This is something I’ve thought about writing for a while now. Don’t take it as a pity story, but take it as seeing what God can do with unexpected people in mysterious ways. There was a point in my life where I may have never had the chance to become a photographer, have the ability to drive, or even see.
Since I was a child, I’ve always been extremely near-sighted. Not legally blind, but close enough that I could puzzle doctors. I wore glasses until middle school, when I finally got the chance to wear contacts. These made a huge difference in my vision; since they are closer to my eye, the power can be increased.
When I was in tenth grade, I got the news from my doctor at a regular check-up that I had a detached retina and would need to go to a specialized doctor immediately. The same day, we were in the office of Dr. Koh at the Georgia Retina center. He told us that I would need immediate surgery, and scheduled us for Friday, just a few days later. Both retinas were detached, but one was more serious than the other and required surgery first. He said this was something that has developed over a period of years. Most times this only happens in elderly people or from traumatic injury, but rarely in cases of extreme nearsightedness. Those days between the meeting and the surgery brought up a lot of thoughts about not being able to drive, get a job, or make a conventional living. I had a date for my first prom just a couple of weeks away, which I had to cancel.
Once the surgery came and went, which I don’t remember too much of, the doctor told us everything went fine. During recovery, I had to lie on one side, on the couch, for two weeks straight. I could get up for only ten minutes out of every hour. I had to miss school, but the teachers were obviously very willing to work with me.
Later on down the road, it was time to operate on the other retina. I went through the same process as the first time, lying on the couch for a couple weeks without the ability to turn over or get up very much.
Due to some complications with the original surgery, I had to go through a THIRD operation, this time having a four week recovery. I had more freedom this time, having the ability to get up for thirty minutes every hour.
Thankfully, all this time went by a lot quicker than you would think. I got used to it and had a routine and everything came and went.
Since then, everything has been perfectly fine. I haven’t had any vision problems whatsoever. The doctor told me I would be at risk for cataracts soon, but that never happened. With technology advancing constantly, I can get better contacts every year or so, improving my vision even more. Even with contacts on, my vision is still not perfect; most recently it was around 20/40-20/50 for each eye.
Completely unrelated, probably because it’s a hereditary thing, I am pretty color blind. Taking a simple test like this will determine pretty quickly if you are or not. It is pretty funny to take this test with someone who isn’t color blind; they just refuse to believe you can’t see the shapes!
If you’re having any eye problems such as flashes, floaters, or dark spots, check out this site on retinal detachment. Don’t put off getting checked out; it could cost you your vision.
The point of this post is to show how God can still work through me. Someone who is visually impaired and nearly went blind can have the chance to pursue a full-time career in photography, something completely reliant on vision and the ability to see. In reality, I’m only photographing God’s creation and displaying it back to everyone else. I just happen to know how to use my camera and a computer to do so.