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PART II:  Sometimes We Lie In Order To Love…

Sunday,  transpired what was easily one of the most distressing events of my life…

Sunday… I feared that I might have permanently lost my sight in my right eye…

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Introduction – Background

Sunday,  December 8th,  2013, I left Moscow on a trip to do something that I believe is critically needed in this world.

  • Giving a measure of love to those who fear that they will never receive it…
  • Giving a measure of love to those who might no longer feel deserving…
  • Giving a measure of love to those who feel forgotten…

I travelled with a group of volunteers to a orphanage about 3 hours drive from Moscow, Russia.  I was quite nervous about the experience, because not only was it my first time going to this place, but I had never actually met any of my fellow volunteers before and most of them didn’t speak English well.  And besides all of this, they were Russians and I am American, so there was also cultural differences.

But despite all this, we were united in our desire to help these orphans.  Fortunately, I do speak some Russian and fortunately a few of the volunteers spoke enough English to help me when my knowledge of Russian failed.

During the day, as I got more and more involved in the activities, I felt more comfortable with the situation.  I participated in the cooking class that the other volunteers had set up and a class in which wool was shaped into various objects such as hearts, stars, and toy animals.

Later in the day, I decided to play soccer with the boys inside of the gym…

The Tramatic Event

During the fourth game of soccer (my team had won one game and lost two), I was playing goal-keeper when I ran up to block a shot.  The ball was kicked hard from only a few metres away and it hit me in the face and ricochet off my right eye and the area surrounding (the orbit).  The shot stung, but being an athlete, I’m used to shaking off a little pain and then continuing to play.  But I did start to notice that something was wrong…

The others in the gym noticed that I seemed a little shaken up and after seeing a little blood that has showed up on the upper part of my cheekbone, they decided that I should visit the resident nurse.

One of the boys, I believe the boy who kicked the ball escorted me there.  On the way to the nurse, was when I started to suspect that something was seriously wrong.  I understood that I had severe trouble seeing out of my right eye.  At first, I suspected that maybe my eyelid was swollen shut.

After visiting the nurse, I could tell by the reaction of the nurse and others, that my eye wasn’t swollen shut, but rather my eye couldn’t see properly.  When I closed my left eye my vision looked like looking through frosted glass…

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Essentially, I was blind out of my right eye because I couldn’t really see anything clearly.  I became disorientated, I felt a little sick… maybe from fear… maybe from the altered preception.

I remember that going up stairs was a big problem, because I had lost a lot of my peripheral vision.

BUT… I was also worried about the perception of others.  I didn’t want to worry the orphans.  I didn’t want to worry the boy who kicked the ball.  (I once had injuried a friend, while playing American football, a season ending injury, and I remember the guilt I felt about that…)  So when the orphans asked me if I was ok, I lied and I said, “I’m fine.”

Meanwhile, giving my albeit limited knowledge of medicine, I knew that I could have a serious problem.  I was afraid that some sort of retinal damage had occured, which would have resulted in permanent blindness.  All I wanted to do was sit down and be alone, so that I could cope with what had happened to me.

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But instead I smiled, continued talking to the orphans, was in smiling photos with them, drank tea with them.  Continuously, I lied to them about me being ok.  Fortunately, they don’t speak English very well, so I could tell the fellow volunteers, who knew English that I was experiencing a more serious problem.

Finally, after an hour or two later, we said our goodbyes and we started our drive back to Moscow…

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