No one ever told me about the realities of having to live with a disability.
My poor eyesight was a joke my friends and I spent hours laughing about. We would often debate whether I was near-sighted or long sighted, with everyone enthusiastically telling anyone who would listen that I essentially couldn’t see a thing. In hindsight, I had learnt to laugh through the pain.
Losing my sight wasn’t instant, I gradually lost my ability to see. I remember points in my childhood when I couldn’t bear to watch TV under the light, which meant spending a lot of time in my room sitting in the darkness alone. My family often called it being anti-social.
To normal people it’s just a light, to me it’s like you're pushing a flood gate of pain straight to my brain, and then come the headaches. It wasn’t until late 2019, at 23, that I learnt that this was an early symptom of a bigger problem called keratoconus and the reality of being blind started to sink in.
Keratoconus is a bilateral (both eyes) degenerative condition of the cornea. Symptoms may include blurred vision and seeing multiple images, glare, halos, or light sensitivity (photophobia). People with keratoconus typically begin to exhibit symptoms in their teens, and the disease gradually progresses over time.