God’s funny, did you know that? He has this knack for revealing things to me through my eyes. Haha I know what you’re thinking, “duh syd… he did give you eyes to see.” But see that’s the funny part, when he wants me to see something he takes my eyesight away. The next couple of blog posts I am going to share are big for me. Each word typed onto this page has been weighing on my heart for a good bit of time. I have deleted and re-typed these words so many times because I just don’t think I am saying it in the right way or I start doubting myself that no one cares or what I have to say really isn’t that big of a deal. But I am done letting the devil whisper into my ear. I have a lot of blogs posts that are going to feature my eyes so just be prepared. Honestly…If I wanted to be annoying I could probably write a book about it all but instead I’ll just stick to the blogging.
May 3rd, 2012 I had surgery on my left eye. Seven months prior to the surgery I had unknowingly detached my retina. Somehow it took me seven months to realize that I could only see out of one of my eyes (dumb syd…I know). April 30th, I saw doctor number 1, May 1st I saw doctor number 2, May 2nd I met doctor number 3 and May 3rd doctor number 3 performed surgery on my left eye.
Medical lesson time: The retina lines the back of your eyeball. The retina receives light and then detects color and light intensity. The retina gathers all this information and then sends it to the brain for the brain to decide what the eye is seeing. So the retina is kind of a big deal. Now when a retina detaches or tears it still receives the light but the detachment inhibits it from detecting anything from it so nothing goes to the brain, ultimately you become blind. Most retinal detachments happen to older folks, people with diabetes or people that are really over weight. Then there are the rare retinal detachments that happen with a blow to the head or some kind of weird incident when someone is twirling around with a friend and hits their head on a stone patio (this weird incident was my incident). One good thing about retinal detachments is that they are pretty easy to fix when you detect them early (fact: 7 months isn’t early). By the time my retinal detachment was detected I had lost 75% of vision and better yet the detachment had taken place in the bottom part of my retina (this would later cause a more extreme healing process). The surgeon went in through my pupil and did a surgery called a buckle and a bubble (I’m not gonna go through and explain this whole procedure but it is pretty interesting). After the surgery since the detachment happened in the bottom part of my eye I had to lie on my face at an angle for about 3-3.5 weeks.
So now that you’ve learned all about retinas let me tell you everything else that was happening in my life. I was a freshman in high school and just starting my recruiting journey. I was invited onto the NC High performance team (a big deal to me) and my track team was about to take on Regionals (and win). A lot of good stuff was happening and then this happened. At the time I didn’t really think too much about it. I thought I would get the surgery and that wouldn’t be fun but then after the month of no school and lying on my face I’d be ready to go. False, after being super patient throughout the month of May I was so ready to start doing again.
Little did I know “the doing” wouldn’t come as easily as I expected. The problem was that I could still see the bubble in my eye…wherever I looked the bubble was my main focal point and I literally couldn’t stop staring at it. That is when my frustration and anger with God set in.
This next part of the story might be a little confusing. I am going to tell you about how I was feeling and what I was doing and then in the next blog post I’m gonna tell you about what God was preparing and doing, got it?
Me: I came back to school after about a month of being on house arrest haha. Luckily I had a pretty awesome cousin who came to visit me everyday and some other great friends who would keep me company throughout the month of house arrest! When I got back to school I had to wear sunglasses a lot…sometimes even in class. My eye wasn’t used to all the sunlight and it was a pretty vulnerable little guy. As I said before the gas bubble was still in my eyesight so I had to start adjusting to that. I noticed that I couldn’t sit the same way I sat before because if my right eye was covered I wouldn’t be able to see anything. Make-up was out of the picture for a long time because I couldn’t close my right eye and see where I was swiping the mascara. My left eye was super lazy and looked black. As a teenage girl I wanted to look pretty, ya know…easy on the eyes and I felt far from it. I had to re learn volleyball. Tracking the ball was different and my peripheral wasn’t as good as it used to be. My first time back to playing volleyball was at a University of Georgia volleyball camp. I had to wear these awful, awful, awful goggles to protect my eye. However the problem was that these suckers would fog up every minute (luckily my dad noticed my frustration and let me take them off). So after this I went through the summer and had my last appointment with the doctor down at Duke where he told me that how my vision was at that appointment is how it was going to stay. This is how my vision was: the bubble was gone; my vision was blurry and wavy (like a funhouse mirror at a carnival). Obviously I wasn’t happy with this information but I sucked it up and went about my way. Not gonna lie I got used to my eye quickly but it had still left a pretty big scar on me emotionally and instead of dealing with it I just covered it up with a Band-Aid. That was until Nicaragua.