I'm Emily, wife and mother of two gorgeous boys. I got diagnosed with keratoconus in one eye about 6 years ago when I was pregnant with my youngest. But after giving birth and suffering from post natal depression, I did not attend the follow up appointment.
With my eyesight getting worse and worse, I made another appointment a couple of years ago and got checked out again, deep down hoping and praying it was a mistaken diagnosis before. Sadly the doctor told me I did “still” have it but this time in both of my eyes, which I admit did break me down a little.
I got told I got keratoconus, from having eczema and rubbing my eyes too much, as eczema comes with allergies, it's not easy to not rub my eyes. (I do try not too now).
In further appointments I was given the hard contact lenses, too which I was amazed with how much I could see, but the downfall was the pain it caused my eyes, I could only ever last no longer than fifteen minutes wearing them, due to the irritation and sick feeling I was getting from them. I made the decision to stop wearing them to be in constant pain and having bloodshot eyeballs. Which some of you may find silly but I hate eyes and I have a weird phobia, great condition to get with this phobia!!!
The most heartbreaking thing about having keratoconus is not being able to see my children's faces properly, having the thoughts in my head that I won't “see” them become adults.
Picking the children up from school can sometimes be embarrassing as a few times I have waved a children who I think are mine but when they come closer I realize they are not my kids, get some odd looks from parents for that!!
Adam and Ethan are 10 and 6 years old. Sometimes when we are out they take my hand and help me across a road, or help me find objects in shops that I cannot see. They are such helpful and caring boys that me and my husband John are so proud of them.
I use to love drawing pictures, it was my passion and getaway. Until recently, I was helping Ethan color in a picture, but my eyes could not focus properly and I could see more lines of the picture than there was. I do still try and draw but have to keep asking husband and children, “Does it look right?” “Does it look like what it is meant to look like?”.
#Keratoconus I hate not being able 2 c properly. Struggle seeing my kids growing¬ being able 2 live a normal life pic.twitter.com/bcwmCOeJsW— Emily Wainwright (@EmilyHpool) May 29, 2016
Having keratoconus is not just having an eye condition I suffer with, it effects everything. Your daily routine, going on a simple shopping trip, taking the kids to school, watching a school play, not recognizing people in the street and looking ignorant, having my husband, who I'm in love with and have been for a third of my life, become my registered carer and look after me. To be honest it can really depress me at times, I can sit and cry for no reason about it and dwell on the future of what could happen with my eyes.
Now sorry I have probably bored you all silly with going on, but thank you for letting me share my story and feelings about having keratoconus, and also thank you for reading.
Emily (Twitter: @EmilyHpool)