A matter of the eyes
This is the second time I went to see an ophthalmologist. The first time was about 4-5 years ago when I got to know that I have what is called “congenital pendular nystagmus”. It is a condition where my eye vibrates/moves when I tried to focus to see any object from far. Naturally, since as early as I can remember, I will unconsciously look from the corner of my eyes, resulting in me slanting. The ophthalmologist explained that I did that to find the ‘null point’, the point where my eyes move less and results in better focus. That explained why my face always facing a bit to my right whenever I want to look straight.
In most cases this have not cause any major problem. There is occasion where people asked me to look ahead while driving, while I am already looking ahead in my own way. There is occasion where people especially of the opposite sex make an uneasy gesture thinking that I am staring at them while I am looking somewhere else, well that is something unintentional.
What I am worry though is when I got to know that on many occasion people whom don’t know me have got the first impression that I am arrogant, , sinister, cynical, just because the way I look at people. Only, when those people really have the opportunity to get to know me in person, those impressions changed, and the only way I realized this is when those people say it to me.
Today, I have the opportunity to see the now ‘celebrity’ ophthalmologist, Prof Dr Muhaya, after much cajoling and persuasion from my wife, and after she arranged the appointment.
I went to see Prof Dr Muhaya due to a number of medical problems that I am facing that I guess related to my eye condition. I learnt a lot today on how special these eyes are, and why I always got different prescription for my glasses whenever I see an optometrist. Special eyes need special treatments.
Not going into details on those jargons, I can summarize that I have:
- different degree of astigmatism in both eyes
- one of the eyes is short-sighted while another is far-sighted
- each of my eyes can judge distance fairly accurately, resulting in inability to recognize 3D object when looking through both eyes
After a lot of learning on those jargons, I asked again about my slanting vision, and is there any way that I can correct that. I like the way Prof Dr Muhaya put it; “Accept it and it becomes your strength”.
It takes me a while to understand. Throughout my life, I have been learning to accept me as person with all my strength and weaknesses. I remember being called many names since my primary school, one of those that I still remember is “teleng mata empat” due to my slanting vision with my glasses as early as 10 years old. I have been accepting my slanting vision as one of my uniqueness, no qualms about that.
My only worry is when I represented an organization with messages for dakwah. I fear that those false first impressions create unnecessary barrier for others to accept the messages that I am conveying. And I am willing to do anything to be better in that sense.
Well, Allah knows best. I’ll leave it here.