One of the questions in the weekend engagement this week is about sharing of a loss.
At the end of last year, I suffered badly from an autoimmune disease that left me with some loss of feeling, balance, movement and sight.
After spending a period in hospital, I have got most of my strength back. Physically I actually feel much better and my balance is probably 98% back to normal.
My vision is still not good though. I can see up close but really struggle to see anything at any distance. This has had a number of impacts on my life.
First, I obviously can't drive. I am much more reliant on others as a result.
Secondly, I struggle cross roads or walking where there are many people. Everything looks very confused to me and I have to take my time - not easy when people are rushing by.
I haven't been able to travel far by myself. I usually travel a lot for work but have been mainly working from home. Going into the office was a bit of an ordeal. Going further a field is off the cards for the moment.
I do hope that I will make a full recovery but it could take months. So what I have learnt from this loss?
What I have learnt
First of all, although I am not an overly religious man, when my health was failing really quickly in hospital, its only faith that can keep you going. The doctors had a plan but there was no real treatment and no known risk factors for what I had. Fate would seal my future. I found peace in faith.
Secondly, and its a real close second, family are everything. My family looked after me so well and they still do. If my eyesight returns and I can do all the things I used to be able to do, I will focus even more of my time in helping my family.
Finally, the other big lesson from my loss of the eyesight that I used to have is that you have to live every second to the max. YOLO!
We don't know what is around the corner, we don't know when I situation will suddenly change direction. We tend to procrastinate but don't be lazy. Cease the moment!
As a Muslim, we hear many hadith which are they saying of the Prophet Muhammed. This is one of them which I think really suits the situation of loss.
“Take advantage of five before five: your youth before your old age, your health before your illness, your riches before your poverty, your free time before your work, and your life before your death.”
I will leave you with that to ponder.
To close off this post, let me show you what I see (sort of). The first photo is a street near my house. The below picture is more like how I see the world. Its a kind of double vision. I often see cars on the wrong side of the road. If there are 20 people walking on the sidewalk, I see 40 people. In a busy London train station its a nightmare, I just can't concentrate on all the moving images.
Look after your health. Look after your wealth. Look after your families. Look after yourself.