It has been three years since my last visual field test and in three days I have an appointment with my specialist and the big white dome. The last time my fields were tested, I had about twenty degrees of peripheral vision and my test results were almost unchanged from the previous test two years earlier. This was great news. I don’t expect the same news this time around, but you never really know; RP is such an unpredictable animal.
I have been to the RP specialist many times since my diagnosis eight years ago, but every time I go I feel as if I am waiting to be sentenced all over again, to hear how much closer I have come to darkness and how much more vision I have lost. You would think I would know, given that I live with the damn disease every day, but in the day-to-day you adapt to slow changes. Only the visual field can tell exactly how much I actually see.
The other day, I was looking at a copy of my very first visual field test, when my fields were at about thirty degrees; two years later they were between twenty and twenty-five. My central vision at the time, without glasses, was 20/40, now it is 20/200. It scares the crap out of me when I look at the picture progressively; in the blink of the proverbial eye, I went from being a normal woman who needed glasses for driving, to a legally blind woman who would never drive again. Some days it still seems impossible, like this reality I have been handed cannot truly be mine.