Surviving

Feeling the warmth of the sun on a cloudy day. A glimpse into a blind billy goat's unique, ever changing perspectives.

2017 05 18: Journal Post: Page One May 18, 2017

Today is May 18, 2017. The following 1 page excerpt is taken from a journal I started in the winter of 2010. I haven’t read through this piece of writing since I wrote it, so I figured I would start posting it, page by page, to this blog.
I had not been writing long when I started this journal. A few emails back and forth to family and friends was just about all I had been doing, as I had only recently learned touch typing, as well as using a screen reader with the computer, which for me was a very strange, new world.

Ok then. Here we go.

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Page 1
December 2010,

OK so I have been through quite a lot. I have experienced probably more in my life than most people. I don’t feel any different or special because of it. Most of the time, I feel as though I have just lived a life. A life that is not really different than most people. Not any more difficult, or hard, or more full of obstacles. I am just the owner of another ordinary life.
I have had a few obstacles put in my path, but haven’t we all? Aren’t we all handed a boat load of life bending turns and hills and twists and hairpin corners? Don’t we all seemingly go through similar hardships and rough times? I hear every day of tragic events from all around the world. My life seems rather good when compared to what other people are going through on this hectic blue marble we call earth. In just one revolution we are transformed, propelled, enabled, held back, stepped over, left out, included in, forgotten about, lied to, sung about, hugged, punched, kicked, pulled, stepped on, stepped over, walked around, helped through, sent back, pushed aside, and on, and on, and on. It never stops. Life just keeps coming at you whether you are ready or not.

I have felt on many occasions that I was not prepared for life, and have seemed, on many occasions, that I was winging it, we must all feel that way quite a lot, I would imagine. Life sure has a way of throwing a bag full of wrenches at you.

I suppose that situations in my life have kept me from really concentrating when I should have been. I always seemed to be preoccupied with some things other than whatever it was that I should have been paying attention to.

I have recently become blind as of this past summer. It has been a rather trying 6 months for me. I should tell you that I lost my left eye to retinal cancer as an infant.

The recent problem with my right eye started last June when I lost my sight for roughly 45 minutes. It did return that day, and I was left with a blind spot almost directly in my line of sight. The doctors told me that an artery inside the eyeball had collapsed and the loss of blood flow had caused the temporary blindness, and the blind spot. It also was the cause of the glow that surrounded everything I saw. My hazy blurry condition lasted a month, and had actually gotten a little bit better. It had gotten better to the point that I was going to try to go back to work on the day after the 4th of July. I was sort of actually enjoying my month off. I was able to get outside and do quite a lot after a couple weeks because my sight had gotten that much better. I had my garden all in, the Japanese Willow bush behind the garage had been dug up and moved. The trees and shrubs out beside the barn had been pruned and cleaned up nicely. I was rather happy with the amount of yard word that I had been able to do. The last week of what was adequate vision was a good working week also. I had managed to weed the entire garden except for about 2 rows. I was feeling good. Tired, but well. That afternoon after Lynne finished work, she came out back to ask me if I would like to go get something to eat and run a few errands up to Skowhegan. I said sure, as I was bushed and could use a break. It had been warm and sunny all week out in the garden. I was hot, sunburned and hungry as hell. We were off.
The trip to Skowhegan was like any other of the 4,231 trips we had taken there in the past. We got some food from Mickey D’s and I went in to Hannaford’s to get a few items we needed. I did see my friend Artie’s wife at the checkout. We exchanged conversation and I asked her how the hell Artie was doing. He has been through his own hell these past few years.
I exited the store, got into the van, and we drove out of the plaza. As soon as we got out onto Rt. 201 I started to have another episode with my right eye. This time it was more sudden than the one on the 2nd of June. It was the 2nd of July, and the geometric prisms that were dancing in front of me were Pink Floyd’ish psychedelic shapes that I had only dreamed of before this day. All I could say to Lynne was, “OK, here we go again,” At the time I was not concerned about the vision loss, as I was sure that it would return, just as it had the first time. Little did I know that I was in for quite a ride the next 24 hours.
My vision did return just as we were getting back home. I noticed that things seemed a lot more blurry and cloudy and all bright and hazy. More so than after the first episode in early June. I managed to walk the dogs and a few other normal things that I usually did as the day was winding down. My wife Lynne and I watched Ice Road Truckers, but I couldn’t see what was going on on the screen. It was quite uneasy for me, but I still believed that it would get better. Later that night I noticed that the blind spot had crept right in front of my line of sight. It was noticeably worse than before and it made it quite impossible to watch and comprehend anything that I was seeing on TV. As was the case in early June, when items were in the blind spot area, they were intensified in a color schemed rainbow sort of distorted prism. Hello Pink /Floyd was all I could picture. It was weird indeed.

I fell asleep that night still comfortable with the feeling that everything would get better. Little did I know what was in store for me that next morning.

To be continued…

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