A year ago from today, I found out that I needed emergency surgery to keep my eyesight in my left eye. It was a Friday. The doctor explained the “simple” procedure to me; the device they were going to implement on my eyeball was a scleral buckle. It’s like a silicon rubber band that surrounds your eyeball that is meant to push your retina back into place and keep it from detaching. While I was under, they also used laser and cyro-laser to repair what could be described as holes in my retina and weld it back into place. My doctor looked at his assistant and asked what his schedule looked like. Turns out, he wasn’t able to fit me in as “soon” as he wanted, so they defaulted to squeezing me in on the following Tuesday. As if that wasn’t soon.
You never really appreciate your eyesight until you could potentially loose it. Although the recovery was a long, boring, and painful process, I’m glad I caught it before I began losing my vision, starting with my peripherals. Truth be told, that actually could have happened. I had avoided seeking medical attention after I constantly saw flashing throughout the summer. First, I blamed the water since I was a paddleboard instructor at a summer camp. Then I asked my friends if they thought I should see a doctor. Everyone's response? “Nah, you’re probably fine.”
Now, these were friends that cared a lot about me. They would hand me their water bottle if I had passed out, they would carry me on their shoulders, they would come to the hospital, and most likely sit next to me the entire time. But there are some decisions in life that only you can make. Your friends have different perspectives, which is great. But sometimes you have to listen to your gut. It could be dangerous not to.
My gut saved me. Your's could save you too. Or it could help steer you in a direction that no one else could have, in a positive way. I see that a lot of people today rely on others opinions to make decisions, and it’s as if some people are mindlessly letting go of the wheel of their lives. This is what happened to me last summer. I didn’t want to be seen as a drama queen, or someone who overreacted, so I kept my problems to myself after consulting my friends (who funnily enough aren’t doctors). I feel stupid for doing so. I was looking for someone else’s approval for my actions, didn’t receive it, and then ended up in a doctors office being told that I was really lucky I came in before it got any worse. What the hell was I thinking?
Today is the day to stop looking for someone to check over your answers and subconsciously direct what we do. It’s not like their goal is to do so. We are so heavily influenced through media and the need for approval nowadays, but it’s time to take back the wheel. Doing research and talking to your friends about current issues is always a great idea, but they don’t know you like you know you. Over the last year, I have been practicing this more often. It’s psychologically rewarding to not be decision dependent on others. Let your gut drive every once in a while. Hop off the train. Do your own thing. Your heart and head will thank you.