In the coming weeks, I’m due to go into hospital (fingers crossed) for what will hopefully be my final transplant. Yep, keratoconus and I are about to part ways. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited. It’s been a long, difficult journey but on reflection, I’ve no regrets. I want to be clear: I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But I had a choice: sink or swim? I chose to swim (after a period of sinking, I confess).
In a perfect world, keratoconus would never have come into my life but it did and there’s nothing I can do about that. There’s no point thinking ‘Why me?’ because ‘Why not me? What makes me so special?’ I started to view keratoconus as an irritating relative who had overstayed their welcome and was on their very last cup of tea (I don’t make tea for just anyone, haha).
I’m not the same person anymore. I don’t have the outlook on life I once did and some of my goals have changed. I remember the days I was literally drooling over Chloe bags, day dreaming about owning one of my very own (just to point out, I don’t think there is anything wrong with having this dream or owning a designer bag). Actually, there was talk of getting me a bag as a transplant present but I’ve turned it down. I don’t want a designer bag to signify one of the most important moments of my life. All I want is my eyesight back. There isn’t a gift in the world that would even compare.
We take so many things for granted in life and I never gave my eyesight a second thought. For twenty-eight years I took my vision for granted until keratoconus walked through the front door. I’ve had one successful transplant and I know I’ll have another. But if something does go wrong, nothing in my life will change because I’ll keep going. I deserve to keep going.
Look around you. Can you identify the struggles people are going through? We all face challenges and go through difficult times, there are no exceptions. I felt so alone because I didn’t know anyone else who suffered from keratoconus until I started my blog. Not only have I become friends with some amazing people across the world who are just starting their transplant journey (or have come out the other side) but I’ve learned everyone faces struggles the rest of the world are blind to. I don’t feel alone anymore because I now realise I never was.
If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I probably wouldn’t have started this blog (and met so many wonderful bloggers). If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t have recorded a radio documentary on my transplant journey. If it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t be able to share my story with others. And if it hadn’t been for keratoconus, I wouldn’t have learned to really appreciate what I have in the here and now. Mr Blues and I were making dinner one night and we just started dancing for no reason. He doesn’t realise it, but that was a really special moment for me.
It’s looking like my final transplant will be fairly soon and I’ve decided not to share the exact date with anyone (other than my family and Mr Blues, who needs to come visit me in hospital with tea and chocolate). I’ll probably schedule a blog post to go live on the day whilst I’m at hospital, I’m not sure yet. I feel like I need to face this final hurdle on my own because it’s the end of such a long journey.
I hope you take something from this blog post and I don’t want to sound like an overprotective mother, but look after your eyes. The cause of keratoconus is unknown but please, never take your vision for granted. What I wouldn’t give to be chasing a fly around the room with an old copy of Glamour like I remember doing years ago (strange, the memories that come back to you). And whatever challenges you face in life, make sure you swim. Your hopes, dreams and ambitions are important.
Keep going. You got this.