When I was diagnosed with RP eight years ago, I chose the path that I felt would keep me safe: denial and hiding.
I was scared that people would discriminate against me if they knew I was losing my eyesight. And I was petrified of showing the world that I was vulnerable. But after six years of living in the closet, I finally realized that talking openly about my degenerative eye disease was empowering and educational. I realized that if I was okay with who I was, other people would be too. And if not, so what?
FOCUS, which just launched as a eBook on Amazon (KOBO and BN.com coming in the next few days – paperback mid-November), is about my journey with RP. It’s about my shock of walking into the eye doctor’s office for the first time in my life at age 37 expecting to walk out with a cute pair of red cat-eye frames–only to learn I suffered from an incurable degenerative eye disease and are already legally blind.
FOCUS delves into my crippling fear of not being able to see my two young daughters grow up, of becoming a burden to my husband, of losing the career I love, and of being robbed of the independence that defines me.
Ultimately, FOCUS is about my quest to fix my eyes that ends up fixing my life. Through an eight-year journey marked by a trip to South Africa to write about AIDS orphans, a four-day visit with a doctor who focuses on whole-body health, a relationship-changing confrontation with my husband and a life-changing lesson from my daughters, I learn to embrace the moment and see what counts in life–something no amount of vision loss can take from me.
More than anything, my journey has taught me that I’m not alone. Though you may not know it by looking at them, so many people are facing serious issues in their life. What I’ve learned is that none of us are immune to disease and death, that life can change in an instant, and that all we have for sure is NOW. So we better make now count.