Tuesday, 6 May 2014

A Different Way of Looking at Things

I'm having an eye operation tomorrow. It's not very exciting  the hope is that it will stop a condition I have, keratoconus, from getting worse. They shine a light in my eye for 10 minutes to strengthen the cornea, which is getting increasingly cone-shaped. I will be under general anaesthetic, since my anxiety might prevent me from staying still throughout the operation. I'm a little bit terrified.

I know that the likelihood of something going wrong is small, but I could end up blind in my left eye. I've had general anaesthesia before, many years ago, but that doesn't mean I won't have a bad reaction this time. It throws everything into perspective.

More than anything, it reminds me of how much I want to achieve my goals. 

The thought that I could die tomorrow (improbable as it is) makes me feel annoyed. I've only just begun getting my life back on track! My 30th birthday is in 2 weeks! I want to go to my friend's wedding in June!

Not so long ago, when I was very depressed all the time, the idea of death was a relief. I wanted to die. But now, I want to give life a chance. I want to see if I can earn a living through writing, get super-fit, speak Italian fluently, go skydiving... I don't have a zest for life as such, but I definitely have the motivation to live.

I understand that this sounds strange to anyone who has never experienced mental illness, but it's a huge departure from what I thought of for many years as 'the norm'. Even the enforced downtime as I recover from the operation is frustrating: I can't run for a week and when I do, I have to wear a sweatband so sweat doesn't go in my eye. I don't know how long it will be until I can read and write for long periods of time. The courses I'm doing will be put on hold.

I hadn't realised I was so invested in all of these things. It makes me more determined to achieve my goals. Wish me luck  for the eye op and beyond!


  1. Wishing you all the very best for the operation, Hayley, and I'm sure it will go smoothly. You will be fighting fit before you know it and even more motivated to reach your goals. If you can't read for long periods while you;re recovering, you could invest in plenty of audio-books to see you through and maybe dictate notes for your writing so you can still feel productive.
    Look after yourself and best of luck. xxx

  2. I wish you all the luck in the world, Hayley, for a very quick recovery. It's great to hear about all the things you want to achieve and having that attitude is half the battle. Joanna's idea of audio books is good!

  3. Good Luck Hayley, you'll be fine. And looking forward to hearing more of your wonderful journey.

  4. Thank you all for your kind comments. The operation went well and I now have lots of eyedrops to administer every day. The eye is sore and the general anaesthetic has left my throat dry and my head aching, but I feel much better than I did yesterday! :-) xxx