Copyright © 2012 Alyne VanWinkle
sucks. So does walking into an eye doctors off for the first time in you life
only to be told you have a problem, not even glasses can fix…
Vander; I am a well-known artist. When I was 30 years old I was diagnosed with Retinitis
Pigmentosa, an eye disease that first steals your night vision, then you
peripheral vision and then takes away all your sight.
eyesight was the hardest journey I had to go through. I knew it was going to be
tough, as I was an artist and have a passion and love for painting. I nearly
fainted when the doctors told me I never was going to see again. There was not
cure, no operation, no nothing. I just had to accept the fact I was going to be
blind…I was terrified.
On my way
home from the doctors I remember I was crying thinking why me? As soon as I
arrived home I walked straight to my studio and destroyed all my paintings and
sketches. Why look at things I wont be able to do anymore? Honestly, I don’t
know why I did that; all I knew was that I was angry. I stopped immediately in
silence and sat on as stool in disbelief of what I had done. My eyes began to
sting and tears rolled down my cheeks.
few days the first sign had already occurred, my night vision was gone. When I was going to the bathroom, in the
middle of the night, I kept running into everything! I couldn’t even see the
outline of objects. The light switch was even difficult to find, but I
eventually found it. Lying back down in
my bed, I realized I should be moving forward and not be dwelling on what’s
going to happen in the near future.
morning I decide to try something. Since I was going blind within a month, why
not practice to draw now? I reluctantly wrapped a cloth around my eyes and
began to draw. This was tremendously difficult, as I didn’t know where the
paper and paint was. It was extremely
hard to stop myself from peeking. I just wanted the paintings to look perfect!
Days and nights, weeks and weeks I worked on painting blind folded and in the
dark. Eventually, I got use to it but I still wanted my painting to be just
so. As I was on a stroll one day I had a
great realization! I shouldn’t focus on all the flaws in my drawings; I needed
to let my hand and mind go free.
went by quickly, my night vision was gone as well as my peripheral vision.
Everyday got worse; little by little my seeing was gone. On my last doctors
appointment they told me my sight will gone within days. I was devastated.
Those last days I cherish more than anything in the world.
were right my disease had taken over… I was blind. I remember waking up in the
morning seeing nothing but black. I walked around the house in memorization and
feel. All day I sat on my couch, my thoughts getting more and more
tangled. All I knew was that I needed to
keep moving forward and embrace my new way of life.
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