Updated: Nov 15, 2022
Where are you from?
Northern California, from Sacramento to Humboldt County. Living in Sacramento, CA. currently
Tell me about yourself:
I am a stay-at-home dog mom. I run a small business, Stone Blind Studio, from my kitchen. I am passionate about dog rescue, specifically Bully breeds. I enjoy Motown and blues music, anything and everything creative, like sculpting, painting, upcycling, and DIY home improvement (our home is constantly under some sort of construction). Though I don’t have kids of my own, I have two nephews and a niece and have experienced a parent’s love through them.
What's your EYE story?
I was diagnosed with T1D (Type 1 diabetes) when I was almost nine years old. 20 plus years of T1D was showing through my eyes. I went to see a Neurologist after I suffered a seizure and the moment he did the eye exam he sent me downstairs to an Ophthalmologist; he was seeing major hemorrhaging in both eyes. I had 14 treatments of laser photocoagulation in both eyes, Avastin injections, steroid injections, four vitrectomies with silicone, air bubbles, face-down recovery, a postoperative air-fluid exchange, lensectomy, trabeculoplasty, and iridotomy.
What has been the most challenging thing mentally?
I rely heavily on my husband for everything, and it took me a long time to be ok with constantly asking him for help. I still feel guilty about the weight it puts on his shoulders, for he is my sole caretaker, and it has been overwhelmingly just him and I through this whole process.
What has been the most challenging thing physically?
Relearning how to drive with double-vision at first, and then again when I went completely blind in my right eye. It took about four years for me to be comfortable enough to hold a conversation or turn the radio on while I drove. I have a driver’s license still, but I have to take a behind-the-wheel test every two years, and I never drive at night.
Where are you now in your recovery?
My left eye is stable. It has lost some of its peripheral vision, color vision, all depth perception, and I sometimes have trouble interpreting what I am seeing. It also has glaucoma that I manage with drops. My right eye, on the other hand, is necrotizing. The retina detached for the fourth time, and the doctors have declared it inoperable. It has atrophied, shrunk, and has no pressure in it. It is incredibly painful without steroids from Painful Blind Eye Syndrome. Once the steroids stop working, we will move on to enucleation.