Friday, 5 August 2011

MOM NEEDED DOUGLAS ADAMS' "DON'T PANIC!" TOWELS.

As I wrote in the previous post, Mom was easily alarmed by emergencies. Her hysterical nature caused me to hide whatever was wrong with me. I somehow believed I would get blamed for my malady. This could have been dangerous if I had some sort of fatal illness that came on gradually. Glaucoma, though not lethal, damages the optic nerve without the sufferer being aware of it. Had Mom taken me to an ophthalmologist in 1966 when I first started seeing rainbows around lights, my vision might be better today.

In Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I wrote about the time I innocently mentioned a temporary condition with my vision that caused Mom to panic.

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One evening a strange thing happened to my sight. I began seeing rainbow halos around the mercury vapour lights above the pool and my vision appeared foggy. Fear that it would remain that way seized me. Fortunately, the condition cleared up after I left the pool. I did not dare tell Mom about it as she became hysterical in times past regarding any sort of medical problem.

I recalled what happened a few years previously when we were all eating dinner. A white mist slid across my right eye. I blinked it away, fearing it might not go. "Hey, my eye's going funny," I announced to the family.

"Huh! What! What do you mean?" Mom demanded. The entire world came to a halt as everybody stared at me and I felt so frightened of her panic that I said nothing.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Click here to read more about this compelling story. You may also e-mail me directly if the comment form doesn't work.