I've been through all the stages of grief (accept the acceptance) but seem to be stuck in the depression/despair one. I know I need to move on but until I learn to 'see' better, it'll be difficult.Thank you again for your kind reply, thank you so much, also for the prayers. I'm a firm believer in the power of prayer.Brenda
    Brenda B 2 Replies
    • October 20, 2007
    • 07:12 PM
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  • Hi Brenda,And what about your friends? What about your family? I am firmly convinced that in a case like yours you will need their help. There is no better remedy on depression and grief than some supporting soul. You have to carry on and you cannot give up. It is correct that saying "this could be worse" does not heal your pain. I do believe that some warm words of support from a real friend can do miracles. I do not believe in God so i can not pray for you. I only want to say once again that you should not give up. In your life there is still a lot of wonderful things ahead of you. Do not forget it: Depression is not an option.Pawel
    Pawel_c 8 Replies
    • November 5, 2007
    • 01:18 PM
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  • Hello Pawel,Thank you for your post. I appreciate your thoughts and advice. You're right, it would be so hard surviving hardships without the support of others. My husband has been supportive although I pretty much had to teach him in the beginning that hugs are very healing (he's a 'tough' cowboy.. literally) and emotional things make him uncomfortable. It took him awhile to figure out that I didn't expect him to 'fix' my problem, just help me through it. Most of my friends and family reacted the way people usually do to others' grief.... pretend things are normal and just don't talk about it. I did have a couple friends however that just seemed to know the right things to say and do. Many times those are the people who have been through grief themselves, sometimes that's the only way you can really relate. I have a younger sister who lost a baby son to heart problems and though she doesn't live near me, emailed me every day with wonderful advice and understanding. When it's all said and done though, it's me who has to work through this and move on. I'm still struggling but for a few more minutes each day, I notice the loss just a little less. Sure is slow. For those of us that believe in God there is a saying that I have on my wall by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: "There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from." I have to believe that, though some days it sure is hard.Thank you again for taking the time to write! It's nice to know that not only personal friends are there for you but even those friends you will probably never meet care, too.Brenda
    Brenda B 2 Replies
    • November 10, 2007
    • 03:39 AM
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  • Yes, this is sad but it is really like that that some people have to experience something in order to be able to understand it. But you should not care about it too much. Sometimes one supporting soul, but I mean really supporting and understanding, is worth more that a full room of pretenders. As far as your husband is concerned, hm... Showing feelings or emotions is not a shame (John Wayne in some Western movies, for example). I am sure that your cowboy will learn it, too. :)Best wishes,Pawel
    Pawel_c 8 Replies
    • November 12, 2007
    • 05:51 PM
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