What better way to end the school year (for those of you who have forgotten or just don’t know who I am, I’m a teacher) than with an eye operation: an enucleation.
Home buying is never easy. The wave of requirements sweeps over you as you take your first tentative steps and begin your search for the ideal home. It’s got to be a certain size, with decently proportioned bedrooms, not next to each other, and an open-plan kitchen, or a separate one. It must have a garden or a roof terrace, be modern or period, with two bathrooms, maybe. Location, location, location! That’s what they keep saying. And it’s true. So it’s got to be near the shops and the station and where you work. Add to that, the lighting. The lighting’s got to be good or you’ll need to get it done, but it’s so much easier if it’s already done for you.
Moving into a new flat and starting a new job is always stressful, and being partially sighted just constitutes another one, of many, reasons to stress. The point I'm trying to make is that it's perfectly normal to stress out about your impairment or disability when making a change in your life, but that's no reason not to make the change.
As I started out this blogging journey filled with the excitement of my fantastic trip round East Asia and Nepal and how it was just the tonic to restore independence and optimism to an inhibited and uncertain soul, lacking in self-confidence. But with the New Year came the reality of a more normal daily life and, with it, the potentially daunting reintegration into working life. I was going to have to face up to some harsh realities and subject my newly rediscovered confidence to a more rigorous test than any of those I had encountered on my wondrous holiday.
I met many people, and most of them were genuinely interested in meeting me and finding out about what it is like to be a visually impaired traveller and I was more than happy to relate my story to them because it was a rare and unique one that would broaden their experience and understanding, not out of any need to explain or justify myself, but simply because understanding is the key for all of us. And it was also fantastically pleasing that the telling of this tale didn't serve to define me in any way, in my eyes or theirs.
The decision to travel solo, to spend three months in Nepal on my own, did not come easy, but I knew I had to do it. I'd be able to fully test the limits of where my vision lay, of what I could and couldn't do. It would also clear up all the psychological clutter of how I defined and represented myself to other people, of how they should understand my visual impairment and whether I was making too much of an issue out of it.
Hi. My name is Shezan Hirjee. If you read Sandi Wassmer's blog, you may recall that I have Glaucoma and after a year of unsuccessful operations, I finally had success and got a healthy amount of my vision back so I decided to chuck in my job and go trekking in Nepal for three months. When I returned and told Sandi all about my experiences, her immediate reaction was to ask me to write about it, so here I am. But, before I went, I did have a few concerns...