How do you measure progress? How do you define what’s moving and at what pace, and how do you define whether it’s really moving or it’s only in your head?
Two weeks into this medical madness, I could trace out the shape of my nose in the mirror with my damaged eye. That was progress – for me anyway.
A month later, I could apply eyeliner without smudging my eyes completely and without having a nervous breakdown over fear of being blind forever. That was another level of progress to celebrate.
The short story is I have toxoplasmosis that has infected the behind of my retina, rendering me partially blind in my right eye.
The long story is that because of the aggressive medication I’ve been prescribed, my body is basically falling apart and reacting severely to the chemicals. I have my good days – when I take the 15+ pills on time, with food, sans-stress, well-conditioned in my environment. However, this month happens to be an interesting challenge on its own, while I prepare for a work-travel project and coincidently happen to be moving to a new apartment.
I cannot complain too much though. My eye is healing and my vision is returning in small fractions each day. My body is still reacting to the meds, but also adapting to the vigorous and demanding routine each day. That’s progress.
My new bedroom has a new coat of grey and a new table built and installed. I have mugs and plates in the kitchen cabinets, I have running water and electricity for my coffee machine. I have a rocking chair on my balcony, where I indulge in coffee-and -cigarette breaks every hour to the most serene landscapes in the south of the country.
This morning, I could look out my window, stare at the clouds and trace their shapes with my infected eye, without being bothered by the light or getting a migraine, as has been the habit for the past month now. That’s progress.
Working has been the biggest challenge so far. Being a designer and actively working in the creative/visual field, the past month has been a drag. My work pace has become slower and my frustration levels higher. Yoga has been helpful, as always, and I’ve got back to the habit of being a frequent practitioner. That there is progress as well.
Being partially blind has definitely changed my perspective – literally. Sometimes our health is our biggest reminder of life – and how we choose to live it – in these sobering moments.