Friday, December 21, 2012

April 2012 - First time for everything?

Apart from the whole re-adjusting to work life there was also the part of re-adjusting to “general life”

As mentioned I started a bit of exercise by joining a rowing club.
But there was also the going into shops again, going to pubs n restaurant and clubs again… well, that went with its ups and downs as-well.

The going to shops itself was fine, I saw properly again, so no need for panic attacks, but I did notice I sort of had to get used to bigger crowds… oh well…  

I ended up spending the Easter Weekend at my mates "Stag Do" In Scotland, and started to notice some adjustment issues…

·        Restaurant menus are pain, mainly due to poor lightning in the restaurant itself I guess..
·        Alcohol dehydrates, and that has an effect on my eyes and cause irritation on dry eyes, and hard lenses, so if I want to drink I need to use loads of eye drops to counter act the irritation, or just drink so much I don’t notice the irritation (-:
·        Walking from a fully lit area into a darkened area, like a cinema screen is very dis-orientation, as previously my eyes would easily adjust to the darkness, but now it takes so long, I need to stand still to avoid me stepping somewhere that could make me trip.
·        Visiting a Night Club is pretty interesting as-well… Dark… loads of moving lights, and steps left right and centre…. Might need to wait a while before I go and revisit any clubs… 
·        Too much time in a Sainsbury or Asda and the overhead lightning just gives me eyestrain and head ache…

All in all, not major issue, but interesting to know, and it got me in a frame of mind, that in theory I’m going through a lot of “First Time” Experiences again, things that I had taken for granted, might now need a different approach or if anything a more careful approach.

Not a bad thing…

Thursday, December 20, 2012

April 2012 - Last option

For weeks I had been trying to re-integrate into a working situation, and it just wasn’t going as had hoped..
My eyes couldn't sustain a days work, and it was just dragging, my hopes were set on these “Specs” that were ordered and should arrive anytime now… 

I had arranged for them to be sent to my place of work straight away, so I could just get it over and done with, this was either going to help me and enable me to work normally, or, it wasn’t and then we would seriously need to look at a career change or worse…
Subconsciously I think I was definitely making this a “moment” and the tension was building up… until it arrived… and I tried them on……..

Ten minutes later I looked over to my colleague and said, we’ve got 2 options here, you either give me one of your cigarettes or I’m going to start crying here on the spot….

A cigarette it was… and I was ecstatic. It seems to do the trick, I didn't have to squint anymore, the screen didn't glare, it was all in focus…. Of course, these were early indications, but man… I was f-in happy for sure….

April 2012 - Row Row Row your boat…

After having piled on the weight during the previous months, and just in general not been in shape at all, I figured I would really need to do something involving exercise…

But what? I mean, you could lose the contacts right? And then well, there be some fun to be had…

I had been checking a bit with people on the KC Facebook page to see what kind of sports the where able to do, but it did come down to being careful not to knock the lenses out for sure...

I’ve never been very sporty in the first place.
Don’t get me wrong, over the years there has been football (soccer), Taekwondo, a bit of swimming  and several Health club memberships, but it never was a constant factor as such…  but I was well aware that this time I really had to change things, as yes, this whole thing had brought me down, but maybe, just maybe I had been just that little bit fitter or healthier, I might have been able to cope with it all a bit better… then again, that might be just something I was telling myself…

The core of it was that I wasn’t healthy, and I should make sure I was, as I did never want to go back “there”

Before I went on sick-leave, I had slowly started training for a 4 day walking event in Holland were you walk 50km a day for 4 days, and I had figured that would be a good thing for me to start working on getting healthier, as I already then had realised that I was heading in the wrong way, but unfortunately I had to cut that short, as I literally almost walked into the River Thames…

And thinking back to that, I had an idea… Rowing!!!!! I had seen quite some rowing crews along the Thames during my walks there, and had thought about joining a rowing club before but was sort of held back with the potential “old boys club” idea it might just bring with it…
When I started mulling it over, I figured that theoretically I wouldn’t need my eyes in the first place.. (not completely true of course, but still…) and it would be a great way of building stamina and overall physical fitness… So I started looking around and found that the area I was moving to actually had a new rowing club near it, a club that only had started the year before and consisted of a couple of massive rowing enthusiast that just did it for the love of the sport and wanted to bring something together, and that sounded good to me..   

Having explained my issue and thoughts to one of the founders, I found myself attending one of the taster sessions and found myself hooked…. This was gonna be fun…

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

April 2012 - Its not working

I’d been back at work now for a week or 2, and started to get anxious as it wasn’t really going the way I had hoped…

Part of my job is that I have to train people using our software package , and that involved looking over peoples shoulders in a class room situation, looking at what they are doing, and to see f they are going the right way or not, and if needs be correct them and show them the right way… well, that was one thing that definitely wasn’t working the right way, I couldn’t see shit on the screen it was too far away….  Bummer…
My other tasks were pretty do-able, but I could only do half days, as by the time id hit 3pm, my eyes were sore and teary, and I ended squinting more and more…
Not good….
What now? What if I can’t work the way I used to, what then?
Of course, work would have to make reasonable adjustments etc, but still… its more than expecting Work to adapt to you.. maybe I’m not being able to tackle KC as  much as I though i could… Wow.. and I was in such a good place for a while, and now this was sooooo dragging me down..
My first port of call was my optometrist, and explained the dilemma.. .and she was so cool and collected about it, that I put my mind at rest for a bit… she said, “come in for a test where we will try and fit you with Glasses to use on Top of your contacts….”
Which I did, and it looked like we had found a balance in the testing environment, however it was made clear enough, that this was a last resort and if it didn’t work, well, then we had something else to think about..
And that other thing to think about, really got to me, what if I can’t work as I supposed to, my right eye is close to being legally blind, what if I have to going on disability benefits, what if? Would I be better off moving back to Holland and bug my parents? What if?  What if?
One of the calls I made was also to an old friend who works in HR and I battered her with question after question, and very patiently answered all the questions that bothered me, and then said, but… shall we wait first and see what the glasses do?
She was right…. What will the glasses do?

April 2012 - Going back to work

I had already been experimenting with Laptop screen set-ups, and app called Eye-leo

This reminds you every 15mins or so to avert your eyes from the screen, and tells you every so often to have a proper 5 minute break 

And an app called F.lux which reduces glare on the screen…

I also played around with the Windows functionality to change to inverted colours so that the glare hurted my eyes less.

As although I could sort of see things much better now, there is still the issue of over sensitivity to light that needs tackled, and well, in an office space and looking at a computer screen for 80% of the working day is not the best things then….

My GP and my Lens fitter had said to take it easy, from both a mental and an Eye perspective, their advice had been to do half days to start off with and just build up….

The first day went ok, it was only a couple of hours and involved a lot of catching up in a way… but wow, it was pretty tiring, both physically and mentally .. but I got through it and over the days to follow I could stretch it more and more, this involved many breaks, and a lot of use of Eye Drops, but it worked….

It’s a start.

Monday, December 17, 2012

April 2012 - Lost it

FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s the night before returning to work after an 8th month absence, and I’ve just lost one of my lenses…..
What now, what if i cant find it, I cant go to work, can I?

I was taking them out, and one fell… and I can’t freaking find it… to say I’m stressed out is putting it mildly…

I had taken all the safety measure, in an area with loads of light, bathroom, stopper over the drain so it can’t go in there, etc etc… but its gone….

For about 15 minutes I attempt finding it myself, until I just have to give in and wake my housemate….
And surprise surprise, another 15/20minutes spent and we still can’t find it…

Until....she suddenly spots it...... on the tip of the bathrooms sinks tap…. Seriously!?!?!?!?!

We had been scouring the floor, any nook and cranny we could possibly come up with to find it on the tip of a tap??  the lens is slightly blue-ish, and this, on a clear silvery surface, can be tricky to find, but still, who would look there?

In any case, it gave me a massive scare, and loads of thinking time about making sure I would have another spare set of lenses in the first place, just in-case something would go wrong, but to spent another £500 just in case I would do something stupid??… well….. if you know me, u probably would’ve told me I probably should’ve….

Ok, I’ll think about it.. For now.. back to work in the morning (-:

The Gift of Vision

Just back from my Trip to Bali and can only say the following…


A year ago I was convinced I’d be home-bound for the rest of my life, due to being depressed and not being able to see…. And now, well…. It’s a bit of a different story for sure…

Last year I looked like this 

and saw things like this…

12-months on and I have come to the root of my vision issues, have had a positive change in both personal life and professional life and now look like this, 

and see things like this…

Life is good, I’ve got people in my life all over the world that care about me and who in return I care about a lot as well…  and although I’m sure at times I annoy the shit out of them often enough, they’ll stick with me, and I’ll stick with them…  

I for one, can’t wait to see (pun intended) what the future has in store 

Friday, December 07, 2012

Moving on…

This post is a temporary jump into present day, before continuing to bring you slowly but steadily uptodate the way ive been doing so far.

My last post got me thinking a bit, I had moved.. but what did that really mean?

I had moved out, of a flat I loved, and moved into a new living situation into a fantastic house with a little 3 person family who at that stage didn’t realise we would end up “adopting” each other as part of that little family, which luckily we did… .

Unfortunately I had to move on again only months later for a new challenge that came along my path, with my boss offering me a job role in the Asia-Pacific region, which I just could not say no to, after having spent the previous year struggling with what was wrong with me, I now had a chance to move on from that..

And with all that moving comes meeting new people and leaving others behind, close friends and family in Europe who couldn’t be happier for me, my ex who.. well, I suppose is happy to have gotten rid of me, but still happy things were moving in a positive direction

I have now moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and am looking to settle here for the next couple of years, if not permanently.

With this move I have met, again, more people, and 1 or 2 people that seem to become very good and close friends, people that I hope will be part of my (Malaysian) life  for a long time to come.

And its all this moving that made me think… I had come out of my sickleave pretty positive, we finally knew what was wrong with my eyes, I kicked my bout of depression, but then, my relationship ended.. 4yrs  of being together with a person I loved dearly ended… this could have brought me down crashing back to earth in no time, but its these previously mentioned friends and family that prevented that from happening, and although I was gutted and sad about it, it became a situation of concentrating on all the people that were still in my life, all the love I had felt from them during my bad spell, and was still getting from them, this in itself helped me Move on, and it made me realise that, yeah, maybe being in a relationship is what we all want, but don’t forget to value what’s around you already…the support of my friends and family have made this year a positive one for me and are responsible for me to be able to move on..…  and its only sad that KC is the catalyst for me to finally see that more clearly....(yes, pun intended)

I’m am off to Bali on holiday for a couple of days next week with one of the above mentioned new friends as a well- deserved break and treat to finish off this eventful year for me.  I had also planned to do a bit of hiking with anther of my new friends in Malaysia itself, but unfortunately I had to cancel on that due to work commitments, but am sure we will do so at some point anyway…

I’m mentioning this as initially going on these trips slightly freaked me out, as I’m still trying to identify how my eyes and RGP’s will behave in certain situations.
I still regularly trip and stumble due to some irregular depth perception issues… how would that go during a proper hike? or even walking  along a beach or something?.. .on my own it could be potential comedy, but because of friends its just another step in moving on….

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

March 2012 -The Move

The day of the move had come, a couple days before cautiously going back to work….and it was scary….

I had to drive a long distance (London Heathrow Area - Nottingham ) since the first time I was allowed to drive again, on top of that I didn't have a clue what the car was going to do, it had been standing on the side of the road for many months so it could be forgiven for playing up.

As I was moving into a fully furnished situation it was only going to be 2 car loads of things. 
Its amazing that after having moved the probably 15/16 times in the last 13yrs, I still had soooo much shit to drag with me.

The idea had been to move in two parts, from an eye & drive safety perspective, and it wouldn’t be a bad thing to start unpacking half when I’m there already..

Well, the driving went well, but none of the unpacking happened, as on arrival I got welcomed by my new housemate with a bottle of wine and dinner, so guess that had to happen the next time when I came back with the rest.

Two days later I brought over the rest, and I had noticed a few things…

My eyes were OK with Driving, 
The car was fine, 
and I was a wreck….

To be honest I never had been the most fittest of persons, but this sitting at home business and my light bout of depression, had made me balloon to 125kg and that wasn't good, (at time of Writing, I can luckily say I have been able to loose 30kg of that already and am hoping to lose even more in the upcoming months…) and on top of that just walking up or down the stairs with a box or whatever, had me out of breath before reaching the top of the stairs.

So yes, I was fit for work, but was I fit? 

Monday, December 03, 2012

March 2012 - Driving - (a Car this time)

I hadn't driven a car since I went off on sick leave, 8 months of not driving, and I hadn't really thought about it really until one day when I visited Holland for my brothers surprise leaving party, when we were in the car at night and suddenly a whole host of street lights merged into a sort of chain of light, the light bulbs had become circles and started interconnecting like the Olympic rings almost.

Why hadn't I noticed it before?? I don’t know, maybe that this time I sat on the side of where I would normally sit to drive in the UK, with the steering wheel being on a different side in Holland, it might have been the issue… I don’t know, but I noticed it and it freak me out….

I had over-time, before going on leave, noticed that driving, especially at night or during twilight, wasn't one of my favourite things to do anymore.

It actually had started to scare me slightly.. Making up excuses to not pick up my girlfriend from work when I worked from home, looking at getting somewhere by train instead of the car, but still driving… against better judgment…
none the less, when my sight was coming back due to these RGP lenses, I did have some hope I would be able to drive again, but wasn't counting on it, and had accepted that, if not, well, then not…

However, after finally having settled on the last pair of lenses that worked for me, and being told, go and live your life, it’s all good and come back next year, unless something happens. I also got told my sight was apparently good enough to drive again… (yes!!!!)

So, when I got home, I started the car…. and it didn't start… )-:

Obviously….. it had been standing along the road for the last 8 months with not much action apart from getting its MOT done 2 months before. No doubt the Battery hadn't liked this non-movement, and emptied itself, and to be fair, it was old anyway, and probably should’ve been replaced anyway… so first that had to be sorted…

Anyway, the next day.. I had gotten a new battery from a garage just across the road, and placed it in, and started the car… Yes!!!!!  It worked… so now… putting in the damn thing into gear and go for a spin…

Man, that was weird, my heart was beating like I don’t know what, adrenaline rushing through my body like there was no tomorrow, and all I had done was drive to the Petrol station…

After having filled up the tank and gathered my senses, I decided to drive on instead of just returning home, and it actually went pretty good indeed… I did not have any blurry vision or un-sharpness, there was a little bit of the two cyclists in the distance turning into one cyclist when I got closer, but was that a problem or not?

I mean, once you know that’s the case, you can work with that, and when I say distance I mean "Distance", as in more than half the length of a football pitch away from me..

And I noticed it was only on narrow and small things.. Not with cars or anything bigger… all in all it went much better than I had hoped, and more importantly probably better than the last time I had driven. 

A good start...

"I Stopped To Fill My Car Up" - Stereophonics

i stopped to fill my car up 
the car felt good that day 
i didn't know where i was going 
but it felt good for a change 
a five and a pocket full of silver 
i paid the lady no change 
and then it started to piss down 
i started driving again 
and then i looked up 
and looked in the mirror behind me 
a man round forty in the back seat 
must have stepped in when i was empty 
so why's he sat there just waiting 
likely to smash my face in 
he had a bag full of money 
he said just drive me away 
i didn't know where i was going 
yet it felt good to be strange 
and still i look up 
and look in the mirror behind me 
curiosity is over 
he stepped down from the car 
he pulled a gun from his jacket 
said i was going to die 
it gives me so much satisfaction 
to watch you beg and cry 
well i just made up this story 
to get your attention makes me smile 
i never looked up or looked 
in the mirror behind me