How Should I Live it Up?

The other day my boyfriend pointed out I hadn't posted here since July. Whoops.

I wish I could say I've been busy with exciting and important things, but I really haven't. For a while I was working on various crafts for my Etsy store. More recently I've been working on an iOS game. Picking up a new programming language has been challenging and fun, and seeing an actual program I wrote actually run on an actual phone is immensely satisfying. Actually.

But what's on my mind tonight is heavier stuff. For the last week and a half or so, I've had three blind spots in my right eye, and they're slowly growing. They show up as spots on my retina, and the opthamologist doesn't know what they are. I'm seeing a retina specialist in the morning, and maybe I'll get some more information then. Possibilities range from benign things that shouldn't be causing me any vision problems to early-onset macular degeneration. I don't think I'm overreacting when I say there's a very real chance I could go blind in at least one eye.

Naturally, I'm terrified. While I'm fully aware there's no sense worrying about it until I get a diagnosis, actually stopping worrying is proving to be impossible. This is my vision we're talking about. I use that, like, just about every day.

I've been thinking a lot about how my life would be different if I lost my sight. Things I could no longer do, and things I could. Things that would require a lot of effort to make work, and how I might do them. (I like playing games with cards that have lots of text on them. I could mark the cards with their titles in braille, memorize what each card says, and play by touch. Tough, but doable.)

I wouldn't be able to finish the game I'm working on. Even if a screen reader could parse Objective-C into something understandable, I wouldn't be able to see the results to know if they're working. I rely on vision a lot for programming--scanning the general shape of the code to find the bit I'm looking for, or diagramming the flow of a program on paper to make sense of it.

I couldn't ride a motorcycle anymore. I wouldn't be able to make the webcomic I'm probably not going to make anyway (being realistic here). Fireworks wouldn't be nearly as cool. The sorts of home improvement projects I could do would be severely limited. Most video games would be unplayable. Visual gags in movies and TV shows would be lost on me. I wouldn't get to see what Dani looks like when she grows up--probably the most heartbreaking loss of all.

But there's a lot of stuff I could still do. I could study languages. I could finally learn the guitar. I could focus on my writing again. I would probably update my blog with the same frequency. (Heh.) If the house ever sells and we move back into the city, I could even be somewhat self-reliant and get around on public transportation. I would probably enjoy music more.

A thing like this does help to highlight what's important in your life. When I think about all the things I wouldn't be able to do anymore, I realize what I would and wouldn't miss, and what things I'd want to be sure to do while I still can. And when I think about the things I could still do anyway, I realize which ones I would really want to do. Whatever the doctor says tomorrow, I would do well to remember this.

blog comments powered by Disqus