Every two years, I go into the Jules Stein Eye Institute to see my retinal specialist. There is nothing he can do for me except tell me if my remaining retinal cells are intact or if they too are fading away. I always feel some anxiety before I see him and I always feel as if this time will be the time that he tells me my luck has run out. Every time I see him, I try to remember the details of his gaunt face and his messy Albert Einstein hair, because I realize I may not be able to see him in two years time. He is a kind and gentle man who gets visibly excited when my test results are good and who doesn’t order me to go through unnecessary tortures like an ERG. I like him. I think I will still like him even on the day he tells me my vision is no longer stable. He may tell me that in four days when I see him. I have a strong feeling that he will.
I have been feeling increasingly unsteady and unsure of myself and my surroundings in the past year or so. I get much more anxious when I am out at the shops or a restaurant or on any occasion that requires walking through a crowd of people. I get the sensation that I am about to fall off into the dark abyss that is the edges of my visual field. I find myself moving more slowly and carefully and I feel much more afraid. Sometimes it feels as if I am suffocating or drowning; I can’t breathe and I want to hide from what I know I am not seeing. I want to make sure to write about what I am seeing because I have no idea when the luxury of sight will be taken from me.
In four days I will know more than I know in this minute, but until then I will wonder anxiously and prepare myself for whatever news the doctor gives me.