I feel lucky that the older I get the more clearly I understand what I want and need out of life. God willing, understanding that now will afford me a longer time to more fully enjoy life. Sadly, just like most people, it has taken some hard reminders from life that we have to pause and appreciate those things which truly matter and just let everything else go.
At the end of August will be the five year anniversary of when the vision in my left eye completely clouded over – it was a Wednesday. It will be the five year anniversary of being told that I have diabetic retinopathy and everything else out of the doctor’s mouth turned into womp womp blah blah slide trombone. It marked the first time in my life I can genuinely say I was bitter about being a diabetic and honestly perhaps the first time in my life I was truly afraid. My ears heard “you are going to go blind”.
The week after the diagnosis we had a trip to France planned. It would be my first time there and my husband’s first time out of the country. Talk about raining on the parade.
A temporary intervention by a retina specialist allowed us to make the trip as planned. On one of our first days in Paris we walked to Musée d’Orsay. I will never forget standing out front, looking across the Pont Royal bridge and being able to read the street signs. Probably never again will I be so grateful for being able to read a street sign. Less than a week prior I couldn’t see out of my left eye. It was all I could do not to burst into tears.
Retinopathy cannot be cured. I have permanent distortion to the vision in my left eye (floaters). Exactly one year later the right eye progressed as well – that’s just how the disease works…very equal opportunity. I’ve got around 1200 holes burned in each retina. Google that. And yeah, it hurts. It hurts way more than they tell you it will. But… I can see. Everything is being managed. The doctor is always “pleased”. It’s like being a little kid and getting a smiley sticker on your spelling test.
While I always liked to travel, it is a need now. I need to collect the experiences, the views, the memories because right now I can. I cannot make the mistake of taking for granted that I will always be able to.
This year is going to be adding to that list of vistas in grand fashion:
- EU three times (Germany and two TBD)
- Asia probably two times
- Latin America probably twice
Everything in between Alaska and Atlanta is graciously due to travel for work, but gives me the opportunity to add on extra time in these places to enjoy.
The plus side for you my friends is that this means I’ll have plenty of good fuel for blog posts. 🙂 Always a silver lining to everything, right? Find something beautiful to look at and take in today.