I was not going to post today but something happened today to remind me of my Keratoconus. This is not a topic I address too frequently because I don’t like to be defined by my disorder. But sometimes it gets very frustrating.
As per normal I hurried to catch my morning train. I use an electronic card (called an Opal card) to pay my train fare and I keep the card in my Samsung Phone case. Hence I can just swipe the phone over the reader at the station’s entrance as I rush on in.
So I did that, leapt onto a train, and found myself a seat where I unshouldered (is that a word?) my backpack and placed it on the seat beside me.
Hey! Where’s my mobile phone?
Somehow between swiping my train fare and placing my backpack next to me I had misplaced my phone.
So I checked my pockets.
Checked my backpack.
Looked around my seat.
My heart began to race. That was an expensive phone.
So I checked all three a second time.
By this time I realised that I had less than ten minutes before the train hit Hurstville where a crowd of people would board and make searching impossible. So I stood up and looked around the carriage floor. Other passengers gave me passing glances.
Next I got down onto my knees and peered under my seat and nearby seats. This caused intently concerned looks. Perhaps they thought I was a deranged man seeking a lost battle axe, because their looks in my direction conveyed something like that.
I stood, and addressed the carriage. “I have lost my phone somewhere here.”
Had I expected instant smiles and offers of help then I would have been sorely disappointed. Luckily I did not expect this. Instead I just kept receiving uncomfortable glances.
So I fiddled with the seat mechanism (it was one of those that rolls over). I thought I saw something. So I went and peered down the side of the seat, a place that I had checked numerous times by now.
Now this is where the Keratoconus comes in. Truth be told, my eyesight is bloody awful. But I am really good at guessing. Most reading that I do is guesswork, and this is only obvious when I read out aloud – and even then I am pretty good at fooling most people.
I felt that the phone was there – between the seat and the train carriage wall. I had a plain view of the space involved. But one of my two arch-nemeses was there – shadows (the other is light sources). Shadows tend to seem solid to me with my vision. I guess this should be scary (especially since I do drive during daytime), but I am used to it after a lifetime and so it is merely frustrating. Now because shadows look solid, I sometimes don’t realise that they are there – I think I see something solid. Anyway I reached down through a “solid” piece of the train seat and grabbed the phone that just had to be there.
It was a great relief, but I damned well hate my eyes at times.
There, that’s off my chest.
Thanks for reading :)
BTW – for those that don’t know, Keratoconus is a disorder of the eyes where the corneas are conical (they bulge out) rather than hemispherical. They also tend to gather stigmatisms. Generally this means seeing multiple instances of the same object, many of which overlap and many of which have various distortions and degrees of opacity. At my best (after my 1991 cornea transplant and before my eye corruption in 2013) I only saw three of everything, with two of these being quite distorted. Currently I see many instances of objects (not sure of the number – like counting fish in a school) but they are tightly packed. The distortion has not been overly bad since the Troughton Wedge operation but I struggle maintaining focus and end each day feeling tired and with a head ache. I don’t know whether other sufferers struggle with shadows like I do, though I hear most complaining about light sources.
PS: today’s featured image is one of my photos of the Southern Highlands south-east of Sydney