Learning to See What Counts By Going Blind

By Ingrid Ricks

I walked into an eye doctor’s office for the first time in my life eight years ago expecting to walk out with a cute pair of red cat-eye frames. Instead, I learned I suffered from a devastating degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa and was already legally blind.

My story is about the shock of discovering at age thirty-seven that I was going blind. It’s about dealing with the terror of facing life without sight—about the crippling fear of not being able to see my two young daughters grow up, of becoming a burden to my husband, of losing the career I love, and of being robbed of the independence that defines me.

Ultimately, my story is about embarking on a quest to fix my eyes that ended up fixing my life. Through an eight-year journey marked by a trip to South Africa to write about AIDS orphans, a four-day visit with a doctor who focuses on whole-body health, a relationship-changing confrontation with my husband and a life-changing lesson from my daughters, I learned to embrace the moment and see what counts in life -- something no amount of vision loss can take from me.

I recently shared my story about a local spoken word event. To Listen to the Podcast, click on the link below. http://ballardwriters.org/2012/04/27/podcast-episode-2-ingrid-ricks/