Project Protect the Right Eye

You know what would be weird? Having the ability to see out of both eyes!

I was born with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia in my left eye, which means my optic nerve in that eye is underdeveloped. My mom believes that it was caused by a medication she took to help her progesterone levels in order for her to get pregnant. However, my parents did not notice anything was wrong right off the bat. It was not until my grandma said something about my left eye looking off, soon after I was born, that made them take me to the eye doctor. I am not considered legally blind in that eye because we were told I should be able to see light and make out shapes. Let me inform you of something that should make me be considered legally blind, but yet I am still not: I see absolutely nothing out of my left eye. No lights, no shapes, zilch, nothing, nada. I do not even see blackness because there is just nothing there. I have perfect vision in my right eye and only see through it so the fact that I am not considered legally blind in my left eye is just plain stupid. Yes, that is the proper word for the situation.

Growing up, my parents worried that I would struggle with my hand-eye coordination. Proving them wrong, I went on to dance for a total of 15 years and played soccer for around 12 years, both until the end of high school. I also participated in softball for a year and a half at one point in my life and attended a basketball camp one summer just to try it out. I am also a great driver and have the best car ever ( 1990 Oldsmobile Toronado Trofeo aka Phoebe). My dad would tell me stories about how, even as a toddler, I would find the tiniest of crumbs or other small things on the floor that no one else could see. To this day, I am still the go-to person in my family when they need help finding something they have dropped, lost, etc. Even though I do a pretty good job with that, my luck has run out time and time again when it comes to seeing bigger objects…

20140727_135755-1Now, when I say bigger objects, I mean bigger objects. You name ’em and I have probably run into them: a bookcase in my school library, the freezer door I forgot to shut that one time, numerous people (including strangers), doors, tables, and countless more items all thanks to my left eye! Most of the time these happenings elicit laughter from me, but sometimes the feeling brought forth is pain due to hitting my funny bone (nothing funny about it) or another part of my body. Whenever I am walking with just one person, I prefer for them to be on my right side because it is easier to converse that way and I do not have to twist my head as much. All I can really ask is that if you are with me and see that I am about to run into something, please spare me the embarrassment, especially if we are in public. If I do run/walk/dance/skip into something and you could not do anything to stop it, we will enjoy a good laugh together unless I am seriously injured then please make sure I get to the nearest hospital.

I am going to be honest with you, I love making jokes about being blind in one eye. I do it a lot and I applaud the friends of mine that come up with fantastic jokes. On the other hand, there is such a thing as going too far with joking around and I always say something if it has. My mom hates it when I make promises by saying, “Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my good eye”, but I love it. If you have any good ‘blind in one eye’ jokes, feel free to comment them below! 🙂

Most people I know inform me they can never tell that I am blind in my left eye. That is because my left eye just follows what my right eye does. When I get tired, though, my left eye can get lazy or if I stare straight ahead it will go slightly off mark. It is rather annoying when I am trying to take a picture with someone or a group of people and all I see, after the picture is taken, is my lazy left eye glaring back at me. Whenever I am able to produce pictures where it is looking in the right direction, I rejoice! I have been told by my eye doctor that as I continue to grow older, my lazy eye could get worse. There is the option of going through a surgery where they go in and tighten the muscle in my left eye, if that time ever comes, but who wants to be awake while a needle is being stuck in their eye? Definitely not me, whether I am able to see the needle coming towards my eyeball or not! At this point in my life, I am just praying it does not get any worse.

When it comes to my right eye and protecting it so I do not become completely blind, all I can really do is wear glasses. I used to wear this fabulous pair of Barbie glasses throughout elementary school, but after that I quit wearing them. It was not until early summer after my senior year of high school that I finally got another pair and so Project Protect the Right Eye began. Do I wear my glasses all the time? No, I do not, even though I should, so it is a good thing I am used to not wearing glasses. I try my best to wear them as much as possible, but I know I can do better and I will. Especially since I love to read, the thought of going completely blind and not being able to read the wonderful words written in a novel makes me awfully sad.

20160615_102155I cannot imagine having no sight at all, but I absolutely think it would be weird to have even more sight than I already do. I see a lot with my right eye (minus the objects/people I run into) and I have a beautiful view of the world. God gifted me with the sight I do have and I could not feel more blessed.




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