Today is my blind anniversary

 

The last time I left my home alone without any assistance happened ten years ago. It was on 24th of July, when I made the trip down to Rio from Miami’s international airport.

We drove down from Tallahassee to the airport, because I refused to take connecting flights alone with a baby. I wasn’t used yet to the need of holding on to someone to go anywhere, so we drove down to the airport – about eight hours away. Whenever I needed a break – or the baby needed one, we’d stop by a restaurant, and I’d pick up my baby and take him with me to the restroom alone, change his diaper and return to the parking lot, where my husband would be waiting for me.

My sight at the time was around 235/400 (I’m not sure how that was measured), but I could see only light and shadows on my right eye, and only on my periphery on my left. Whenever I went somewhere, I’d move forward, though I’d be looking to the side (because when I looked to the side, I could see the path ahead).

But I had cataracts, and so everything was nebulous.

My two brothers picked me up from the airport, and while one took my baby (the only baby in the family at the time), the other took hold of my hand. That was the first time I held on to someone for guidance, and it felt unnecessary to me, even if holding on to him, I could move with an ease I hadn’t felt in a long time. There was no fear of stepping on a hole or of bumping on a pole that appeared out of nowhere.

I went to see an ophthalmologist the very next day. My eye pressure measured 53 on my left, thirty something on my right (normal ranges from 10 to 20, anything lower than 10 and there’s the risk of a retina detachment, anything higher than 20 and it damages the optic nerve).

I was already using three different types of eye drops to reduce the pressure, plus some pills called diamox that made everything I ate taste bitter. The plus side was that I lost some extra weight.

I was scheduled a surgery – glaucoma and cataracts for my left eye in two months. It was the eye I depended on to move about, and the pressure was much higher there. When I asked for something sooner, the doctor told me that this was the soonest he could fit me in his schedule, that he’d usually schedule something that wasn’t an emergency for six – eight months. I wasn’t happy, but I didn’t sense like waiting two months would affect too much, since the cataracts had started more than a year and a half earlier, and I’d had glaucoma for almost nine months.

At the time, I had believe that the milkiness in the peripheral of my left eye had been the result of the cataracts – which it was – but it was also because high eye pressure causes the optic nerve to dry.

I’m not sure when my peripheral vision became completely white and I could no longer see anything. But I finally underwent the surgery on October 18th, 2007. My eye was covered for that entire day, so I couldn’t tell if the surgery had worked or not.

The doctor who operated my left eye told me the small cylinder and tube he had inserted was functioning perfectly, and already my pressure was better.

I went home the next day, but everything was still nebulous – I could see shadows on my peripheral, the contrast of vibrant colors. But when I went for my next appointment a month later and asked the doctor why was everything still white, he told me it was the result of the high pressure and that I had an atrophied nerve – which is a dry, white optic nerve.

Unfortunately, there was no treatment for that. As the days passed and the pressure lowered, I kept losing more and more of my periphery, until I could only see strong light and a color contrast, red against white, or white and black, etc –only on a fraction of my peripheral.

It was then that I realized that no, I wasn’t going to see again.

My baby had just turned one year old, and he moved like a bullet – he ran actually, he didn’t walk. But he was a sweet baby, and because he grew up with someone who bumped on walls, moved with eyes closed (I was really sensitive to light), and had to touch everything, he understood, even before he turned two, that I couldn’t see. He thought everyone was like me, and whenever he wanted to hide something from me, he’d place whatever he held in his hands – chocolate, cookies, knife on the floor and press his empty palms to mine.

One plus about being blind and having little kids – I have three now – is that my senses are very sharp. I know where everything is, where everyone is. There’s no sound in my home that I don’t recognize (if there is, I keep searching until I discover it and commit that sound to memory), no smell I can’t decipher, no kid I can’t account for – unless they are asleep somewhere, which is highly unlikely, my kids hate to sleep and lose time they should spend playing.

I don’t talk to my family about this, it makes them sad, and that’s not what I want, so I thought I’d post it here. Every year on this day, I’d remember that trip down to Brazil, the surgery, the days following it, though those days aren’t too clear in my mind.

Well the point is, the moment I told myself I could do it, I realized I didn’t need my eyes to live a fulfilling life. Does that mean I don’t care for a cure? Of course I care, every now and then I go online to research the stem cells studies, and they look promising, more and more every time. I don’t read the price of  a treatment, I know they are highly expensive, but I know I will do it one day.

 

 

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Star Dust II – Hidden Truth

This week’s writing prompt: Your main character looks up at the night sky and begins pondering life. Thinking back, this character whispers to him or herself, “To this day, I still regret that.” What had happened?

**********

Anderson parked the car near the clearing where he landed two hundred years ago and looked out at the beautiful land. Twilight was approaching and the land looked bathed in gold and reds and yellows. Far in the horizon he could just make out the outlines of the mountains, capped white, even in early autumn. There were some greens from the evergreen trees, a few squirrels darting from tree to tree. The sky was a clear bowl of orange and reds and blues, with a few fat clouds here and there that looked as if they were stuffed with rainbows.

It was a peaceful place, one that brought painful memories, one he ended up always returning to.

Bradford shifted on his seat, and Anderson glanced at him, his friend and partner of many years. He’d been coming with him here for the past five years, never questioning his reasons, even if Andy could see the questions in his friend’s eyes.

Like at the moment. Before his friend could voice his thoughts out loud, Anderson opened his door and climbed out.

Bradford did the same, then began unloading the basket of food his wife had prepared for them.

By the time they finished eating the fried chicken, potato salad and the strawberry pie, darkness had fallen, a chill wind shook the nearby branches, the sound a soothing background to the noise of the night animals.

“I have a theory,” Bradford said, leaning back on his elbows, his eyes fixed up on a cluster of stars.

“Hmmm?” Andy murmured.

Brad glanced once at Andy, saw that he was paying attention, took a sip of mountain dew in a contemplative gesture. “Theoretically speaking, what would you say if you worked for the FBI and whenever there was a rumored altercation in a lab, your partner was always absent?”

Anderson shifted and looked at Brad, thinking about the three lab breaks he’d done to investigate a possible capture of ‘alien’ species. The three creatures he had helped escape weren’t from his planet, but he had understood their plea nonetheless. There was no accusation, no judgment in his partner’s eyes, but Anderson knew Brad had an excellent poker face.

“Coincidence?” He ventured, though his heart had picked up a faster rhythm.

Brad grunted, then returned his gaze up to the stars. “How about if that partner travelled every year to a place on the anniversary where the sight of a spaceship has been catalogued more than two hundred years ago? Theoretically speaking, I mean.”

“A nature lover?”

“Oh yeah.” Brad said, still looking up at the sky. “And if this person has been your partner for more than ten years and hasn’t aged a bit?”

“Good genes?” Anderson replied, though he was now kicking himself for being so careless. Bradford was nothing but thorough, with a clever and cunning mind. How could he have gotten so comfortable around him? Could he attack his friend, his best friend, if he made a move to restrain him? Could Brad do that to him?

Brad shifted to look at Anderson then, his eyes conveying nothing of what was going through his mind. “And sometimes when you catch that partner unaware, there’s this flash of a silver glow in his eyes.”

Andy shrugged nonchalantly. “Probably just the trick of the light.” He said, then looked back at the sky, dismissing the topic.

Bradford turned to the sky as well, falling silent for a long moment. “You know,” He finally spoke, his voice just a decibel above a murmur, “I wouldn’t have minded being partnered to someone who wasn’t – ordinary, as long as he was a scrupulous person with a strong code of honor.”

“Is this your way of telling me you’d rather have an alien as a partner than me?” Andy asked jokingly, his heart squeezing hard, but Brad didn’t smile.

“I would have liked to know what space looked like, the planet where he came from, if he ever regretted coming here.” After a pregnant pause that Andy refused to acknowledge, Bradford stood, excused himself. Anderson heard him tapping on his phone, heard the “hello’ when Julie, his eight year old daughter picked at the other end.

Anderson watched Brad move away, then looked back at the sky and pondered Brad’s question.

If he had stayed home in his planet, if the world hadn’t exploded into nothing but small rocks and gas, the responsibility of the entire planet would have landed on his shoulders. He’d have never known the beauty of this planet, the endless possibilities and all the things he had discovered, through trial and error, and become the person he was today.

It had been Tranal, his mentor, who had drilled and planted all the seeds that had grown and shaped the man that he was today.

He didn’t regret the fact that he was just another person, that he hadn’t become the great ruler that Tranal had trained him to be. He still searched for any survivors of his planet, but it was no longer the single minded, feverish action of a desperate person.

He recalled that last glimpse of the fire, the fliers, the green figure so far away.

If he could just go back in time, would he have left without Tranal, his mentor, the only father he had ever known?

Andy heard Brad’s chuckle, the trilling laughter of Julie on the other side and knew his answer.

“To this day, I still regret that.” He whispered to the stars.

**********

This prompt Is a continuation of a previous prompt, Star Dust’ – a story about how Anderson happened to arrive on earth.

To read more about Bradford Bonvera, check ‘Second Chance Mushroom’ and ‘Alien Lord’.

Naming fiction characters – Are you stuck?

Did you ever start writing a story and just got lost in the flow of words? The story is all laid out in your mind and the scenes are coming out perfectly and then suddenly BAM! You have no idea who this character is, or what to name him?

Yesterday my article on how to name a fiction character was published on Conscious Talk Magazine, and I’m going to share it here with you.

Also, to those participating in the coming NaNoWriMo next month, here’s something that will help smooth the way for you.

 

Fiction Writing: How to choose fitting names for your characters

Giving the characters of your book fitting names is often a very frustrating process. One that, unfortunately, every writer has to go through. Imagine a nursery full of babies. All the countless names. Now imagine that nursery full of adolescents, children, elder men and women, throw in some pets. The writer will have to enter that nursery, clipboard and pen in hand….

https://conscioustalkmag.com/2017/10/fiction-writing-choose-fitting-names-characters/

 

Savannah Esposito – Wife, blogger, columnist, and a mother-to-be

In today’s post I want to present to you Savannah Esposito, a woman of many talents. She’s a newly married woman, a soon to be mother, a student of Forensic Psychology, and she’s a proud owner of two cats.

Aside from all that, Savvy also runs a blog that covers a variety of topics ranging from babies, mothers-to-be, parenting and family, sex and relationship. And she’s a fellow columnist at conscious Talk Magazine! (How do you manage all that without losing focus?)

Here are a few of Savvy’s articles, and they are amazing:

And if you like Savvy’s articles and want more, Check out her facebook page as well.

 

The Five Stages of Love: Why Most People Give Up Around Stage Three

 

What is the secret to lasting love? How do people have marriages that last over thirty years? The answer to those questions remains in the stages that love goes through. Like anything else, love has stages of development and evolution. Societally speaking, most movies display the first stage of love, which we are all familiar with– the infatuation stage. Movies portray that you meet your “soul mate” and there is a magical happily ever after. Movies never show the next stages of love, and so we are left with…

 

The Five Love Languages

 

In relationships, there are varying things that make each one of us feel loved. Some of us love to spend time with our significant other, others love getting thoughtful gifts. All of us are individuals, and often in relationships we forget…..

 

Child Attachment Styles And Parents Influence On Their Child

 

Each child is different and will have different needs. The relationship between parent and child is crucial to healthy development. Everyone has heard of “Nature versus Nurture,” but there are psychologists who prefer thinking of that idea as “Nature via Nurture.” In truth, it’s the combination of…

How much can a person’s taste change in over a decade?

Back when I was in high school, history was a topic I disliked so much; sometimes I’d rather get caught ditching class than found in it.

I was an A student, don’t get me wrong, but my A’s in history came from memorizing, not because I loved the topic.

Whenever I had a quiz or a final, I’d make sheets and sheets of questions and answers that I’d memorize. Dates, titles, names, events, wars, everything I wrote down on these sheets, I committed to memory.

My memory was strong enough to keep the words inside for months, until finally, because I never had a reason to think about them, I forgot it all.

Now, about a decade and a half later, I enjoy reading historical books – fiction – and things that I am not sure happened for real, I go online to research. Even if it’s not a historical, if I read something that references back into a historical event, I check on it, to make sure it’s real or not.

I find there are plenty of historic topics that fascinates me, especially if it happened before the 16th century or thousands of years ago.

This fact made me wonder if my dislike of history back in high school was the direct result of my teacher’s failure to make the topic interesting enough, or was my dislike of the topic born out of my dislike of that particular set of teachers?

Did my mind shift or mature into exploring the topics I had no interest or patience for at that time?

 

Friday 13th – the safest day of the year

Fortune or misfortune?

 

Superstition states that Friday the thirteenth is an unlucky day, prone to bring a disastrous event down upon a person. Anything bad or unlucky that happens in this day is this days fault, no questions asked.

The superstition is believed and feared by so many, some economies actually suffer from this day when people refuse to go to work, drive their car to a grocery, go out at night, board a plane, or simply leave their homes. And if economy is suffering, it’s because it’s Friday 13th, the unlucky day.

In some years, Friday the 13th happens three times a year, and the last time it did was on 2015. Every year has a Friday 13th, and every month that starts with a Sunday will have 13th on a Friday.

In Italy, the unlucky day falls on a Friday 17th and in Greece on the Tuesday the thirteenth.

But is Friday 13th really as bad as people claim it to be?

Contrary to most popular beliefs, there is almost no evidence that Friday 13th is a day of misfortunes. On the contrary, a few governments, including the British, Dutch and Netherlands claim that accidents occur less in a Friday 13th than any other random day, because people are more careful due to their phobia.

With that in mind, there are plenty of evidences that prove, after all is said and done; Friday 13th is actually the safest day of the year.

I’m not a superstitious woman, even if as a child, we avoided stepping on a cracked sidewalk, black cats, crossroads etc and I grew up with all the tales about Friday 13th being a day of misfortunes. But now, to be told that Friday 13th is actually one of the safest day of the year because people are more careful, well, don’t you find that ironic?

Nicola Yoon – Everything, everything review

Everything, Everything

 

Author: Nicola Yoon

Hardcover, 307 pages

Published September 1st 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

*goodreads synopses: My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

 

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

 

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster. (

 

*Review:

 

I can’t believe I read this book.

 

It lacks all the things I like in a book. It’s so sad . . . and totally not my genre.

However, I can’t deny the fact that it’s very well written, and I couldn’t put the book down.

 

My heart ached for Maddy, for Olli, for her mother, even for the nurse. All the way to the end!

 

The characters are credible, the dialogue good and the language is very easy and understood.

And ah, the romance is so sweet – and painful.

 

From the beginning I bonded with Maddy, being able to connect right away. As a person with a special need, I spend most of my days at home as well and read a lot, so aside from all the fuss surrounding this book, the opening paragraphs caught me right away.

I’m still not sure if I regret reading it or not. I can still feel the echos of a heartache lingering nearby – just out of reach.

I didn’t much like the mother/daughter relationship, I found the mother too controlling, too strict (which is exactly what Yoon wanted to portray), and I suppose that’s the way an overprotective mother would react – given the circumstances.

 

I also found the ending somewhat lacking. I had the urge to know what else, feeling like I wanted to turn another page.

 

I’ve never read any of Nicola Yoon’s books, so I don’t have anything else to compare this book with, , but I must say, I give kudos to Nicola Yoon for a story very well written. However, from one to five, I’d rate this one a 3.5 – which might not be fair because it was, indeed, very good, just not my type of preferred read.

Didi Oviatt – fellow blogger, columnist and author

Like I said on my last post, today I’m going to start sharing some of the best articles of some of my teammates from the magazine.

Let’s meet Didi Oviatt, who’s also a blogger, one that I began following even before we began writing for Conscious Talk Magazine, her writing is amazing!

Didi is also a talented author, having published several books and collection of suspenseful short stories. You can read more about her and her books in her Amazon page here.

Some of Didi’s latest articles from the third edition of conscious talk are:

Conscious Thoughts: Interracial Couples

Humans are funny about opinions. We all have one, but we all have a rear end too. Is it really necessary to push it onto someone in disagreement? Especially when its sole purpose is harmful, and its intention is to be disrespectful to a fellow person?

 

Should Marijuana be Legalized Nationwide in the U.S.A.? Conscious Thoughts

The list of diseases and medical ailments that Marijuana helps to slow, treat, and minimize symptoms could be amongst the longest lists in medical history!

 

You Know Your Strong Willed Child Better Than They Do

Lots of people maybe in a hurry to give advice or to judge. Especially on matters that they might not actually know much about, such as how someone else is parenting a strong-willed child.

Conscious thought: Cannabis

Conscious talk is back online.

 

A week ago it had to go offline because the site caught a gremlin (who knew these things were real?).

 

Now, a week later, the site got a new once over, a touch up and is looking pretty good.

And no more gremlins!

 

In the next couple days I’ll be sharing with you guys a teaser of an article, both mine and my colleagues at the magazine, so stay in tune.

 

I’ll start today with a conscious thought, which is a topic everyone in the team writes an article about.

 

Today’s topic is:
Cannabis for medicinal use. Should cannabis be legal? And what’s my country’s stand on it?

 

Now, I’ll confess I’m pretty naïve, because when I read cannabis, I had no idea what that was. So I went online to research, wondering, how can I write about something I’ve never heard about?

 

Here’s what I came up with:

 

Cannabis is just a polite name for marijuana:

https://conscioustalkmag.com/2017/10/cannabis-just-polite-name-marijuana/

The moment I heard the word ‘cannabis’ and ‘medicinal usage’ put in the same sentence, I went Google searching. I have come to realize, during this brief internet research that the cannabis plant is used in many medicinal researches against many illness and diseases…

 

 

So, have you ever heard about cannabis before?

What do you think? Should marijuana be available for medicinal usage?

I’d appreciate a comment from you, either here or at the link.

 

A tale of dreams and fairies and illusions

 

It started like a fairy tale,

We were like night thieves, dealers with secret meetings.

We forayed into forbidden lands, the light of the pearly moon like a warm embrace.

The frogs sang our names, the night flowers showered us with fragrance.

We spoke of our sentiments out loud, made poets of our hearts.

It was like a fairy tale, as fairy dust blessed us with love  that neither faltered nor failed

 

It started like a dream,

Like the best wish come true, something white, something blue.

Like the knight on a winged horse, you swept me high above the clouds.

Glowing iridescent with joy and love, we danced and spoke our vows.
the promised words were sincere, with our happiness nothing could compete.

the crowded room was as good as vacant, it was you and me and the many days ahead.

The unchartered world was ours to discover,

crystal waterfalls, snow capped mountains waiting to be conquered.

It was like a dream, a wish that finally came true

 

It started like a nightmare,

Empty nights by the phone, a heart that mirrored a stone.

The tears that came unbidden, when hateful words were spoken.
the regret for the tale that once had been, when infidelity became a common deed.

The porcelain that broke into pieces, once shaped like a heart that beat.

It started like a nightmare,

That followed me out and left me gasping for air.

 

It was once a fairy tale

Of monsters who wore beautiful masks.

It was once a dream,

Of an illusion that was just a lie.

It was once a nightmare,

As vivid and real as the scar it left behind

———–

By Jina S. Bazzar