Social media handles:
On Facebook-Bruce Allen. On Instagram-Frankballen
Where am I from and live in:
A bit about myself:
I am married, 40 years and counting, with two grown and married daughters, and three granddaughters. I am by profession a retired United Methodist minister
My eye story:
I woke up on the morning of July 10, 2019, with the realization that the vision in my right eye had gone from 20/20 with glasses on the day before, to the point that I could not see fingers five feet in front of me with glasses on. An ophthalmologist told me that he suspected it was one of two things: either a retinal occlusion or a tumor behind my eye. Ten days and many tests and procedures later, it was determined that I had suffered a retinal occlusion.
What has been the most challenging thing mentally?
Actually, I would prefer the word “emotionally” to “mentally”. This may sound odd, but I feel like I am stuck in no man’s land when it comes to being monocular. My vision is not completely gone in my right eye. I may have only 20% of the light registering on my retina as I do on my left eye, but that 20% gives me great blurriness on the right side, as well as double vision. When I put my patch on, my vision is 20/20 with glasses on my left side, but I obviously cannot see anything, shadow or movement, on my right side. My eye looks perfectly normal, but it only causes frustration.
What has been the most challenging thing physically?
I have no depth perception. I was an avid juggler (it was a hobby, not a profession) but I had to give that up. I find myself looking down when I am walking somewhere new, and when I am handed something, I
have to reach for it with both hands because
I cannot tell where it is in space.
Where am I in my recovery?
I am handling this new normal well. However, recently I was told by my ophthalmologist that I have a cataract on my good eye, so we will see how that goes.
What piece of advice would I give to someone going through their eye impairment journey?
Don’t be too hard on yourself. This is the new normal. Life will not be like it was before, but it still can be full and wonderful, just different. Secondly, if you have to wear a patch or something, I can tell you that it is rare when someone asks to be about it. On occasion, children will ask or point, but a sense of humor will go a long way in making the situation less awkward.
Who is my eye surgeon and ocularist?
I would rather not give his name without his permission.
How did I find EYEHESIVE?
Two days ago, I learned about Shelby and her site, and I found it on Instagram.