My vision is incredibly poor. I’m shortsighted plus amblyopic and lately, I’ve been noticing symptoms of macular degeneration.
The deficiency in my vision became pronounced when I was in primary three. I think I was eight years old then. I was taller than most of my classmates and as the practice was, the shortest sit in the front while the tallest get to sit at the back. I knew something was wrong with my sight, but I was too shy to tell anyone. Most times, I had to wait for my seat mates to finish writing and then copy from them.
One day, we had maths test. I couldn’t see the board so I just scribbled rubbish inside the test sheet. My maths teacher called me afterwards when he saw the nonsense I did. He was aware I wasn’t a dull child. “Fiyin, why all these?” he asked, pointing at my sheet. Scared to look him in the eye, I bowed my head and said, “I can’t see the board.”
The next time he came to my class, he changed my seat to the front. Another test was conducted and I scored 14 over 20. Because of my height, some other teachers attempted to take me back to the back, because according to them, I’d be obstructing the view of others. But thank God, I had this seatmate who always spoke on my behalf. My position improved from 30th to 19th.
I got my first glasses in primary four. By that time, I had opened up to my parents. I never used the glasses because they hurt my eyes. Probably, the power prescribed was higher than what my eyes could accommodate. Besides, I never used the glasses because I felt I’ll be so odd as I’ll be the only one using glasses in the whole school.
I never really liked glasses. So, I never used them so often. Maybe if I had, maybe my vision wouldn’t have turned out this bad. My vision got progressively worse. I had to sit real close to the television before I could see anything. I held my books close to my face.
Last year, I went to the eye clinic to get new glasses. About four doctors sat down, deliberating on my condition.
Right now as I type, my phone is just few inches away from my face. My vision has gone bad. Sometimes, I even harbour fear of going blind. My condition is definitely beyond medical help. The only one who can help me presently is God.
I’ve had people accuse me of ignoring them as I walk past. What most of them don’t know is that I can make out their faces only when they’re very close to me.
Having a poor eyesight isn’t a funny experience. I remember during a computer practical, for me to see, I had to peer closely at the computer. One of the invigilators came to my seat and said harshly, “Your eyesight is so poor apart from the fact that you’re inefficient at typing.” Those words hurt me as I stared at the screen, desperately trying to fight the tears back. When I got home that day, I locked myself inside my room and cried my eyes out.
There was a time I had biology practical. It required measuring a certain amount of reagent using a pipette. So, I picked up a pipette but I was stopped by my biology teacher. “Don’t bother measuring,” she said. “Your sight is bad, you might just make a mistake.” I was too shocked to utter a word. I just stood back as some other persons performed the practical.
My good eye is my left eye. It has taken over my total vision. My right eye now goes outward(squint) as a result of disuse. The vision in my right eye is terribly poor. Texts appear to be moving, straight lines appear crooked, bright light appear less bright. I’m now more or less a one-eyed girl.
My fears have heightened lately. As a doctor to be, I’ll be having lots of practicals. How will I survive with such a poor vision?
Saying I’m frustrated is an understatement of the century. I don’t know what to do anymore. I wish my sight could be normal. I wish God will show me mercy and heal me.