I've been kind of in a rough spot lately...you all know the story....times are changing for me, and I'm just having a hard time adjusting. It's a huge adjustment. I'm trying to make the best of it, but first I really need to get my head around the whole idea. I need to change my way of thinking and accept and move on. I've been focusing on this change that is needed in me for awhile.
I went out shopping with my mom this week. She came and took me to an eye appointment, and since I needed some time away, I went back with her for a couple of days and we did some shopping - just her and me. We had fun - we enjoyed some coffee together, scoured the racks for deals, took some time out for lunch and had plenty of time to talk. My grandmother passed away last week, and that has brought about a lot of discussion around family. I got in contact with one of my cousins that I have not been in contact with since he was very young - he is now 27... so we were talking about things like that, and enjoying our shopping time together.
As we were shopping, there were times when I started to think.... I HATE when that happens lately. It's not good. Thinking about my situation changes nothing, and thinking about it, is scary. Anyway, there were times when it came to mind.
I cover it up well, most of the time, but truth be told, I'm scared. It you know me well enough, you will see it in me. There were things that happened while I was spending time with my mom that just kept slapping me in the face - almost forcing me to think. For example, when we were in the Dr. office for my eye appointment, I was called back for my exam and the lady who called me back did not wait on me - she called me back and started walking. I saw her up ahead of me and she had gone up some stairs... the problem was, I didn't know how many stairs and where they were. I actually had to ask her where the steps were. My mom didn't want to come back, because she didn't want me to feel like she was minding my business. Well, when I had to change rooms because an instrument was not working, I asked her to please go out and get my mom, that I got around better with her back there with me.
I did the color test - you know, the one where there are circles that have colored tiles in them that make a number and if you have color vision, you can see the number. Well, the doctor showed me about 12 different circles - I got ONE right. I guessed on some of them, and he kind of just chuckled, some I just couldn't even make a guess. At one point I said - 93, and he just kind of moved on. I said "Was it 93?" He looked at me kind of crazy and said "No, it wasn't 93". How stupid did I feel then.... I actually thought I saw something that looked something like 93. Oh well - I got ONE right :)
While we were shopping, I decided to pick out a couple of shirts for Tim if I found a good deal. I found one shirt where I liked the pattern, but didn't think Tim would like the color, because it was pink. I showed it to my mom and she said it was a nice shirt. I said yes, but I don't think Tim will like the color. My mom asked me why not... I told her because Tim is really not a "pink" person. My mom just said - well then, the shirt will be fine because it's orange....
As we navigated the stores, I find it increasingly difficult to maneuver through the aisles and feel confident. I always feel like I am too close to something and I'm going to run into it, or I'll run into a person. There were several times when I was in an aisle looking at things and someone was waiting on me to look in the area that I was, and I just stood there, taking my time, seeming so rude. But, I didn't see them waiting. Then I finally see them, panic, and apologize like 100 times and then get out of the way. I swear, shopping is no longer relaxing for me.
And, I don't know if this is actually the case or not, but it seems as though they pack the stores full of more stuff than they used to when I was a kid. The aisles are smaller and the own store's shopping carts won't fit through their aisles. Especially in clothing stores - where there aren't really aisles to begin with. It KILLS me. They put the racks right on top of each other and you couldn't get a cart through it you wanted to.
So, as we were walking out of one store after a near panic attack on my part, I asked my mom, through somewhat misty eyes - What am I going to do when this gets worse??? I asked without expecting an answer, because who can really give me one? But I asked anyway, because I'm scared. I don't talk one on one with many people about my eye condition and how it makes me feel - because I'm not the kind of person who will let it define me - let it stop me from doing something. And if it does, I certainly don't want to share it with people. And, I really don't like for people to see me cry... and this has brought me to tears lately - because really... I'm scared.
What AM I going to do? I mean, it's getting worse. I told that to my mom and she said "I know, I can see that". Seriously? That's pretty bad. What I wanted her to say is... I think you are just under stress, I don't think it's actually gotten worse. But she can't say that, because she can see the differences. She can see me hesitate when the texture of floor surfaces change, because I don't know if it's just a change in a pattern, or if there is a step associated with it. I trip on curbs, I run into the little parking markers, I bump into my mom while we are shopping, I call things the wrong color, I have to pick a table by a window when we go to lunch so I can see, we PICK a restaurant based on the lighting (seriously, not the food, but the lighting). And, it's only getting worse.... the list goes on and on. I can't see sizes on clothing - sometimes even with reading glasses I can't see them....sometimes, I'll be walking along, look at something and then be paralyzed, not wanting to continue walking because I've lost track of where I am, because I was stupid enough not to concentrate on what was right in front of me, looked at something else, and now can't determine where I need to go. My field of vision is SO small, I don't see the whole picture - it's extremely difficult.
Having my dog will help - but it's not going to fix everything. It's not going to change some things. It will give me some confidence back, but other things, it won't change.
We were talking about kids and parenting, and I asked her what my kids will think of me and my abilities. Cameron will remember a time when I worked. He understands what my profession was and why I had to stop. Anna knows, but not as much. Sara... she will never know what her mom did - she will only ever know me as the way I am now. Not that the way I am now is bad - it just doesn't feel like "me" right now. She will never know that at one time, I made a different - more than just within the walls of our home. I did something that changed lives. It's not that changing lives at home is bad, or insignificant, but I DID do something else, and I was proud of what I had accomplished and what I was doing to help others. She won't know about that. It will just be something that I tell her about.
My mom has always said that if I end up having to leave my job, that I need to find something that I can do that will allow me to contribute. I'm not sure what that is. Many people have told me that I need to write. I love to write. I always have, even since I was a kid. I pulled out my senior year book the other day and one of my close friends said that she hoped that I would always continue to write. I haven't done that. Several of my friends here in SC, when they found out that I was going out of work for a bit, said that it would give me the time I needed to start writing. Then, yesterday, as we were out shopping, my mom said it. I don't think that my mom has ever mentioned anything about writing to me. I found it strange that she would say that. It hit me somehow though. I guess because I heard it all along, but now I was hearing it from my mom. Tim has said it as well. Maybe I will. But what do I write about?
I don't write stories... when I write the best is when I'm emotionally attached to something. I think things through and I share my thoughts. I explain things, the way I see things, it's emotional, it's colorful (funny that it's colorful, seeing as how I can no longer see color :) I relate complicated things to life.... real life. I've always said that I have a story to tell... maybe it's time to tell that story. It's about life, love, rejection, adoption, salvation, success, defeat and everything in between. It's just my story. It probably wouldn't interest anyone but my family - but it would tell my story to my family. I think it would eventually offer hope to someone in a similar situation as mine - because let me tell you, in the beginning, the doctors give you no hope. And if you are hit with it unexpectedly, like I was, and don't know anyone who has been successful despite this condition - you really feel hopeless. I've ignored Dr's recommendations (not on medical care, but on planning for my future) and have achieved great things, when they have set their mind on minor things for me to achieve. Someone, some day, may need to hear my story..... to give them hope of what can be achieved, even with certain circumstances.
Maybe I'll write....