My eyesight was cruelly taken away from me at the age of 39. I went from being an accomplished paramedic and ambulance driver to not being able to drive at all. I used to save lives for a living and now I can’t even walk the streets without my cane.
It was demoralising when all of this came to a head. I always knew it was going to happen because my mother went through the same thing when she was in her mid-thirties, but I really didn’t want it to. In fact, I tried everything to stop it from happening. I spent years going to my local Bayside eye doctor to try and get them to slow down the process. I think it helped, seeing as I got about four more years of normal eyesight than my mum did, but it didn’t work well enough for my liking.
I feel like I’ve lost all my freedom and my sense of self. A large part of my identity was being a paramedic and it was the worst day of my life when I had to turn in my work uniform and step away from the position. I could have tried to hold out a little longer and keep working, but I care about the safety of others too much and it would hurt me to know that my selfishness to keep working was responsible for someone not getting the proper care that they needed.
I wish there was some sort of science that could stop the process of going blind. Going blind isn’t the same as when you’re young and your parents take you to a designated eye test for children station that’s set up at your local school. It isn’t the same as finding out you need glasses. It is a life-altering revelation that means nothing will ever be the same again. It is giving up what means most to you. It is devastating.