I temporarily lost the ability to see. At one point, after surgery to cure epilepsy, I was nearly blind. I had lost most of my sight. I saw a picture hanging in my hospital room only through the descriptive words of a hospital volunteer. In an effort to help keep the patients comfortable, volunteers would switch pictures around to different rooms for patients staying an extended period of time. I explained to a kind lady that I would not get bored because I no longer had the ability to see what was held within the frame. She sat on the edge of my bed and provided me with an extended description of a photo my mind could paint. I never grew bored with thinking of that picture. Her kindness filled a void the darkness of missing sight had created.
For a short time, I also lost the desire to want to hear. Because of the recent memories of a loud retractor snapping within my skull, loud sounds created an extreme discomfort. However, I learned that when the loud sounds of the world are shut off, you can hear so much in just paying attention to the way a person shifts or in the hesitation a person’s body exhibits as they walk into a room. In losing my ability to want to hear, I was extremely fortunate in gaining a unique ability to listen. I wish everyone could learn this skill.
I lost the ability to feel with the left side of my body. In slowly regaining the ability to judge temperatures with my left hand, I more than once burnt myself. When you cannot automatically see the left side of your body and lack the ability to distinguish whether the touch lands on a hot stove or a cold countertop, the kitchen can carry unrecognized dangers. The sense of touch is still slightly decreased on my left side, the side affected by my stroke, yet I try often to rub my fingertips on denim or cotton in an attempt to see if I can again guess correctly. With the right hand, I relish in walking through stores and rubbing fabrics. I feel like a child out on an adventure of a great learning experience. I am half aware of what it is like to feel normal sensations. Through the right side, I try to absorb everything that the left may be lacking.
Everyone has lost something important to them at one time or another. Every person falters and feels lost when they recognize this special something is missing. It becomes important then to not dwell on what we lack, rather realize the strengths that develop. I am glad that I came to my senses. I am glad to realize that even though you may not have sight, does not mean that you cannot have a vision. Even though seizures stole my body at night, I still had the strength of the day. Even though half of my body was weak and paralyzed, I was still able to lead an intense version of the “Hokey Pokey”. After all, I excelled with putting the right side out and shaking it all about. Remember we all lose something at times; however, when that loss has cleared away, what is remaining may turn into our newest prized possessions.