Ignored the Signs

Published by: Jorim

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I rubbed my eyes hoping to find relief to what I thought were just a few dried tears that would eventually be washed away with my eyes’ mists.

Hi! I’m Jorim from Quezon City. I’m one of the community members in the impaired sector. Yes, I’m impaired, I’m blind. But unlike most cases, I was not born with this condition because I was born sighted before the turn of events.  

 I was born to a loving and supportive family who showed and made me feel the best things in life. I am the youngest among the three children. And let’s say I somehow enjoyed the benefits of being the bunso because I am loved by both my siblings. 

My father died when I was barely in preschool. I think I was only three when he passed away so I didn’t really feel the pain of losing a parent because I did not know him that much. Since my father’s death, my mother has filled my father’s shoes. Her love has been enough to fill the empty parts in my heart. 

At that same age, I started to see worm-like cloud in my eyes. I didn’t mind it and I never told my mom. I was young and all the while I thought those were just figures that naturally occur and would go away if I would rub my eyes. It took some time before I told her. My situation had to get worse before I revealed the discomforts and inconveniences that my eyes brought. 

In first grade, while diligently writing on my notebook, I suddenly couldn’t see the thin red and blue lines on my notebook. I freaked out and cried. But what more could a little boy do with things he didn’t have any control of?

Days later, I had my regular meeting with my grade school tutor. I was drawing images when violet-like figures disturbed my peace. I rubbed my eyes hoping to find relief to what I thought were just a few dried tears that would eventually be washed away with my eyes’ mists. But it didn’t. It stayed for a several more hours no matter how many times I blinked them away.

Our tutorial lesson continued. My tutor handed over a few activity sheets that have the objects that I should identify and answer but to my dismay, I couldn’t see a thing! That day was a major turning point. I finally told my mom my vision concerns and how things progressed during the first signs that something was not right. We went to an optical clinic but they could not diagnose what was wrong with me or with my sight. That week, my mom and I ended up visiting 10 more hospitals just to know what my case was but not one of them could give a concrete diagnosis. My case was new (at that time). 

Not long after, the symptoms progressed until I became blind. I had my operation because the doctors had to cut the retinal root. As far as I can remember, it was not a happy memory. I went ballistic and made a scene at the hospital. It was my first time to really lose my sight and that feeling was beyond compare. The nurses had to inject me with tranquilizers just to calm me down. I was too scared of my new life. Darkness was too new to me. 

But with the magic of time and the power of love and support of my family, life became good, then better as the days passed. I heightened my other senses, especially my hearing. I learned reading and learning in braille. I learned to see things again not through my eyes, but through my touch. Eventually, I learned to adjust and adapt to the changes, though difficult, it was after all possible. I gradually got to embrace and appreciate my “new normal” that was then that I realized that the world is indeed a beautiful place. If you can’t see it, then feel it. 

JORIM PAGARAN
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