I suppose the easiest thing to do is to give people a bit of background about me. Tell people what I'm about, what I was before and what I am now.....!
I'm a woman in my late 20's, who was born partially deaf. I've worn hearing aides all my life and to be honest wouldn't change that as they are now a part, a very important part of my identity. A friend once said to me when I mused about giving up smoking,
'You.....??? You without fags??? That's like the Pope not having religion!'
That sentiment is how I feel about my hearing aides, I'm not 'me' without them!
I was very happy with myself, my life, my friends, my family etc... Don't get me wrong there were things and times where I wasn't entirely happy, but I was in general.
And then......... And then.......... Then my life changed. I'd been away for a few months working, came home and my Mum kept wittering on at me about me walking into things, treading on the cat, not seeing things that were obviously there. I'd never for as long as I can remember, been able to see in the dark, but I thought that was just normal, it's dark right??? Who can see in the dark!
It was a winters evening and so had got properly dark by 5pm, I decided I was going to pop round to see my Nana, she only lived a few minutes away and I had NEVER had any problems going up there before! Plus I knew the way like the back of my hand, or so I thought.....
I walked just a few hundred yards up the road when suddenly I felt a massive crashing feeling in my face, I was stunned. I put my hands forwards and felt the huge body of a tree in front of me. I had just walked slap bang into a big tree in my road. I felt my face and it felt wet, I was at this point still stunned and couldn't work out what it was. I got my phone out that had a little built in torch and turned it on, looked at my hands and saw blood. I thought to myself,
'How on earth did I not see that f*cking huge tree????? Everyone passing me must think I'm drunk!!!!! I'm so embarrassed. Why wont anyone stop and ask me if I'm ok???'
I did actually carry on to my Nana's, (shock I think!) Thankfully though I came to and turned round and went straight back home. I know that if I had turned up at my poor Nana's house with a bloody nose she would have likely have had a heart attack!
So I went home, cleaned up my face and waited for my Mum to come home. It was hours later, (she was on a course at the time), and as soon as she walked through the door I burst into tears.
'Muuuuuuum Iwalkedintoatreeandithuuuuurtandnoone helpedmeeeeeee!' *sobs* and *wails*
She did what Mums do best, gave me a cuddle, told me it was all alright, that my face really didn't look that bad, fed me, ran me a bath and sent me to bed.
The next morning I felt silly, but told myself it was just one of those things, doesn't happen to most people, but I'm ALWAYS getting into some scrape or another, just something else to chalk up to experience! My Mum however had other ideas. She demanded I go to the Doctor and get myself checked out..... And she demanded this for a few days, in the end I did, more to shut her up than anything else!
The Doctor sent me to the high street optician's to have a test, with the instructions to come back with a letter if there were any abnormalities.
There were abnormalities and I was sent to an eye specialist, who did LOTS of tests, and who at the end of it all said,
'You have Usher Syndrome Type 2, one day you will go blind, we're going to refer you to the Western Eye Hospital as that's where the leading eye man is'
I stared at him in disbelief.......
'Thanks for your time,' shook his hand and walked out. I don't remember, but apparently we waited a little longer to get the details from reception about the next steps and then my Mum lead me to the car. (For the tests, you have really strong eye drops that make your vision all blurry)
Once at home, after my Mum had gone back to work with me assuring her that I was absolutely fine..... I burst into tears.
That's all for now folks, the start of my 'story', the trails and tribulations of a deaf/blind bint..... Some of it will be dull, some of it will be interesting, some of it might be a bit depressing, some of it might even make you chuckle a bit. But it will all be absolutely true.....