This is an email from "It's a Mild Case" and Now I Must Move Forward, a newsletter by A Cornered Gurl.

My new glasses; a favorite book. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Hello, Me. Let’s Take Care of You.

A much-needed break from ACG

Tre L. Loadholt
Mar 30 · 4 min read

On February 19, 2021, I was diagnosed with keratoconus. In short, the corneas are bulging forward; shifting and moving away from my eyes. When I first noticed the dramatic change in my vision, I thought surely it had to be aging as various body parts tend to depreciate as one gets older. However, I was sadly mistaken.

The glare, sensitivity to light, misshaped corneas, and astigmatism all revealed it was definitely something more. I sat in the patient chair directly across from my optometrist as she explained this new thing heaved upon me.

She said “keratoconus” as if it was second-nature to her. I asked her to repeat it. And then again. After her repetition of the word, I asked her to please write it down. She spoke and as she did, I sat there dumbfounded by the words that tumbled out of her mouth. What is this thing and why am I its new host?

Noting my “lazy eye,” she inquired if I had ever worn an eye patch as a child. I am sure the look that shadowed my face spoke louder than I ever could. “No, I never did.” It was all I could say. I was still practicing (in my head) this new word I’d never heard. . . .

“Please, if you don’t mind, can you repeat it one more time?”

“I’m referring you to the specialists at Duke. They will examine you, determine the level of damage, and set a course for treatment.”

“Is this curable? What am I looking at as a worst-case scenario?”

I had so many questions. Referral to Duke? Treatment? Level of damage?

I’ve been wearing glasses since I was twelve years old — contacts since I was seventeen. Not once did I ever truly envision the possibility of losing my sight entirely or requiring some form of surgery to set my vision back to a suitable standard. I never thought I’d need contacts designed especially for corneal deficiencies that cost an arm and a leg.

None of this ever crossed my mind.

I have new glasses now. New contacts. And with both, my sight is a bit better, but there’s still a glare and some things are still blurry. But this is due to cornea damage. More about this and whatever treatment designed for my case will be discussed on Thursday, April 22, 2021, during my consultation at the Duke Eye Center.

I have already begun implementing methods to help salvage my sight: reduced my daily screentime, purchased blue light glasses, purchased new glasses and contacts (as mentioned above), and now . . . I will be taking much-needed breaks from a few obligations to help limit my time in front of a computer screen or laptop.

Effective March 31, 2021, I will temporarily pause publishing in A Cornered Gurl. I will not be accepting any new writers or new submissions at that time. The tentative date of my return to duties in this publication is Sunday, April 25, 2021. If I feel, at that time, that I do not want to move forward with continuing to host the publication, I will make an announcement about that fact.

From March 31, 2021, until April 25, 2021, I am asking all current writers to not submit any new work to ACG. If a draft is received, it will be sent back to you referencing this letter. I am asking any writers interested in A Cornered Gurl to please not send any requests to become a writer via email. If received, it will be sent back to you referencing this letter.

I want to move through this new phase of my life continuing to learn more about this condition and press forward with any tools I may need to help me save my sight. I truly hope you understand this.

You will still see me on Medium as I also edit for P.S. I Love You and I will have writing published from time to time but I will not be nearly as active.

I want to say thank you to each of you who took interest in this publication and decided to support it. Without you, ACG would not be the publication it is — a safe and creative space for writers unafraid to break out of the box. You have my complete and total adoration.

I wish you kindness, understanding, love, peace, and a hell of a lot of writing and creativity.

Until next time, stay safe and be well.

Peace and blessings.

A Cornered Gurl

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