When I first acquired my injury, I saw nothing. My world was a dull shade of brown all the time, no matter what time of day, nothing was there. All of my early memories involve me waking up, and screaming, 'I'm blind, why can't I see?' I don't remember my visitors, my first steps, or even the first thing I was able to eat. I just remember the trauma of losing my sight. I had no concept I was in the hospital, but also, no memory. The reason that is my only memory, is probably because everytime I woke, I freaked out because I couldn't see, or speak (all the thracheotomy tubing), and thenothey sedated me,but I don't even remember that, only that I had no vision. Very slowly, my brain has rebuilt those connections, and now, I likely processes 80-90% of the world around me now. In 2011, I had about 70%, that was also the last time I did the eye exam, that measures your visual field. I only did it then, to satisfy the requirements to have LASIK (laser eye surgery), as my neuropathy prevented me from being able to manage contacts well, and my glasses often fell off my face, plus my lenses often needed to be replaced. Now I've adapted to look down, while moving, because if im not looking at something, my brain may not process the physical changes I need to make, to alter my course.
Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my friends house. She had another friend from her gymnastics class, that I knew from school. We were an interesting triad, mainly because they were graceful, and I was the opposite of graceful. Always tripping myself, and being the clumsy idiot who dropped everything. I'm still clumsy, some things you just do not grow out of. That phase of my life life was earmarked by the unpleasant nickname, of Sloth. I wasn't upset that sloth was a moral sin, I was upset that other kids thought I was slow.
I was 12 when I got my first pair of glasses, so I immediately noticed an improvement in my regular tripping and falling episodes. It's funny though, because even then I cannot recall how much my world changed when I got glasses. Most people seem to remember that 'ah-ha' moment, when they got glasses. I couldn't remember that in college, ether though, so that's not a lost memory. I remember not being happy that I suddenly felt like I had to take notes in school, because the stuff on the board was actually relevant information, but that's all.
I still have existing processing delays, from my injury, so I cannot react with speed, in most situations. My reaction time is nearly non-existent, but I will always be graful for my recovered ability to see. This is also why my injury has robbed me of the ability to drive, or even move more comfortably, as in without the resounding fear that I can so easily hurt myself, if I overlook anything. As someone who involuntarily falls over, 2-3 times a week, because of spastic muscle activity, I would prefer not to increase that number by tripping myself, because I didn't see something, I should have. I suppose my childhood nickname of Sloth lives on. Again, I was sloth, because I moved slowly, and now I do, once again. Thankfully, I outgrew that phase before, and expect to again. Guess it's time find my super classy track pants, with the word sloth, plasted on the ass. Weirdly, some things follow you around forever...