A Week Without Sight

Your eyes are very important. Try to imagine what it’s like to lose your sight.

I didn’t have to imagine. I woke up, on the day before my scheduled departure for England, with a pain in my right eye. At first it was just irritating, but the pain gradually increased to the point where I could not open my eyes at all. I rushed to the hospital, still feeling confident that this was a minor injury, and that I would be on a plane tomorrow.

That was not to be. It turned out that I had a cornea abrasion in my right eye, which meant a few week’s time to heal at the least. And then it got infected. And then the specialist found old scars in my left eye which were vulnerable to the same injury that occurred on my right one.

For three days, any eye use was accompanied by a sharp pain in my right eye. Even opening only my left eye was painful. So I had to learn to get by, using only the minimum amount of eyesight. The major problem, however, was not moving around or taking a bath. It was boredom.

For an information junkie and gamer like me, restricted eye use was a unique kind of torture. I resorted to listening to songs and speeches on youtube, but these were not accessible all the time. Most of the time I had to lie down with only my thoughts as company.

I tried to plot novels and stories, rehearsed philosophical arguments, recalled memories of a happy time, and even replayed some games in my mind. Piano playing without sight was an unexpected source of fun. I also exercised my imagination in certain physical activities, if you know what I mean. I found out that my imagination was working fine, and more than adequate to the task. 

According to the eye specialist, the injury was probably caused by wear and tear, especially after sustained use late at night with little blinking. As the eye becomes drier, the surface is easily injured. So let this be a warning to all. Take frequent breaks, blink often, no more late nights. 

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