Mount Keratoconus Awaits, Pack a Lunch!

Mount Keratoconus Awaits, Pack a Lunch!

I'm still breathing. Chances are so are you. Before anything I'm a realist. I can tell you when my diagnosis was but truth is it doesn't really matter. Keratoconus is here to stay. My left eye is practically useless. My right eye as of January 2017 has decent vision with symptoms present.

I was an EMT well on my way to becoming a paramedic. I was filled with so much confidence and motivation on what I was doing in my life. I had my sights set on possibly becoming a surgeon. I knew it would be a mountain to climb but truth is if you really want something you'll find a way to get it. I took a long time to think about it and I had the discipline that's required and I had a very good understanding of how things worked in this world. I mean unfortunately natural disasters happen, people get injured, people need help. It most cases it's a life or death situation. Now here's where a trauma surgeon can come and possibly save a life. The best part is when that patient is saved and has a second opportunity in life.

But what about the symptoms Keratoconus causes. Surely you need to have decent vision to be a surgeon. Yes its true, its also true that I will not be able to be a trauma surgeon because of Keratoconus. Nor will I be able to continue the career path I wanted to pursue. Especially because Keratoconus progresses overtime. It absolutely broke me. It was such a crisis in my life that I almost gave up. But with the help of my family I was able to overcome it. It was all taken from me.

The sense of confidence, security, everything I had ever accomplished it was taken from my bare hands. I know it's still possible to get a medical degree without being able to see but I have to first adjust to being visually impaired, find a new source of income and sort things out with the responsibilities I have with myself and my family. I don't come from a wealthy family. My parents started out with practically nothing but the clothes on their backs. We all work paycheck to paycheck. The size of that mountain is astronomical but still within reach. The only way I can see myself making that climb is if I didn't have any responsibilities and was financially capable of doing so.

I fell into a deep grim depression completely devastated. I knew my initial goals weren't realistic anymore. Which I came to accept but I still couldn't find peace. Long sessions of self reflect with music that I like to listen to when I'm down in the dumps and I found a reason to keep fighting.

Luis Gonzalez (Twitter: @LGNY_)
Just because I can't see doesn't mean I'm incompetent, that i’m useless, or that I'm going to die. If I can speak I can teach. If I can walk I can sprint. If I can breathe, I will survive. I became an advocate for health since I realized my potential. I want to not only help others to the best capability that I can but I want to inspire and help those who are in a worse situation. I have the most supportive family anyone can ask for who understood my situation well but that did not take away from the fact that Keratoconus is a life changing struggle faced only by oneself.

So what now? Well… time to dive into new chapters. Focus on what the disability does not affect. Invest into what you are able to do without sight. You are not alone, please understand that. I will be getting CXL done soon. To those struggling with any visual impairment, stay strong. You will find peace after you realize your potential and that you are capable of doing so much in this world.

Warm regards.

Luis Gonzalez (Twitter: @LGNY_)

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for your story... this disease is indeed faced by only oneself but know there are others out there who really do get it and understand you. So happy you have a supportive family…My left eye was useless seven years ago, right eye continues to deteriorate but is much better than the left still even after a transplant, I am beyond grateful for the transplant and my donor because I don't think I would be able to still be working without that family that agreed to have his corneas donated. It has helped my sight tremendously and there are really no words to find to thank them. I just try to remind myself their worst conditions in the world and that I can do this. I am pretty much in tolerant to hard lenses and with my insurance, they are too costly to just "try out" so to speak.We may need to alter our goals but keep faith, they are always working on treatments. I wish you hope, and a bright future!

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  2. Thanks for sharing your story. My right is like really bad and I hate to find myself half blind after removing my lenses. My left eye is not that bad but I cannot manage without lenses. I'm really scared of any surgery on my eye, so haven't thought of trying one. I'm doing my BSc in biotechnology and I don't know what challenges I will be having to face as I progress, because i have difficulties in handling micro stuff..... Most of my friends haven't even heard of Keratoconus and I feel so lonely, as if I'm the only one with such a condition. so I read stories of other Keratoconus patients on this blog so that I get motivated to live a happy life no matter what......

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