Going blind has always been one of my greatest fears. A few weeks ago when my eye doctor told me that I had cataracts, I had to face this possibility. Since I have Addison’s disease, the normally simple surgery would be more complicated and risky.
(I have low adrenal function- see my blog http://livingwithaddisondisease.blogspot.com/ for more information). It was possible that it might not be successful and that I might end up without any lens in my eye and would have to wear thick glasses to see or even be blind. Also, there could be allergic reactions and a very slow miserable recovery period.
The news that I would definitely go blind if I did not have the surgery and that there could be problems if I did have the surgery, frightened me. I prayed for help and peace, but that night when my husband turned off the light, I burst into tears sobbing that I didn’t want to be always in the dark.
Facing the Worse Case Scenario
I did a lot of thinking and praying the next few days. I knew I needed perspective fast. I needed to face the “worse case scenario” and see if I could handle it. I asked myself what really makes me happy. The answer is simple – close relationships; with God, my family, and friends. Couldn’t I have these relationships even if I was blind? Of course! I even checked online and learned that technology can enable blind people to answer email. That made me feel much better. Since my health prevents me from going into most buildings and homes, I depend on email to keep in touch with people. I also had to remind myself that I don’t need sight to use a telephone.
I also found that there are audio books and places online where people will read to me. I began listening to the scriptures on lds.org. They also had manuals and magazines that I can listen to. (https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bible?lang=eng and https://www.lds.org/ensign?lang=eng ) I had been so dependent on sight that I hadn’t thought about listening instead of always reading. I’m enjoying listening to the inspiring thoughts while I do other things, and I’m getting more done!
My husband started to read fun children’s stories to me like he did when our children were home. It has brought back precious memories. I forgot how much I enjoyed listening to my husband read. It is like a bit of sparkle has returned to our lives as we laugh together. I feel more unity as we share these stories and wonder how we let our lives become so busy that we no longer had time for this small pleasure.
What brings happiness?
As I began to be reassured that I would not be isolated from people, I also realized that I did not need eyes to do meaningful activity. I might need to answer people’s questions about lds.org on the phone instead of by email, but I could still serve. I also could still learn new ideas, and experience the world around me. As I accepted that I could still love and be loved; still feel connected to people; still continue serving others; still enjoy a picnic or walk in the canyon with my husband; and still learn, write, and think, I began to realize that I could still be happy even if I could not see.
I feel peace now that I know that eyes are not essential for happiness. It is the Spirit of God which gives joy, and peace to my life and will fill me with light. I know that happiness is not dependent on what you have, but on what you can give, and I can always give. This is what the Lord’s commandants are about; helping us learn to love others and be happy.
Also, since our lives continue forever, this is only a small moment of my life. I have lived before I came to earth and I will continue to live afterward. It is comforting to know that the limitations I have here on earth will not be in heaven. Even if I lose my sight, it will only be for a short time, then in the resurrection I will be made whole.
We are doing allergy testing and it is looking hopeful that I can have successful surgery, but no matter what happens, I know I can be happy.
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for more about Addison's disease and low Adrenal function go to
see http://sherryannestories.blogspot.com/ Topics - Adversity
I Could Still Grateful for the Rain