I Was Blind, But Now I See
I WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I SEE
By Trisha MacQueen
My faith story starts about 8 years ago. We were living in Utah and I started to have some spots in my vision. I told a friend about it and she suggested I go see an eye doctor. I did and I had 2 holes in my retina. The retinal specialist fixed them with a laser then told me as he was leaving the room that I also had myopic macular degeneration. Then he left. I really didn’t even hear him.
A few months later I started having more spots in my vision and I went back to retinal specialist. He told me that he had already told me about my macular degeneration. Then he explained that there was no treatment and no cure. He said it was a slow moving disease and that it would take a lifetime for me to lose my sight completely.
It wasn’t slow moving. It was quick. I was having drops in my vision every few weeks.
I went back to the specialist several times and each time he told me the disease was moving more quickly than normal and would reiterate that there was no treatment and no cure. During this time my friends and family were praying for me. I was terrified of losing my vision. The thought of not seeing my children’s faces would completely undo me. I would read my scriptures and try to absorb everything I could fearing I wouldn’t be able to see the words much longer.
Throughout this time my church family began praying for me. Mothers would call me to tell that their little children would pray that Sister MacQueen wouldn’t go blind. Oh I loved those sweet children and everyone who took the time to offer prayers on my behalf.
I started to experience pretty severe anxiety. My husband was patient and sweet through it all. He would tease and joke with me to try to lighten my heart or would reassure me that come what may, we would get through it. Most times the anxiety or fear would come on during the late hours of the night. Many times I woke my husband crying. One night, when I was very upset, I asked my husband to give me a blessing. I have always had strong faith that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. During the blessing my husband spoke the words “you will be healed in time and your sight will be restored”. When he closed the blessing I was angry with him. I asked Charlie why he would have said that in the blessing. The doctors had repeatedly told me there was no cure. Charlie just said I felt impressed to say that. But, I truly believed my husband had said that because I was so anxious I was waking him several times a week upset.
Over the next several weeks suddenly my husband’s job of 20 years became increasingly difficult, he had a new boss that was making it clear that his job was in jeopardy. The crazy thing is that just the previous year he had won an award for being one of the best managers in his company. This new situation really came out of nowhere. So Charlie started pursuing job openings to go work in the other division in his company in Tennessee. Meanwhile my vision decreased again and his current job became more difficult. We both felt impressed that he needed to move very quickly. In order to do that my husband took a demotion. We just felt this urgency.
I moved first with the kids so that they could start school. Thankfully my brother and his family lived there so we stayed with him while Charlie sold our house and then joined us in Tennessee to start his new job.
Shortly before Charlie was set to join us, my vision took a severe drop. I was no longer able to read. Or drive. I was terrified. I tried to make an appointment with a retinal specialist. I made an appointment with a specialist in my town for the day my husband arrived. A day later the office called to cancel the appointment saying the doctor was not going to be in afterall. They suggested I make an appointment with Dr Calzoda who practiced in Memphis. I didn’t want to drive into Memphis, so I found another retinal specialist in the neighboring town. I went through the same steps. The exact same thing happened. They called to cancel and suggested I go to Dr. Calzoda. This exact same thing happened 1 more time. I was really scared. This had never happened before. And to be honest I kept thinking why does Dr. Calzoda have appointments open when nobody else does? Charlie was arriving the next day and I=in desperation I made an appointment with Dr. Calzoda.
My husband drove me to my appointment. I have never waited so long for an appointment in my life. Literally, I waited hours. Later I found out Dr. Calzoda was one of only a couple specialists who would operate on newborns; those sweet babies took precedence. So he always runs behind. Finally I was called back and they went through all the normal tests. Then I went to see Dr Calzoda who was the kindest, gentlest man I have ever met. He asked me several questions and then asked if I had ever had a very specific test. I wasn’t familiar with the test. He explained they would inject dye in my veins and watch how it entered my eyes. I had not had that test. He said he would like to run that test before talking to me about my prognosis.
They ran the test and I waited. Dr. Calzoda came in and said he thought I had been misdiagnosed. That in fact he believed I had an autoimmune disease that attacks your retinas. It is called Punctate Inner Choroidopathy or PIC as it is more commonly known. I had never heard of that disease. Come to find out that not many people had. Dr. Calzoda was 1 of about 100 doctors at the time that could diagnose me with this disease. He told me that there was treatment and that if it was in fact PIC, the treatment would work within 24 hours. He wanted to give me 2 shots in my eyeball; a steroid and an antibiotic. My husband wanted to wait. Not me; I said do it now. I asked when I would know if it had worked. Dr Calzoda said I would know sooner then he would.
I was emotionally drained and really couldn’t see anything at all because my eyes were so dilated. I immediately went to sleep when I got home. I didn’t wake until the next morning. When I opened my eyes, I instantly noticed that my vision was hugely restored. I was able to see more clearly then I had in over a year.
Then all of a sudden the words of the blessing my husband had given me came flooding back to me. All the sweet prayers that were offered on my behalf. All the incredible people who had faith when I lacked. I am so thankful for so many sweet friends and the amazing little children who loved me enough to continue to petition the Lord on my behalf. I am so thankful that my Heavenly Father loves me so much that He answered the prayers on my behalf when I was weak. If I had stayed in Utah I would be blind today. The Lord knew the doctor I needed to see was in Memphis. He loved me so much that He made sure I lived where I needed to be healed. He loved me so much that 3 different doctors turned me away and suggested Dr Calzoda.
My faith in the Lord is sure. He loves each of us so much. He is just waiting for us to reach out to Him so that He can comfort us through our trials. My answers always come through reading my scriptures. I know they are there just waiting for me. With all my heart I know He loves each of us this much. We just have to trust Him as much as we can and follow Him.