Childhood. I haz it.

by Sue

No matter how little information I dish out, I have always disliked telling people this part of my life. I become paranoid, thinking they’ll look at me differently, treat me differently, think me as cripple, or even worse – pity me. I’ve tried a lot of things to be at peace with myself; I’ve studied all types of religion, from Christianity to Islam, Wicca to Buddhism. I’ve fantasized about turning into a vampire, hahaha, for the sake of trying to find some ‘cure.’ For a time, I wanted to go to medical school to do my own research, until I realised I might as well shoot myself in the foot if I partook in any more maths and science courses. But maybe if I start talking about it; maybe if I found other people that dealt with the same issue, I wouldn’t feel as awkward. And maybe I’ll finally come to terms with what I’m living with.

When I often tell people I’ve never learned how to ride a bike or that I don’t know how to swim or really climb a tree, they look at me like I’m from outer space and proceed with “What’s wrong with you? Did you not have a childhood?” — or something to that effect. I just casually evade the question, usually with a small smile and a slow nod or a nervous giggle. In middle school, when I sat out during P.E. and had to watch the rest of the kids learn how to play a sport, I was told that I was lucky by my classmates, when in reality, I would have loved nothing more than to join them. They technically knew the price I had to pay, but I don’t think they fully got the picture.

I briefly touched on this subject in my initial blog post, but you see, when I was around 12 years old, during Thanksgiving break of 6th grade, doctors discovered a small hole in the retina of my left eye. There was the initial 15 minute laser surgery, to which I found out 3 months later that it had failed. The next step was major surgery, and little did I know that the remainder of my years in middle school, I would be in and out of the operating rooms, undergoing at least 5 major operations – once on my left eye, and 4 times in my right. All were caused by retinal detachment. All were due to the fact that I had ‘abnormal’ jelly in my eyes.

Even after the 4 surgeries in my right eye, I am still unable to see; I can only see light and make out shadows in the upper right corner of my line of sight. I go to the ophthalmologist every three months for a routine check up to see if there are any more issues with my left eye.

For those of you who keep up with the NBA, I recently read an article that Stoudemire had previously been afflicted with retina detachment. His latest injury caused it to detach again. His physician and team members think he’ll be in tip-top shape come next season, but to be honest, no one ever really fully recovers after a operation like that. Depth perception becomes screwy; eyes are no longer keen like they used to be. It amazes me that he would risk losing his sight forever to make that paper.

I guess I understand, though. I had to do a lot of growing up after each time I went under the knife, and it made me rush into things, like starting college early. And honestly, with every day that passes, I have to wonder when I wake up the next morning, if I will be able to see the faces of my loved ones. Be able to write another blog update using my laptop. Be able to live my dreams and tackle my goals.

Live every day to the fullest; that’s my motto.