Nysha Charlene's Story
I can’t wait to begin sharing my journey with you but first, I really want to catch you up on how this all began (briefly). Then we can all continue marching onward, seeking with our souls and seeing with our hearts.
Well actually, if my memory serves me right, it was 20/22. For the first 19 years of my life (DOB 01/29/1991) I had nearly perfect vision and excellent overall health. I had what most consider a “good” childhood. I played sports, instruments, and excelled in school. How awesome.
Maybe I Need Glasses
It was during my junior year at the University of Maryland, College Park (I was 19 years old) when I first noticed a change in my vision. During class I would experience brief moments of blurred vision right at the center of whatever material I was reading. It would freak me out and I would frequently cover one eye to test what I was actually seeing. With one eye covered my center vision looked clear but wavy (as if the words were written on steep hills (if that makes sense).
Well I had my own diagnosis… glasses. The problem was that my insurance for non-emergency issues only operates in my hometown of New York. I simply moved to the front of each class and continued to study my public health/pre-dental coursework while putting off the visit to the optometrist.
There came a time when sitting at the front of the class wasn’t enough to get me by. My vision had slowly changed again and now it seemed as if there were things completely missing from sight. Seeing at night became quite a challenge I will explain what I see in detail and as best as I can in a later post. I was spending an obscene amount of time trying to read lecture materials and trying to get through exams in the allotted timeframe. I couldn’t delay the eye exam any further so I paid out of pocket to be seen in Maryland.
The optometrist told me that there wasn’t a lens that could correct my vision to 20/20. She reported seeing “spots” at the back of my eyes (retina) and suggested I see an ophthalmologist. I returned home and had many tests run on my eyes. It was at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary where I was finally diagnosed with Stardargt’s Disease (at age 21).
You can learn about Stargardt’s by clicking my menu button “Stargardt’s” and learn about how it has affected me by reading my blog posts on the Home page.