Monday, February 11, 2013

Thank God for sight


Back in 2010, when I was training at Sitsongpeenong, I got pink eye really bad (the day before I left). One of the worst experiences of my life, I would never wish that on my worst enemy. I was completely useless. I couldn’t go outside as the sun, even with my eyes shut, was too intense for me. I couldn’t even look at a computer or TV screen. My vision was gone and my eyes just leaked 24/7. I got some eye drops that were supposed to clear it up. They really bothered me as I put them in, burned a bit. The more the days went on the worse the burning got and my eyes had showed no improvement. I decided to stop putting them in as I just had a sense that something was wrong. Finally one day I was on the phone with my mom and she had told me how when I was a kid I had gotten pink eye and apparently was allergic to the drops given to me so they had to give me some special kind. Well I told my doctor this and was able to get the correct medication and it cleared my eyes up, finally. Well the redness had gone away as had the leaking eyes, only problem was my vision was a mess. It was that feeling of it the middle of the night and someone turning the lights on all of a sudden. Everything bothered them. Any kind of light whether it was the sun or artificial, and when sweat got in them it burned like crazy. I could see but everything was blurry, as if I was under water with my eyes open. Needless to say this freaked me out. One of the things I was worried most about was whether I would be able to pass the vision test and still be allowed to fight. I was thinking that there was no way as I could hardly see anything. I finally was able to get in to see the ophthalmologist and have my eyes checked out. I explained to him what had happened. He told me that the infection had scarred my retinas and that my vision was permanently damaged. He did however tell me that it was still good enough to fight. I remember thinking ‘how freaking bad does your eye sight have to be not to pass that test?’ as I could barely see anything at all. He told me that it wouldn’t get any worse but that without surgery it would never get better. He also told me that the surgery might not fix it and there was a chance it might even make it worse. “Ah well that’s a refreshing thought, thanks Doc.” Well I had been living with my eyes like this for a while now and could basically function fine. I could drive and get around without too much trouble. The only thing that would really freak me out is the sun was almost unbearable so I just had to get super dark shades. Another bring problem, when I trained, was that when sweat would get in my eyes it would burn so bad it was unbearable and it would make it to where I couldn’t see. It was like having salt poured in your eyes. Obviously this worried me but I figured I would just have to deal with it and fight anyway. So I told my Doc I would think about it and get back to him. I remember thanking God that I was still able to fight and praying for Him to restore my vision but that I was just happy to be able to see and to be able to continue doing what I love. A few months went by and it seemed like I was getting better at my messed up vision. Luckily the pain went away when I had sweat in it, and for that I was extremely grateful. Well I had that eye test done before so I didn’t have to get another vision test until the following year. So early 2011 I went back to the same doctor and got my yearly eye exam for the commission. My doctor asked how my eyes were. I told them they were ok and that they didn’t bother me much but I figured I must just be used to them by now. So he gives me all the normal tests and stuff. He has this weird look on his face the whole time, I didn’t think too much of it. Finally he finishes and asks me “So you went and had the surgery done then?” I say ‘No, why?’ He tells me that all of the scar tissue is gone and my vision was better (can’t remember the exact numbers it was when it was at its worst or what it was at this point but it went from extremely bad, to not great but pretty good). He looked extremely puzzled. I tell him “No, I thought it had been getting better but I figured I had just gotten used to it.” He couldn’t believe it, neither could I. He says “That is one of the strangest things I have ever seen.” He tells me congrats and sends me on my way. I left amazed but knowing that God had been the only one who could have restored my vision and I got on my knees and thanked him for my sight. The following year I got my yearly exam once again and came to find out that my vision had been restored to 20/20, unreal. Well here I am almost 3 years after that original vision scare. I was sitting on my bed in Thailand, at Sitmonchai, watching a movie on my computer. All of a sudden my eyes started getting all weird. Kind of hard to explain it but it’s almost like when someone takes a picture and you just have that flash of light in your eyes for a while after. It’s as if it’s in the corner of your eye and when you try focus on it, it keeps moving. Well it was like that accept this was more of a big circle and it was all these really tiny like triangles that were all different colors like a kaleidoscope, spinning around and changing colors. Needless to say it was really freaking me out. I kept trying to remember if I had been poked in the eye or had gotten something in it. Started thinking that maybe it was from staring at the computer screen too long or something. So I closed my computer and tried to read a book. Well my eyes started getting worse and the light, or whatever it was had went from a small object to a much larger once that was almost completely blocking all of my vision and I was having a hard time seeing anything. Not only that but I started feeling this really dark presence and I started freaking out a bit. All these scenarios started going through my head about if I went blind tonight and what would happen tomorrow. I pictured myself going through the airport blind, not being able to do anything and having to be helped the whole way. It seemed so real, and seemed like it would definitely be a possible especially if this kept getting worse. I started wondering if I should go grab someone and see if we could go to a 24 hour eye doctor, if they even have something like that. I started panicking. I didn’t know what to do. Just then I said a prayer, halfheartedly I must admit, almost a wish. I asked God to heal me and take whatever this was away and restore my vision. It was still there and the more that time passed the more I freaked out. I was thinking how fragile we are and how quickly things in our lives can change. Was I going to live the rest of my life like this, or worse? I picked up my Bible and stared reading. The more I read the more powerful the words became to me. I had opened it up to where it had last been bookmarked, can’t remember when the last time I had opened it was. It was on Psalms 91, which I had underlined all of. I started reading out loud to myself and drew strength from this. The more I read the better I felt. I thought that I was starting to be able to see but didn’t know if it was just because I was focusing on the reading or not. I felt that I could still see that weirdness in the corner of my eye. I put that in the back of my mind and continued. “No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling.” These words were so powerful to me and I felt them giving me strength. As I finished the chapter I closed my eyes and prayed. I thanked God for everything He had done for me. For restoring my sight the first time, for always showing me the way even when I saw none, for taking any fear away from me whenever those thoughts would creep in my mind. For allowing me to turn my life around and giving me the strength to do what I do and for allowing me to touch countless people’s lives in the process. I thanked Him for allowing me this gift of being able to fight and even if I was never able to fight again I thanked Him for all I had been able to do with that gift. I thanked Him for being with me regardless of whether my vision came back; I knew that He would get me through it no matter what. I asked Him once again, this time with full faith and sincerity, to restore my sight and to take whatever darkness this was, which I could physically feel in my room, away from me and away from this place. I said Amen, opened my eyes. I looked around, my vision was back, that light, or whatever it was, was gone now. My eyes still felt a little weird, but my vision was definitely back. Almost coming to tears I thanked God once again. I was once again reminded how fragile this life, and everything we have in it, is. I’m not writing this to try and preach to anyone, or to say you need to believe this or anything like that. Just sharing what has happened to me, as I always do, and I know that there are people out there that will take some good from this. I thank God for restoring my vision, once again, and for everything that He has done in my life. I thank God for all of you and am grateful for every person I am able to affect positively in this life. “Face your fears, live your dreams”-Kevin Ross

13 comments:

  1. Anonymous11.2.13

    Great story! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11.2.13

    Your stories and fight career really inspire me Kevin. Thank you for sharing. Would love to come up and train with you sometime. Praying for your continued success, thank you for being such a strong role model to follow my dreams and realize my goals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. anytime! Thank you

      Delete
    2. Anonymous11.2.13

      Dublin right? CSA?
      I'm down in San Jose right now

      Delete
    3. yea CSA in Dublin

      Delete
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  4. Great fight writing Kevin.

    best, Sylvie

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