• Nadine Almer

Day 30 - 34 : Lessons taught by an unfortunate accident

4.2. - 7.2.2021

Hello, my dear ones! Oh how have I missed writing and updating this blog! A warm and grateful hello to each and everyone of you- I am back, I can see again!


But I probably have to rewind back to Thursday, 4.2.2021, to my first official day of work first so that everything makes more sense.


Sarah and I were working mostly inside the polytunnel on my first day, starting to get the paths between the beds done as they were loaded with too much earth. Combined with the rain the earth got muddy. We had to dug out the soil that was too much, put in stones instead which would be a perfect way to let the water just rinse through the pathways and prevent the soil from getting soaked with water. In the end we got pretty far, it was such a joy working with Sarah and getting home all smudgy after doing a fine job and the result looking so beautifully.


Which brings us to the reason why I have not been able to update you on all that has been going on: When we came home, Marjorie was in such joy to see me that she jumped up on me and with one of her paws she pinched me in my left eye. If it had not been hurting so much I would have laughed because as some of you know, I had this very same incident happening to me for the last couple of years with twigs while walking in the woods. Two years ago in late February one twig scratched the cornea of my right eye, one year ago in mid February one twig scratched the cornea of my left eye and this year, completing three in a row, Marjorie's claw scratched my left eye.


At first I thought it might not be so bad because I was able to keep my eye open and have an afternoon tea at Sarah's house. As soon as I got home though the pain increased drastically and without support from home via phone I would really have been panicking. It seemed to be a nightmare, being in a foreign country, seemingly by oneself (not in reality of course because I know I could rely on my lovely hosts with any emergency), with no way of being able to self-sufficiently have access to a doctor nearby, not being able to see anything and being in so much pain. There was a pressure on my chest and I just yearned to be back in my apartment in Aarau, loging for familiarity, for a sense of home, immediate access to my support system, people I have known for years to take care of me, being able to let go and just being looked after.

Strange how a small incident suddenly takes you back to a place where you long for the things you were so eager and fast to leave behind. If it had not been for my best friend and a very long, calming, supporting telephone call, I do not know how gruesome and full of fear I would have remained for the rest of the evening and night.

So a big thank you to you, dearest one, I am so grateful to have you in my life and being able to count on you no matter what! Thank you so much, it means the world to me to have your friendship.


As soon as I got off the phone I was able to concentrate on the things that needed to be done, like feeding Marjorie and cooking something for myself. After that I just simply sat in the darkness, ate supper at went to bed, feeling exhausted from the day and the shock of being so vulnerable and exposed to my insecurities.

Of course the night was a challenge in itself because the pain was relentless and felt like having pieces of sand inside the eye, scratching along the inside with every move the eyeball made. Along with it the tension inside the muscles around the left eye would not ease up, leading to headaches and pulsating blood around the eyeball which in return intensified the pain in the eye as well. Waking up in the morning, similar to the last two times this had happened, I could not open the left eye and could not even open up the right one, due to the pain induced in the left one when trying to open the right one. But because of my lovely hosts I was encouraged to just let it heal and give it time.

This eased my mind and I spend the whole day inside, with the curtains drawn because I was so sensitive to light. Even the burning of the heating coil was at times way too bright for me and led to pain.

Being inside of your head with nothing to disrupt your thoughts is an experience I now had three times within the lat three years, nonetheless it always seems to have a new touch to it, all the more as I had no medical care this time and was not sure if everything would heal by itself.

I snoozed almost all day, my thoughts and dreams merging into a strange mix of new reality. Too much exposure to light would hurt as well as too much distraction like music or listening to some podcast, so the hours of the day inside the darkened room just sort of passed by with just the occasional energy boost to make tea or let Marjorie out into the garden. And by the end of the day I was rewarded because with the first camomile bath of the left eye, I was able to open it just a little bit and it was such a relief because I now knew it was healing and I would not need any medical care.


The next morning, it being Saturday, I proceeded to having a small walk with Marjorie equipped with sunglasses and a hood to shield the very sensitive eye from the intense wind and brightness of the day. Just being able to be outside felt so amazing, the fresh air and being able to see something again, even if it was blurry and very strenuous for the eye muscles, I was no longer alone in my mind and I was no longer helpless.

First thing I did back home was cooking because I was starving and then a message from Sarah uplifted my spirits because she would take me to one of her favourite beaches for a dog walk in the afternoon.

Although my eye got tired very soon after arriving on said beach, it was just glorious, more white than the one's I have been able to see so far because of the tide coming in very far and bringing a lot of shells with it. The water was a prosperous turquoise, comparable to a dream beach in the Carribean. In fact Sarah told me an anectode about a travel agency using photos of a beach to advertise a trip far away when these pictures where later identified to be of the Hebridean Isles! I did not take pictures of it because my eye still was hurting very much but I will go there again soon and treat myself to have some very good shots of it.

After that nice afternoon walk we returned to the comforts of the cozy warmth of their family home and had tea with a lovely game, it really marked the end of a very good day slowly returning to good health!


When I awoke this morning I was able to open the eye fully without any sensitivity to brightness and without headaches. Stoked by such a smooth progress of healing and being able to go outside again I grabbed Marjorie, got Freyja from the B'n'B, and just went straight up the hill to Gallan for a nice walk. The wind increased and was a little troubling for my eye but being out on my own again, seeing where I was going and enjoying the view, gratitude filled my every cell!

Also being out with Freyja, the younger of the two Golden Retrievers, fills me with joy because she simply cannot get enough of jumping around, swimming in the Lochs, chasing after stones that are thrown for her to catch- it is like watching a big puppy filled with pure love for life!

Not much of a contrast when it comes to pure love for life but the ultimate opposite because of his age in demeanour of jumping around, is Bolt whom I was allowed to take out for an afternoon walk. Like Freyja he sticks by your side but then also could go off in his own short explorations, always returning to your side to get a cuddle. With him I was able to sit by a stone and watch the sun set for a bit and Marjorie seemed to adapt better to his energy levels, whereas with Freyja she always seems a little bit overwhelmed.


The sunset was the most wonderful yet, or more accurately leaves me like every sunset so far, absolutely at a loss for words. Maybe it is because I was not able to see for nearly two days but the clouds drifting by, reflecting variations of yellow to orange and pink, the mountains freshly topped up with snow from the last two days of stormy wet weather, the far end of the horizon were the ocean was shimmering with nuances of green slowly merging into grays and then indigo blue, the rays of sun visible trough the clouds- it blew my mind and it touched my heart and soul.


I am so thankful for being able to see again, you only know what you have until it is gone, and these last two days without my sight gave me a whole new depth of appreciation. Also this incident taught me once again about the fragility of my body and I how I do not wish to miss one more day without being able to take in all of the gracious beauty of this land.


So much for an update, I was injured and I am fine now. I wish all of you out there the best of health and sent you love and light!

Nadine

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