On September 14th, 2007, I was heading home after a trade show. I stopped at a rest stop in Virginia to use the bathroom. It was early evening and raining very hard. Alone in the bathroom, I was attacked by a crazy attendant. She sprayed me in the face with a disinfectant. I have endured 3 years of multiple eye problems and will live the rest of my life seeing the world through blurry eyes. If you look at me, I will smile at you but inside I am crying because I am so frustrated.
Every morning I wake up and struggle to see. I keep the lights off and the blinds closed because any change of light causes my vision to become even more blurry. I rotate between three pairs of glasses. If I step outside during the day, I have to have my darkest sunglasses glasses on. If I go into a building with florescent lighting, I have to switch to my medium dark glasses so that I can see. My transitional glasses have become useless to me except in the house. (They don’t darken in the car or in artificial light.) Some days, I feel like I am drowning in my own self pity.
I am naturally a social person but since the attack I avoid most social situations. I am tired of walking around in a blur not able to see people unless they are standing under my nose. My eyes have always been one of my greatest means of expression…Hiding behind dark shades sends a signal out that I am not interested in communicating. Nothing could be further from the truth.
I write comedy and find laughter very therapeutic. I wrote several humorous columns about coping with my vision problems. I am normally a half filled glass type of person. I thought to myself many times after the attack, “The crazy attendant could have stabbed me or shot me. I’m so lucky to be alive!”
However, the reality is…I have some really bad days. If I didn’t have my writing, I think I would go crazy. I feel locked up in a prison and I am screaming to get out.
Only there is no sound coming out of my mouth.