Monochrome photograph of my eyes, with my left eye covered by a dark shadow.

Life Got Dark

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes

Life got considerably darker last month. Unfortunately, after 12 months of fighting I have lost the sight in my left eye. 

The retina has permanently detached, leaving me blind in that eye.

I am proud to say I fought extremely hard to keep my vision for as long as I could – enduring six surgeries, weeks of lying face down to position gas bubbles, countless eye drops and excruciating physical pain and mental anguish after each successive procedure.

No doubt it will take time to grieve the loss of one eye. What I find truly terrifying is the prospect of losing my other eye. Both retinas suffer damage from diabetic retinopathy (I’ve had the chronic disease diabetes mellitus since childhood) and they now contain silicone oils to preserve what vision I have left. I can’t rule out further complications, they are highly likely given my medical history.

The anxiety over further permanent sight loss is all consuming. I plan to give myself time to process this devastating news and attempt to move forward with as much positivity and hope I can muster. But at the minute it is nigh on impossible to find strength, clarity or joy.

I cry every day about what’s happened, and I cry every night about what my future holds. I haven’t felt abject trauma like this since my dad’s sudden passing 10 years ago.

White folding symbol cane.
I now use a ‘symbol cane’ to help me safely navigate busy spaces like train stations and pavements.

It’s hard to comprehend that your old life is continuing on around you. Sometimes it feels like I’m frozen in time and being left behind.

I am blessed with family, friends and colleagues to try and help me through this. But I’m struggling, so I have also reached out to multiple professional support services like the RNIB, Sight Scotland and my GP.

Be kind to each other. Life can be horrific, and even the smallest gesture makes a difference.

Love, Stewart